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Trading for Good

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The First Responsible Business Award


Barnes Construction, established in 1978, is one of Suffolk’s largest and highly regarded construction companies. A business with a family ethos, Barnes is a company that cares. You only need to take a look at their profile on Trading for Good to see how much they invest in their employees. From offering a programme of training, to supporting staff who undertake sporting activities at lunchtime through installing showers, and providing a fruit bowl to encourage staff in making healthy food choices.

And that’s not all. They offer a detailed and structured apprentice and undergraduate/ management trainee programme which has been so successful that currently more than 60% of staff, managers and directors are graduates of these schemes. A great example of how investment results in increased retention.

Barnes Construction is an excellent example of a business that cares. As well as caring for their staff, Barnes Construction also invest in supporting the environment which includes recycling, ethical purchasing and even erecting a dozen barn owl boxes for the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

In fact, since Barnes Construction joined Trading for Good in July 2014 the company has recorded 30 activities, raised more than £2,000 through fundraising activities, donated more than £14,000 to charities and good causes, and recorded almost 450 pro-bono hours. Quite an achievement, and one which has been rewarded by Barnes Construction being awarded the first Trading for Good Responsible Business Award 2014.

I was pleased to be able to present the award Mark Bailey, a Director of Barnes Construction, along with Trish Stutter, Human Resources Advisor; and Andrew Farn and Matt Ager, Management Trainees at Barnes.

As well as recording their social values activities, Barnes also sought testimonials to support their achievements, e.g. from a high school where Barnes work to provide work experience and give talks to young people about the varied career options that construction offers, and feedback from trainees. Obtaining feedback requires time and effort and the quality of the responses from the young people is testimony to the excellent training and development that Barnes offers, and this is likely to continue to attract talented young people who wish to join the construction industry.

On receiving the award Mark Bailey, of Barnes Construction said, “Trading for Good is a key platform for us to capture the community activities we deliver. This information, together with the endorsements, can then be used to prepare a Social Values snap-shot which helps us when we are applying for local authority work. A key element to winning new contracts is declaring your socially responsible activities and Trading for Good has made life a little easier when pulling together a tender.”

We are now in the process of issuing awards to other businesses and organisations who have recorded a minimum of five activities in 2014, each of which has been endorsed. So, if you believe your business should be awarded the Responsible Business Award 2014, we’d love to hear from you. We will then review your profile, following which we will issue you with a certificate and the logo for you to use in your emails, on your website, and throughout your marketing activities.

And it’s not just for 2014. The Responsible Business Award continues this year, so we encourage all members of Trading for Good to record their activities throughout the year. The dates for the Responsible Business Award 2015 will be announced in due course.

To find out more about Barnes Construction and to learn more about the work they have completed click here.

Natalie Chaplin
About the Author

Natalie Chaplin

Natalie is a skilled business professional with more than 20 years experience of working as a manager and leader across a number of industries, within both the private and public sector.

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