Becoming a National Responsible Business Champion

20 August 2022

Can you imagine what the world would like if more organisations considered the impact their business decisions had on employees, customers, community, environment and its shareholders?

APCRG award

On the 13th of July 2022, Shoplight Ltd were awarded the prestigious SME National Responsible Business Champion Award 2022 from the All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Responsibility Group.

Three men stand next to a banner showcasing the APCRG award that Shoplight won

Mark Shortland, Managing Director of Shoplight (centre) with the APCRG award

Nominated by the MP for Peterborough

Every year MP’s from all sides are encouraged to nominate a company from their constituency for these awards and Paul Bristow, MP for Peterborough nominated Shoplight.

We first met Paul Bristow when we lobbied him about the Better Business Act, a coalition for a cleaner, greener, fairer future for all. To our surprise Paul Bristow came in to see us, then, months later, he contacted us to tell us he wanted to nominate us.

I guess our passion for being a force for good and transforming the way Britain does business stuck in his mind!

“It’s highly important to Mel and I that we are a positive influence on the lives of the people we come in to contact with. We have this approach in our day to day lives but we can have the most impact through our work. Ensuring Shoplight is a force for good is a significant way in which we can make sure that, no matter what else is going on in people’s lives, Shoplight is a positive influence.” Mark Shortland, Managing Director, Shoplight

So, what does being a Responsible Business Champion really mean?

People and planet focussed

It’s a sign that we are on the right track when we can confidently put a tick against each of the criteria the judging panel look for in winning companies.

  • Engage with stakeholders to support the local community
  • Invest in healthy workplaces
  • Offer training
  • Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Work to reduce their environmental impact
  • Work with suppliers and SMEs to support responsible business practice

Taking responsibility for all stakeholders

By law and as a default in this country, when a business is formed it has a legal and fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders, that’s all.

But what about employees? Customers? Local community? The environment?

Many of the high-profile business decisions that disgust and anger members of the public are those that consider profit only, without thought for the impact their business has on the wider community.

“We have recently changed our Articles of Association bringing into the company’s own rules the requirement to consider employees, customers, local community, the planet and profit when making decisions. This was highlighted as a significant step for an SME of Shoplight’s size.”

But why does it matter to us?

It’s been 8 years since we founded Shoplight and winning this award is one of our proudest moments. It reinforces why our strong values and social responsibilities matter to the people who come in to contact with our business. We delight in being a force for good and this culture comes from its leadership team.

“We believe that all businesses should be a force for good and that we have an important role to play in the wellbeing of our staff and our local community. We take this responsibility seriously and have worked hard to ensure we can support our team and those around us by implementing a plethora of initiatives that make people’s lives better.”
Mark Shortland, Managing Director, Shoplight

A culture that runs through our people

  • “That is awesome! I feel genuinely privileged to work with you all,” Eoin Carroll
  •  “How fantastic! Well deserved with all you have both created here” Becky Nicholson
  •  “Wow this is amazing news guys, so proud to be a part of the Shoplight fam!” Sam Adams

These are some of the celebratory comments that were shared when the news came through on our team WhatsApp Group.

We’re not done yet. We are always looking at how to improve and how to really be a force for good. Can you imagine what the world would like if more organisations ran their business with this approach?

B-Corp and the Better Business Act

B-Corp is the manifestation of all of this. It allows us to show the world what we stand for and why it matters. Stand by for official updates about our B-Corporation accreditation…

If you’ve found this article insightful and started to think about how your organisation could do more for all its stakeholders, then a great place to start is signing up to the Better Business Act which you can do here.

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