We are Raising the Bar – talking about going green and acting on it

In mid-November, recognition was given to businesses who strive to enhance the environment and community in which we live through the Raising the Bar Make a Pledge campaign.

In March 2021, the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce launched its Raising the Bar Make a Pledge Campaign, developed to encourage businesses to think about their social impact and the positive influence they could have. Businesses from across the West & North Yorkshire region were invited to make a pledge and vocalise how they aimed to make a positive impact. Pledges could relate to the community and environment or to the economy and environment

Andrew Edwards, BBC Radio Leeds presenter, hosted an event at Aspire, Leeds, which gave recognition to businesses across the region who had achieved, or were working towards their pledge and celebrated all the hard work businesses put into supporting the wider community.

Raising the Bar Primary sponsor, Provident Financial Group and Raising the Bar Make a Pledge Campaign sponsor, HSBC made exceptional pledges; including setting a science-based carbon reduction target to be net zero by 2040, and offering free Financial Education lessons.

The evening included an overview of the Chambers commitment to managing social impact and an outstanding presentation from Paul Cogan, Finance & Resources Director, Bettys & Taylors Group, who shared the very impressive corporate social responsibility activity the company undertakes.

Supporting the local economy is a key part of business and many companies demonstrated how they had implemented local procurement practices and enhanced apprenticeship programmes. Many companies are also working with young people and linking to local schools. With COP26 at the forefront of everyone’s mind, it was fantastic to see companies discussing their environmental impact, and sharing the steps they have taken to reduce their carbon footprint.

Outstanding recognition was given to Hillcrest Wealth Financial Planning, Addleshaw Goddard, Naylor Wintersgill and Intellistart.

Next year (2022), the Annual Raising the Bar Awards will return. Keep an eye on the Raising the Bar Twitter and LinkedIn pages for more information about the awards, and how your business can get involved.