About NIBE

The North East Initiative on Business Ethics (NIBE) was launched in 2013 with an ambition to help the entire north east region understand itself as a region for ethical and responsible business. We were joined by MPs, community and business leaders who are working in partnership with us on our journey to transform the way the north east does business.

Since our launch we have been working with the business community, the five regional universities and increasingly our secondary-schools to spread the message about the benefits of ethical and responsible business practice. The Fair Pay Campaign launched in partnership with the Newcastle Chronicle & Journal and the major business networks brought home to regional stakeholders the importance of prompt payment and the catastrophic affect late payment can have on (particularly) smaller businesses.

With the backing of the five regional universities and the main business networks we are now ready to raise our game. We aim to establish ourselves as thought leaders and signpost people seeking ethical advice both to academic specialists and other businesses in order that entrepreneurs and business leaders can share best practice and learn from each other. With your help we want to build a community of businesses (large and small) to adopt ethical business practice, learn from each other and contribute to a sustainable future.

Our intention is to be inclusive so we are launching the £100 Club which is open to all businesses that can demonstrate that they have a stated purpose; an ethical policy (and operate within it) and operate within the law. Find out more here. We are also looking for businesses who have an ethical business story to share and would be prepared to host an event and invite their network to share best practice. Event hosting with NIBE branding entails an investment of £200

How does involvement in NIBE help your business?

 Reputation through association: as our public profile rises and we gain further traction with regional and national stakeholders so will you and your business
 We raise public awareness of the importance of doing business ethically.
 We help organisations to strengthen their ethics culture and encourage high standards of business behaviour based on ethical values.
 We assist in the development, implementation and embedding of effective and relevant corporate ethics and responsibility policies and programmes.
 We help organisations to provide guidance to staff and build relationships of trust with their principal stakeholders.
 We collaborate with other UK and international organisations with interests and expertise in business ethics.
 We run events and publicise events concerning business ethics and good practice.
 We work with community groups to put into action corporate responsibility agendas and question what this
actually means.
 We provide a network of people interested in business ethics.
 We support research into business ethics and help people to talk about it.

Our Code of Ethics

Our purpose is to promote high standards of business practice based on ethical values

Our values are:

We have due regard for the feelings, wishes and rights of all our stakeholders

We communicate with our stakeholders openly and welcome discussion and enquiry

We treat all our stakeholders responsibly and conduct ourselves in a professional, fair and truthful manner

NIBE is accountable for its conduct and governance, through our directors, to the Charity Commission and abides by its guidelines. Currently the directors are all volunteers and there are no paid employees.

Equal Opportunities
People must not be treated less favourably because of:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage or civil partnership (in employment only)
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

the characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010:

Our commitments to Supporters and Partners
We treat supporters and other organisations with whom we work with respect and professionalism. We:

  • Conduct ourselves with integrity
  • Seek to be honest and fair in our relationships
  • Treat all complaints seriously
  • Treat all corporate and personal information confidentially

We regularly collaborate with like minded partners to help advance our mission. We undertake due diligence on partners as appropriate to the circumstance and nature of the partnership

Environmental impact
We are committed to act to act to minimise waste through recycling, and where feasible, using public transport

Fair procurement
We aim to uphold our values in our supply chain and encourage our suppliers to embed responsible business practices in their own organisations. We will use Fairtrade products wherever possible.

Our commitments to our Suppliers
We try to build strong, collaborative relationships with suppliers. We:

  • Practice fair and transparent procurement
  • Treat suppliers with respect
  • Seek to be honest and fair in our relationships with suppliers including those from whom we commission work Pay suppliers in accordance with agreed terms and on time, abiding by the Prompt Payment Code
  • Do not offer, pay or accept bribes or favours
  • Encourage suppliers to abide by the principles of this guide
  • Aim to procure goods and services from those demonstrating good ethical practice
  • Support ethical trade through our purchasing practices.

Conflict of interest
Any conflict of interest must be declared.

Responding to complaints
All complaints will be acknowledged and answered by a Director or officer as soon as practicable.

Public benefit
An integral part of our purpose in promoting good business practice is not only to raise awareness, disseminate knowledge of business ethics, but also to engage with the public across the region. We welcome enquiries from members of the public on a range of business ethics issues.

Kevan Carrick

Principal at JK Property Consultants LLP

Chair of NIBE, responsible for: Strategy and public relations

Constructing deals for commercial property and resolving claims and disputes between landlord and tenant i.e. rent reviews, lease renewals, service charge payments, etc.
Advising private developers and public authorities on developments and regeneration schemes with preparation of master plans, financial modelling for viability and grant aid, heads of terms for development agreements, or formation of joint venture companies to act as the delivery vehicle for commercial, residential, retail and residential as well as mixed use schemes.
Facilitating the settlement of disputes and litigation as a negotiator, mediator, arbitrator, independent expert or as an expert witness.
Objective to provide a high value service to clients and to benefit the region from activities.

Ron Beadle

Professor of Organization and Business Ethics - Northumbria University

Responsible for: Events and education

Ron is Professor of Organization and Business Ethics at Northumbria University, where he leads the Organisation and Ethics Subject Group and the ‘Responsible Business’ module on the University’s MBA.  Ron’s research focuses on virtue and character at work and he is particularly interested in the ethical dimension of the relationship between professional and organizational goals.  Ron’s work for NIBE includes the Responsible Business Seminar Series which offers people in the North East a chance to engage with leading ethical  practitioners and researchers including Sarah Hall from the Institute of Public Relations and Charles Wookey from Blueprint for Better Business.  Outside academia Ron has been an elected Councillor in Gateshead since 1996 and has written a column for The Journal since 2007.


Revd. Canon Glyn Evans

Team Rector for Christ Church and St Augustin's, North Shields

Responsible for: External communications social media and website, developing networks

My name is Glyn Evans and I was born in Dartford Kent. As you can tell from my name I have some Welsh roots! I trained as a vicar in Birmingham then moved to the North East thirty years ago. Before I came to North Shields I was the vicar of St. Andrews in Newcastle and the City Centre Chaplain. I am a Chaplain to Deaf people. I am married and have two grown up children. 

Phil Jackman

Director at Guerrilla Working ltd

Responsible for: External communications, social media and website

Guerrilla Worker, strategic thinker, occasional maverick and reluctant over-achiever with an interest in culture change, creative opportunities and regional development.

Head of ICT Services at Durham County Council from October 2009 to June 2017 with experience of running the customer services, revenues, benefits, risk and procurement within another local authority. Previously at Spicers, Europe’s largest office product distributors, in both a logistics role and as IT Director.

Chair of North East ICT Managers group and Society of ICT Managers North East. Advisory board member of Dynamo North East an industry-led initiative focusing on growing the tech sector in the North East.

Alison Shaw

Associate Prof., Newcastle University Business School

Responsible for: Education and learning

Alison is an experienced secondary headteacher with over 30 years in the state secondary education system, 20 of which were in senior leadership posts in schools in North Tyneside. She has a track-record of curriculum innovation and collaborative effort to bring education and employers together to benefit both young people and the wider economy.

In 2015 she undertook to create North East Futures UTC, gaining support from businesses of all sizes, industry in key sectors of the region’s economy, local government, universities, the NHS and cultural and voluntary organisations. The UTC, of which she remains a Governor, opened in Newcastle in September.

The cross-sectoral engagement required to build these partnerships, alongside Alison’s research and policy work, led to her appointment as David Goldman Visiting Professor of Innovation and Enterprise at Newcastle University Business School.

She speaks on education, skills and the ‘future of work’ and her views are often sought on the impact of technology on the workplace and the workforce of the future. She supports a number of small businesses and was shortlisted for Northern Power Women’s ‘Mentor of the Year’ 2019.

Alison is experienced in governance and holds several non-exec roles in areas in which she believes she can make a difference. She is Vice-President of NFER and sits on its Products and Marketing Group; Chair of Helix Arts, an Arts Council England NPO championing equality of opportunity in the arts; a Director of The Great North Common Room, established to save the assets of the Mining Institute and create a resource to inspire future scientists and engineers; and an Advisory Board member for FIRST, a social enterprise which helps young entrepreneurs gain skills and grow their business.


Barry Speker OBE DL

Senior Consultant at Sintons LLP

Responsible for: Developing networks, fundraising and supporters

A solicitor in Newcastle upon Tyne since 1971 until end of January 2020.

Formerly Senior Partner at Samuel Phillips ad Consultant at Sintons.

Recommended each year in Legal 500, Chambers Directories and Legal Experts.
Included in Newcastle Journal’s list of the 500 most influential people in the North East.

Regular contributor to magazines and speaker at many conferences and writer on medico-legal topics, medical law and ethics,employment law, inquests, adoption and fostering.

Formerly Trust Solicitor of Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, other health organisations and many GP practices.

Employment Judge since 1991  sitting in Newcastle, Teesside and London.

Member of Trust Ethics Group.

President of North East Council on Addictions. Hon Chair of North East Chinese Association. Board Director of Tyne Theatre, North of England Civic Trust, The Children’s Foundation. Interviewer and Assessor for the Law Society.


Richard Talbot-Jones

Managing Director at Talbot Jones Ltd

Responsible for: Finance

My experience spans the British military and financial services sector, focusing on risk management strategy, risk transfer and programme development, in a national and international context. I’m known for delivery and client/customer focus, bringing clarity, transparency and openness to the risk management process, to achieve results.

Rachel “Horts” Horton

Responsible for supporting marcomms and events.

Horts runs The Culture Vulture – a professional cultural adventurer & creative champion working across the creative, cultural, theatre and hospitality sectors. She’s super passionate about independent culture and creativity in the North and her business is all about shouting loud and proud about all the LUSH places, spaces, faces, events and projects across the region. She has an exciting portfolio of past, current and future clients and projects – alongside her own Culture Vulture led work including projects focused on the indie sector, young people, creative careers, mental health and work that engages particular audiences (LGBTQIA+, culturally disengaged, women etc).

She specialises in:
– Marketing – planning, implementation and evaluation or consultancy.
– PR.
– Audience development consultant & specialist.
– Social media management – full channel management, content creation, real time content
management, crisis comms and audience growth.
– Social media consultancy, one to one support and group training,
– Creative and/or commercial event and activity programming and management.
– Arts and creative project management.
– Theatre tour management and producing.

Horts is known for her support and championing of the North East independent sector, small
businesses, young people and creative freelancers, alongside her advocacy of intersectional
feminism, LGBTQIA+ community and mental health. She runs an annual social media conference focusing on “influence” and is a Director at Thought Foundation, a social space in Birtley, Gateshead nurturing creativity, wellbeing, and learning through thoughtfully curated art, events, food, play spaces, work spaces and shop.

Caroline Theobald CBE

Co-founder and chair of FIRST Face to Face Ltd

Responsible for: Events, developing networks, fundraising and supporters

I am co-founder and chair of FIRST Face to Face Ltd, the successor to Bridge Club Ltd, which I established in 2000 to connect early stage growth entrepreneurs to money, management and new markets. I am a passionate advocate of gender equality and responsible/ethical business and a founding director of The North East Initiative on Business Ethics (NIBE). I am also the chair of the Advisory Board at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University and an associate of Teesside University Business School. International interests are covered through my role as Trustee of Newcastles of the World and honorary consul for Sweden and chair of the North East Chapter of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce.

Dr Alex Hope

Senior Lecturer in Business Ethics at Newcastle Business School

Dr Alex Hope is Senior Lecturer in Business Ethics at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria
University. He undertakes teaching, research and consultancy across topics such as responsible
business, sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, energy policy and business
ethics. He is Director of Student Satisfaction and Engagement and leads the school’s Responsible
Management Education project. Alongside his work at Newcastle Business School, Alex is an
Associate Lecturer at the Open University tutoring Environmental Management modules and holds a
position on the UK & Ireland United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (UN
PRME) steering group. He holds a PhD in Sustainable development and BSc (Hons) in Environmental
Management and prior to his academic career worked in retail management, local government and
sustainability consultancy.

Areas of Expertise: Sustainability CSR Energy Policy


Dr Chrysostomos Apostolidis

Senior Lecturer in Marketing.

A Senior Lecturer of Marketing in Newcastle Business School, which he joined in 2012 after working for two years as a marketer in the business sector. He specialises in Ethical Marketing and Sustainable Consumer Behaviour and has published several articles and conference papers in this area. His main research interest is in the use of digital, mobile and traditional marketing techniques to influence consumer behaviour and encourage more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable consumption. Recent publications (see list below) include research on sustainable diets, sustainable tourism and sharing and circular economies. He has won several awards for his research and his work has appeared on digital and printed media.

Professor Carol Adams

Professor of Accounting in the Business School

Carol Adams is an internationally renowned author in integrated reporting, social and environmental accounting and sustainability reporting. A number of her articles in academic accounting journals of international standing are ranked in the top 20 most cited articles in the journal in which they are published. She is founding editor of the Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal and writes on her website at www.drcaroladams.net.

The North East Initiative on Business Ethics (NIBE) was established in May 2013 as an independent regional resource with an aspiration to become a focal point for good business behaviour.  Its formation braided the work of Newcastle University Business School’s Ethics Forum (and its community of people interested and involved in business ethics) with research and training undertaken by the London-based Institute of Business Ethics and the interests and faith lead of the City Centre Chaplaincy and The People’s Kitchen. Together we felt there needed to be a north east organisation that focused on business ethics and brought people together to learn from each other, share good practice and make a difference in the community.

We set up a working group in partnership with Newcastle University Business School to establish robust governance structures for NIBE so that we could move quickly to offer a range of services and training packages. We were then in a position to attract individual and organisational signatories to a NIBE pledge and it was envisaged that these early signatories would become the new organisation’s funding (and paying) members.  Our three aims: ‘together, talking, transforming’ were already being brought alive by the Newcastle Journal’s ‘Pay Fair’ campaign.  This was a direct response to concerns around prompt payment terms that were raised by a small business at our launch.

We now work closely with many businesses across the region.We maintain close relationships with all five regional universities and their experts in Business Ethics.. We have a Memorandum of Understanding with Northumbria University who support us and with whom we hold joint events just as do the other universities.There is lots happening and has happened. Business Ethics is at the heart of life.How can you not be interested in joining us?

Original NIBE Steering Group:


Reverend Canon Glyn Evans, City Centre Chaplain & Caroline Theobald CBE, Managing Director, Bridge Club Ltd and co-founder Business Ethics Forum, NUBS

Lucy Armstrong, Alchemists and CBI Regional Council, Visiting Goldman Professor, Newcastle University Business School

James Ramsbotham, CEO, North East Chamber of Commerce

Richard Talbot-Jones, Insurance Institute of Newcastle upon Tyne

Bob Eldridge MBE, People’s Kitchen

Hugh Welch, Senior Partner, Muckle LLP and Trustee Shepherds Dean

David Faulkner, Newcastle City Council

Kevan Carrick, JK Property Consultants LLP; RICS and chair of trustees City Centre Chaplaincy

Paul Woolston, Chair, NELEP

Church Leaders including Bishop of Newcastle, Professor GeoffMoore,Durham University and Canon Stephen Cherry, Durham; Reverend Sheila Bamber, Sunderland Minster

Barry Speker OBE DL, Sintons

Individual Supporters included:

Lucy Winskell OBE DL, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Northumbria University

Chi Onawara, MP for Newcastle

Registered office address: Time Central, 32 Gallowgate, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear, NE1 4BF Registration No 09699995. Private company limited by guarantee without share capital