Posted: Thursday 7th May 2015

A water company that operates in the east of England has been recognised as one of the most responsible businesses in the country.

Northumbrian Water Group, parent company of Essex & Suffolk Water, has achieved a score of 96% in the Business in the Community’s Corporate Responsibility Index (CR Index) and been awarded four out of five stars.

This year’s index has been the most challenging since its launch in 2002.

The CR Index is a robust benchmarking tool and has helped hundreds of companies’ measure the progress they are making to integrate responsible business practice into their mainstream business at all levels.

It is a rigorous process which assesses companies against a diverse range of factors, from how engaged their Board and senior managers are with responsible business issues to the link between remuneration and CR performance.

This latest success for Northumbrian Water Group follows its announcement made last month that it has maintained its title as the most ethical water company in the world, awarded by the Ethisphere Institute for the fifth year running.

Today’s announcement of the 2015 CR Index has been timed to coincide with Responsible Business Week (20 - 26 April 2015), an annual initiative to increase awareness of the positive contribution of business in society.

Louise Hunter, Northumbrian Water Group’s Director of Corporate Affairs, said: “We consistently deliver excellent environmental performance and have sustained support to our communities over many years.

“We achieved the Queens Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development for the second time last year and I’m personally delighted that our ethical track record was further cemented by recognition as one of the world’s most ethical companies on the global ethisphere list, and then with today’s announcement that we have achieved 4 star rating in CR Index”

Analysis of the 2015 CR Index data suggests that significant progress is being made to shift responsible business up the corporate agenda with an increase in companies taking social and environmental issues into account when developing new products and making investments.

The overall average score of the CR Index has also increased from 85% in 2014, to 91% today, demonstrating the increased relevance of corporate responsibility to business operations.

Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: “The 2015 CR Index shows us that we are moving in the right direction and companies are now increasingly integrating responsible business practice into decision making right across the business.

“To truly change business culture, companies need to engage their people to embrace a different way of doing business with responsible values at the core. So it is especially encouraging this year that we have seen a significant increase in the representation of corporate responsibility, both at board level and amongst the generation of future leaders that will shape the businesses of tomorrow.

“I congratulate Northumbrian Water Group for achieving its ranking and look forward to working together to create a fairer society and a more sustainable future.”

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