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Building back better: the power of business in the community

18 June 2021
In recent times, we have witnessed the power of collective action in effecting change in the face of extreme adversity and as we re-build our businesses and workplaces there is a greater awareness of the need to focus on 'building back better'. Hear Caroline Colliston's thoughts on how we can build back sustainably.

This article was first published in Business Comment magazine, from the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce

One of the greatest powers of being part of a community is the opportunity it presents to deliver change.  In recent times, we have witnessed the power of collective action in effecting change in the face of extreme adversity.  The pandemic has presented and continues to present significant challenges for business. However, many businesses in Edinburgh and the UK have stepped up and created a positive contribution to the lives of those who live in their local communities. The DWF Foundation, an independent charity founded by DWF, has contributed over £21,000 to food banks in the past year.

As we re-build our businesses and workplaces there is a greater awareness of the need to focus on building back better and to harness our sense of community. We are all looking at ways to build back sustainably and in a fairer and more inclusive way to secure growth for our businesses and to retain our talent.

As we inch ever closer towards Scotland hosting COP26 the imperative to accelerate action to cut our carbon emissions is in sharp focus.  

As some restrictions begin to ease, businesses are reopening in a world of new regulation requiring PPE, masks, plastic screens and hand sanitiser. Many business owners are wondering how to build back better against this backdrop and their continued fight for survival.  

DWF is a proud and active member of Business in the Community (BITC) in Scotland (and across the UK) and an early signatory of the Scottish Business Pledge.  

BITC offers a wealth of resources to support responsible business and to help business to build back better.  Business can sign up to the Race at Work Charter, the Waste to Wealth commitment or to Ban the Box. BITC provides support and share best practice to enable all businesses to come together to make a difference.  

BITC Scotland wishes to widen its reach and help businesses of all sizes to be more responsible. 

In Scotland, BITC has set up three working groups focussing on three key themes: climate action, inclusive work and food security.  

I'm chair of the Inclusive Work working group and sit on the advisory board of BITC Scotland.  The Inclusive Work working group focuses on supporting businesses to improve the diversity, inclusion, and wellbeing of their workforce with a specific focus on ethnic minorities and gender by championing BITC’s campaigns - such as Everyday Inclusion, Race at Work and Equal Lives.  Each participating business has committed to taking action within their own organisations and to capture case studies that encourage other businesses to act.

Look out for our LinkedIn posts and join the conversation. What action can your business take to support other businesses or your local community?   How is your business going to build back better?  

Let's use our business community to make that ripple turn into a wave of positive action!

Caroline Colliston

Partner, Member of the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Group, DWF LLP. 
Chair of the Inclusive Work Working Group and Advisory Board Member of BITC Scotland 
Chair of the Business Leadership Group of the Scottish Business Pledge

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