Microsoft, ESB, CRH and Intel first in Ireland to achieve responsible business standard

13 Oct 2011

Paul Rellis, managing director, Microsoft Ireland (left), and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton

Microsoft Ireland, ESB, CRH and Intel have become the first companies in Ireland to be certified with the Business Working Responsibly Mark.

The mark, which was launched in March and is audited by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), certifies excellence in responsible and sustainable business practices across company operations.

“I have been saying for some time that our mission must be to promote well run enterprises, developing innovative products and services, employing more people working to high standards within sustainable markets,” said Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, who announced the recipient companies at a CEO breakfast forum hosted by Business in the Community Ireland this morning.

“While job numbers are of course crucial in today’s environment, it is important that we do not lose sight of the longer term view, the sustainability of businesses and the jobs they create, and the contribution they make to the communities in which they operate. Today’s certifications, the first independent assessment of corporate responsibility in Ireland, mark an important step towards that goal.”

Microsoft Ireland achieves mark first

Microsoft Ireland was the first company to achieve the mark, having completed the process in early August. The company was followed by ESB, CRH and Intel respectively. A number of other companies are currently looking to achieve the certification.

“Sustainability, customer relations, supply chain management, workplace, community and environment are some of the areas assessed by the certification,” said Tina Roche, CEO of Business in the Community Ireland, the organisation responsible for the development of the mark. “Having the mark will allow companies to benchmark their responsible practices against others and finally gives a concrete definition to what excellence is in responsible and sustainable business.”

To achieve the standard, companies must complete an online questionnaire with more than 290 questions analysing more than 26 different indicators. This is assessed by a Business in the Community Ireland expert who will decide if the company reaches the standard to apply for third party verification. Companies that don’t reach the qualifying standard are given a comprehensive feedback report to assist them in planning a framework around their sustainable and responsible business strategy.

The certification extends over a two-year period, after which companies need to reapply to retain the standing.

“Microsoft’s overall CSR vision is to help people realise their potential through the power of technology,” said Paul Rellis, managing director, Microsoft Ireland, speaking at the forum today. “I’d encourage all organisations to participate in the Business Working Responsibly Mark scheme and be recognised as best in class – Microsoft fully support the initiative and believe in its goal to help companies in Ireland be recognised at a global level for the work they are doing.”

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