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Firms to discuss best practice

Swinney urges support for ‘shared mission’

John SwinneyMore than 100 businesses will this week hold an inaugural meeting to discuss creating closer links with third sector organisations and wider communities.

The Responsible Business Forum will hear from companies including Hearts FC, GSK and KCP who have committed to the Scottish Government’s Business Pledge and how it has impacted on their business, employees and local communities.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney will attend the Forum at Edinburgh Napier University on Thursday.

Voluntary Action Fund, (VAF),  which has been providing grants and support to voluntary organisations and community groups for more than 30 years, has organised the event with Edinburgh Napier University, the Scottish Government and Enterprise Networks. The aim is to help boost inclusive growth by strengthening the relationships between all sectors and highlighting best practice.

Mr Swinney said: “The Scottish Business Pledge is a shared mission between the Scottish Government and businesses, with the goal of boosting productivity, competitiveness, employment, fair work and inclusive growth.

“By making their Pledge, more than 200 companies have demonstrated their commitment to shared values and to delivering them through their actions and future plans. This event recognises all that businesses across Scotland already do to improve lives and communities, and builds on that by highlighting ways to work collaboratively to achieve more.”

VAF has distributed more than £17 million in grants to more than 500 charities across Scotland over the last 12 months.

Keith Wimbles, chief executive,  said: “The Responsible Business Forum will provide a great opportunity to connect forward-thinking businesses with the third sector to better utilise limited resources within communities, based on shared values and understanding.

At a time of growing inequality it is more important than ever for both sectors to strengthen relationships and work more closely in order to help build a fairer and stronger Scotland.”

Virgin flag 2A panel discussion will involve GlaxoSmithKline, Heart of Midlothian FC, Virgin Money, KCP and PR Print and Design, to discuss the concept of a responsible business and community engagement and the role it plays in the Scottish Business Pledge.

Ann Park, Head of Commercial Operations at Heart of Midlothian Football Club commented: “The Scottish Business Pledge has provided an ideal framework for rebuilding the club and restoring its reputation as a force for good in football and in the wider community.”

Linda Hanna, managing director, strategy and sectors, Scottish Enterprise will highlight how companies can take action by embracing responsible business, not as a ‘tick box’ exercise, but as a strategy-driven route to delivering real business benefits.

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