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What being a responsible business really means

Each year Responsible Business Week helps celebrate those businesses which actively make a positive impact on society. In this blog, NFU Mutual’s chief executive Lindsay Sinclair describes what being a responsible business means to him, to the business and to our communities.

I am always so pleased when I meet new people and they ask me what I do for a living.

I can't wait to tell them I work for NFU Mutual as I almost always get a smile and a nod of approval. The conversation tends to turn to our customer service reputation, the sharing of profits with members and active involvement with farming communities.

I am sure others who work for NFU Mutual recognise this and have had exactly the same response. I also expect many people will have seen the totally different reaction people get, for example, when they say  they work for some of the large traditional banks that fell from grace during the financial crisis. Facebook would have been an interesting challenge over the last few days.

We are proud to be playing a central role in Business in the Community's Responsible Business Week which focuses on championing and illustrating what being a responsible business really means.

As part of this national awareness week, the investments we are making in educating young drivers, making farming safer and tackling rural crime will be showcased.

We have a real focus on acting responsibly, always doing the right thing and making a difference. During the week we will be highlighting our wide range of initiatives to everyone who works for us, our customers and our suppliers.

We have produced a special ‘Supporting Our Communities 2017’ Responsible Business Report. Not surprisingly it runs to several pages as it showcases the work of the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, how we support local causes, act in an environmentally friendly way, champion rural communities, support employee volunteering and much, much more.

We never underestimate the value of being a caring organisation with good values - it really makes a difference. Just one example is attracting quality staff. A few years ago it used to be a bit of a hard sell getting recruiters to promote us to the right candidates - they didn't really know us or what we stood for. As our reputation grew (high profile awards helps with this) recruiters became far more interested. We now have the situation where excellent candidates approach us directly and say 'I really want to work for a company with your values as they match my own'. 

We have worked hard to earn our reputation for being a great company both to do business with and to work for. It's a great way of doing business and key to us continuing to deliver sustainable, profitable growth.