23.04.2018 Responsible Business Week: Why responsible business matters to us at Brighter

We’re feeling all warm and fuzzy at Brighter HQ because this week (23-17 April) is Responsible Business Week.

It’s a great excuse to celebrate the brighter side of business, and to share the many great success stories we know are out there.

We know this because we’ve been lucky enough to work with some really inspirational businesses and entrepreneurs with a strong social conscience over the past seven years.

From businesses that started as social enterprises, to company founders determined to make a difference in their local communities, we’ve been privileged to work with people who know the power businesses have to do good. 

Behind every one of these organisations are real people, making a difference, improving society and changing lives, 365 days a year. And this week we wanted to use our blog to celebrate some of these stories. 

It means a lot to us that we get to work with these types of businesses, because giving back is central to our own purpose as a business.

The way we articulate this in our values is:

“Responsible for ourselves, our work, our community and our planet”

What this means in practice, is we believe it’s possible to be profitable AND be socially responsible. And we know that by living this value, we deliver work we’re really proud of while doing social good too.

Some of our fuzziest moments over the past seven years (apart from our very rewarding work with charities, not-for-profits and other responsible businesses) include:

Partnering with the Big Issue Cymru

Initially we signed up as a plain old corporate sponsor, but the more we learned about their work, the more we wanted to get involved. After we took part in the Big Sell Off on the streets of Cardiff, we experienced first-hand what vendors face day in day out. This motivated us to do more to help the magazine and the important work it does to help the homeless and vulnerably housed. Subsequently, we provided the financial and logistical support to make the magazine’s first Welsh vendor awards possible, which was a big success (we even picked up the “Supporter of the Year” award ourselves). These days we sponsor the Big Issue’s first ever vendor football team, which provides valuable health, wellbeing and social benefits. We’re building up to challenging them to a five-a-side match (we’ve seen these guys in action, and they’re GOOD…)

Supporting our local food bank

We find it unacceptable that people have to resort to food banks to eat in the sixth biggest economy in the world. At Christmas we don’t do lavish parties or printed Christmas cards. Instead, we make regular donations to the Trussell Trust food bank, because we think our profits are better spent helping those that need it most.

Volunteering with Cardiff Dogs Home

Our team gave up a day of our time to help give their premises a facelift. The fact that one of our team members went on to adopt a dog, and another ended up becoming an accredited dog walker for them, shows what a lasting impact this one had on our lives!

Making links for good

We brokered a local charity’s first ever corporate partnership, resulting in a £5000 income boost in one month.

Introducing a cycle to work scheme

This was to encourage the team to arrive at work on two wheels, using our creative skills to overcome the scourge that is ‘helmet hair’ in the process…

Sweating for cash

Raising over £3000 over a few half marathons and one very long bike ride for a range of local charities (killing two feel-good birds with one stone with this one).

Living our values 

Being recognised as an exemplar employer by equality charity Chwarae Teg for our commitment to diversity and flexible working was a real honour – it showed we walk the walk as well as talk the talk!

This isn’t just a list of humblebrags. Honest.

Of course, we get a lovely warm glow from doing the good stuff. But it’s about so much more than that. We firmly believe it’s our responsibility to do everything we can to give back.

And there’s a reason we decided to share this, this week. Because we know we’re just doing a TINY bit. But if everybody did their bit, we think the world would be a brighter place. Don’t you? 

This Responsible Business Week, we will be sharing stories from a range of inspirational figures both in business and the charity sector. These superstars all work hard to make a difference in their local communities, and we hope you’ll enjoy reading their stories. 

From a luxury Welsh brand changing the world one wash at a time, to a filmmaker who decided to start a kindess movement with a tenner, stay tuned for some inspirational stuff. 

But we’d also love to hear from YOU. 

If you’re in business and you’re doing your bit to drive positive social, environmental and economic change, we’d love you to share your story with us, using the #RBWeek hashtag. 

We know there’s so much great work happening in this space, and we’d love to hear your story. 

The more we can shout about our own little ‘bits’, the more we can inspire others to do theirs. And the more of us that do our bit, the more lives we can change.

So let’s get a conversation going…