Accountancy firm HURST has joined a global network of businesses as it accelerates its environmental, social and governance strategy.
HURST is the first independent accountancy firm in the UK to become part of the UN Global Compact network.
Launched in 2000, the network has become the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, with more than 14,000 member companies in over 160 countries. Just under 800 UK businesses are members.
The network is a platform for the development, implementation and sharing of responsible business practices aligned to 10 universally-accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, with the aim of contributing to a more stable and inclusive global market and helping to build prosperous and thriving societies where business can succeed.
Members also pledge to take action in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The 17 goals include eradicating poverty and hunger, and promoting good health, wellbeing, education, affordable and clean energy, gender equality and responsible consumption and production.
HURST chief executive Tim Potter said: “As a firm, we all recognise how important it is that we make a positive impact on the world in which we live. Having a meaningful and progressive approach to ESG is ingrained in our values and practices.
“We are also conscious that the ESG agenda has become more important to our clients, suppliers and staff.
“Business has a key role to play in making the world a better place, and we are proud to become part of the UN Global Network and its UK chapter, joining thousands of other companies which are similarly dedicated to taking responsible action.
“We’ve not joined just for the sake of the badge. We are committed to making a tangible difference, and our participation in the network will enable us to achieve this.”
HURST has implemented a series of eco-friendly measures over recent years, stepping up its use of recycled and sustainably sourced products, ranging from pens and office paper to coffee and branded materials. The firm is also installing a charging point for electric vehicles at its Stockport HQ.
Tim added: “We are living and breathing it and we are always looking for new ways to improve. The network provides the perfect opportunity to do this.”
Steve Kenzie, executive director, UN Global Compact Network UK, said: “The core of the United Nations Global Compact’s mission is to support companies doing business responsibly by aligning their strategies and operations with 10 universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
“We also support business taking actions to advice the Sustainable Development Goals. We are delighted and encouraged by HURST’s endorsement of our initiative.”