The North East Initiative on Business Ethics had a very busy year, despite limited resources. This was thanks to a generous donation from Northumbria University in Newcastle and the hard work and commitment of my fellow directors, all volunteers, who have worked tirelessly to put on events and promote good, responsible and ethical business practice.

Our Responsible Business seminars have continued to be a success. We have promoted our events in advertorials, our website, twitter and LinkedIn, using fully the benefits of social media.

The NIBE Twitter account has grown to over 1,100 followers and our NIBE Weekly Blog keeps all interested parties up to date.

The 100 Club (our supporters) has grown to 24 members. We continue to grow our support-base, encouraging members and their networks to use our events, such as the Paul Polman lecture on Global Goals for Sustainable Development, to encourage further membership growth.

NIBE has established the North East Business Ethics Network bringing together the North East Chambers of Commerce, CBI, IoD, FSB and a number of Business-to-Business events have taken place under its auspices. Liaison is established with Tees Valley Business Club and Tees Valley University to form an emerging sub-group with a strong following and events programme to promote good business practice. We launched the Tees Valley Business Ethics network in June and have another event in November celebrating success with Irene Hays of Hays Travel. We aim to work proactively in the Tees Valley with well-networked volunteers to grow the £100 Club base.

NIBE sponsored ethical issues in the digital age, part of Cyberfest 2019 event in September, which brought 35 business people to Northumbria and included Professor Pam Briggs as one of its speakers. For the first time we also contributed formally to the Carnegie Foundation’s Global Ethics Day in October with a north east celebration of ‘ethics in action’ featuring nine business leaders from around the region.

Over the year our leadership team has strengthened with the addition of Jane Reynolds MBE, chair of the Tees Valley Business Club and Rachel Horton, founder-director of the Culture Vulture, to help us spread our message to a younger audience, particularly in the creative industries.

We continue our liaison with the other universities in the region and with their support, organise meetings in their neighbourhood to debate current matters of interest in ethics and the carrying on of responsible business. An association was formed with Ethical Reading, an organisation with similar objectives. We continue to broaden our reach and contacts nationally to exchange information.

We are extremely grateful for the help that the Northumbria University. In addition to progressing matters of education, we seek to build membership and profile. To carry out our plans and promote responsible business we need to supplement the voluntary work of our directors with administrative support. Our plan for next year is to consolidate what we have done, grow the 100 Club of supporters, our events activities and seek financial support to promote good business practice.

Kevan Carrick – Chairman, North East Initiative on Business Ethics Ltd.