NIBE and business school to host discussion on ethics in businesses

With input from Northumbrian Water, Hodgson Sayers and others, event aims to establish peer support network

Louise Hunter, director of corporate affairs at Northumbrian Water Ltd
Louise Hunter, director of corporate affairs at Northumbrian Water Ltd

The North East Institute of Business Ethics is to host a discussion on the roles of those responsible for their companies’ “corporate conscience”.

The event, through which it is hoped a peer support network will emerge, will take place tomorrow evening at Newcastle University Business School from 4.30pm.

It will include talks from Mike Wade, finance director at construction company Hodgson Sayers, Phil Pattison and Ian Hornby, formerly of General Electric, and Louise Hunter, director of corporate affairs at Northumbria Water Ltd.

Ms Hunter, who is responsible for the company’s internal and external communications and relationships, helping promote engagement with its values, said: “Fundamentally, I believe that businesses should be responsible and should play a positive role in society.

“I worked for Business in the Community for about five years in the North East and London, helping other businesses look at responsible business practices, and in my current role I have responsibility for things such as social and environmental activities.

“A network based in the North East focused on ethics in business can help people with similar values come together and support each other - this is something everybody can struggle with at some point.”

The event comes in the midst of The Journal’s Pay Fair campaign, through which we are encouraging companies in the region to take a responsible and ethical approach to paying firms within their supply chain.

We are asking companies to sign NIBE’s Business Ethics Pledge at http://www.nibe.org.uk/ , 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.

So far, around 55 businesses have done so and, while the campaign continues to gather momentum in the region, ethics and payment practices are attracting growing attention on the national political stage.

Tomorrow evening’s event follows a well-attended discussion hosted by NIBE and Newcastle University Business School last month on Sheila Stokes-White’s book, The Ethics of Work.

NIBE co-founder Caroline Theobald said: “This event is about those in charge of their company’s corporate conscience, whether the business is big or small. What are the things that affect them and how do they operate in those roles?

“We want to bring people together who believe that doing business ethically is both a virtue and good for business, and we want to create a network for people charged with looking after integrity in their companies.”

To register for tomorrow evening’s event, visit http://forms.ncl.ac.uk/view.php?id=7535

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