Place in Focus – Responsible Business in Action

The Business in the Community’s (BITC) Place campaign unites businesses, other organisations and their neighbours to create thriving communities.
Creating opportunity and prosperity across the UK can address inequality, and businesses that collaborate in the place where they operate will benefit the entire community.  
The UK is undergoing seismic change. During times of wealth inequality and fragmentation, it is the mission of the Place team to build trust, by bringing together small and large businesses, other organisations and their neighbours to decide what outcomes they want and how they can co-create these opportunities.
The time is now for businesses to move from one-to-one partnership to multi-partner collaboration to create thriving communities. 
The Place campaign is led by the newly convened Place Leadership Team, chaired by Steve Rowe, the Chief Executive Officer of Marks and Spencer – a founder BITC member – and supported by leading senior practitioners representing the leadership team. Together, they will make the campaign’s vision a reality by understanding, innovating and scaling with businesses. 
Our finalists
As part of the focus on Place during Responsible Business in Action this year, the finalists for the Connected Places Awards 2019 are:
  • Barkers & Bolton Family: Delivering social value for vulnerable families by uniting businesses, charities and others to support community projects 
  • ENGIE: Creating £30m of social value for Wakefield thanks to long-term partnership building across the city
  • KPMG: Collaborating to target social mobility ‘cold spots’ gives time, skills and expertise where it is needed most
  • Sopra Steria: Delivering initiatives in Harrow to boost digital skills and help people to secure work 

Headlines from the finalists for BITC's Responsible Business Awards 2019: The Connected Places Award

1. Connection is everything 
Companies want to support community initiatives but they often need help making a connecting to those that they could best support. The Barkers & Bolton Family, a group of 40 businesses dedicated to creating social value for the people of Bolton, is proving to be an effective mechanism for connecting national and local businesses in the area to grassroots community projects that are of interest to them.

2. Supporting communities is good for business
Companies that make up The Bolton Family group are not only supporting those that need help in the community, they are also securing work as a result of the initiative. The grounds maintenance social enterprise Life-Scape dedicates 100 per cent of profits to growing its business, employing people from socially excluded groups. Support from the Bolton Family has resulted in £75,000 worth of new business.

3. Long-term relationships can add real value
ENGIE has a unique relationship with Wakefield. As part of a 10-year plan that started in 2016, the business works in partnership with the Council to deliver services, including facilities management, buildings maintenance, repairs and cleaning. But by going further, to help the people of Wakefield become healthy, active and inspired, by addressing education, skills deprivation and health.

4. Multi-channel campaigns are popular
Sopra Steria is delivering more than 200 initiatives to support the community in the London Borough of Harrow. Over half of these are about giving the long-term unemployed, young people and those from the poorest backgrounds support in finding work.