The North East Institute of Business Ethics (NIBE), which plays a crucial role in the Journal’s Pay Fair campaign, looks set to strengthen further through links with a London-based counterpart.
The Newcastle organisation was formed last year as an independent regional resource that aims to place ethical behaviour at the heart of the local business community.
Part of the inspiration behind it came from the London-based Institute of Business Ethics, which has been helping organisations strengthen their ethics culture since 1986.
NIBE founders, the Reverend Glyn Evans and Caroline Theobald, have now paid a visit to the capital to see how the two bodies might be able to work together in future.
“The Institute in London inspired us to set up our own version in the North East, but, as they don’t tend to come up here, we wanted to have another conversation with them about working together in future and supporting each other as much as possible,” the Rev Evans said.
“We’d like to have some kind of an agreement, with an memorandum of understanding in place, and they were certainly keen to work with us.
“They rang us up a couple of weeks ago, because they had seen some of the Pay Fair campaign coverage on the Journal website and were very impressed by what we had achieved so far.
“They see a lot of talking and things like ethical officer training, but in this case they were very impressed with the outcomes - especially as we’re doing this on a voluntary basis.”
Through the recently launched Pay Fair campaign, The Journal is encouraging North East companies of all sizes to take a responsible and ethical approach to paying firms within their supply chain.
It is also asking firms to sign NIBE’s Business Ethics Pledge, thereby agreeing to join with others to discuss the value of business ethics and to work with each other to transform their working environments for the better.
Already, the campaign has attracted support from major North East businesses, including Greggs, Northumbrian Water and Gus Robinson Developments.
Mr Evans said he had even been contacted by the Pune Business Ethics Foundation, based in India.
“So many people have been so positive and helpful it’s almost hard to keep up with the level of interest,” he said. “But we feel passionately about it and want to keep this going as a legacy for the region.
“People are excited about it - we’ve had various big companies get in touch to say they would like to get more closely involved. We now have to keep our focus as much as possible as we move forward.”
He added that NIBE wished to keep its own identity, but would benefit from the knowledge, expertise and experience of the London-based Institute of Business Ethics.
“What we bring is a fresh, new approach,” he said. “We as a region can promote ourselves with this.
“We can say that this is how we do it here - we trust each other and treat each other with respect.”
For more information, see http://www.nibe.org.uk/