Unipart Group, one of Europe's leading private manufacturing, logistics and consultancy companies, has achieved a four star rating in the Business in the Community's 2014 Corporate Responsibility Index - the UK's leading benchmark of responsible business. This achievement rates Unipart amongst the top companies in the world for best environmental, community, workplace and business practices.
Commenting on the announcement, Unipart Chairman and Group Chief Executive John Neill, said that corporate responsibility is in the company's DNA.
"We are very pleased to be among the highest rating companies in the CR Index," said John Neill. "The achievement is the result of hundreds of activities across the Group led by highly motivated people and a culture of continuous improvement.
"I recently explained to an audience of business leaders, academics and students at Birmingham University that culture change is not 'rocket science' .... it's actually harder than that. Creating a culture that engages employees and inspires them to work constructively in the community takes decades to achieve and remains an unending crusade.
"Unipart were amongst the first companies to engage with BITC in the Corporate Responsibility Index twelve years ago and, every year, we have managed to improve the key aspects of our performance. There is one simple reason: The Unipart Way.
"This powerful philosophy which engages and inspires employees to work with all of our stakeholders to continuously improve quality, reduce cost and be more innovative has enabled us to make hundreds and indeed, thousands of improvements in our operations around the world.
"Nearly 25 years ago, Unipart introduced the OCC programme, which we said at the time was our foundation for continuous improvement. Since that time, thousands of circles involving employees at every level in the company focus on ways to take waste out of our processes, reduce our carbon footprint and play a more responsible part in our communities. For instance, a number of our sites now have achieved 100% recycling rates."
Across the company, there are dozens of stories that illustrate how Unipart people are reaching out to their varied communities.
For instance, enthusiastic 14-17 year olds from The Oxford Academy and Gosford Hill School spent an intensive and fast-paced week at Unipart's site in Oxford as part of Unipart's Talent Factory - a national programme designed to spark talent in young people by combining top level sport with challenging work experience.
UTL employees again inspired young students from across Warwickshire to develop essential business skills and, at the same time, raise funds for local charities as part of the Unipart Challenge. Mentored by UTL employees; students set up and ran their own businesses that generated over £5,000 for local charities.
Unipart's manufacturing site in Coventry supported the study of science, technology, engineering and maths topics with the very youngest people in their community at Holbrook Primary School. With both financial support and guidance from Unipart engineers, sixty pupils in Year 6 designed and manufactured a powered vehicle. To bring it to life, Aston Martin brought in a prototype vehicle to enhance the learning experience.
Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: "The 2014 CR Index shows us that companies are making real progress to integrate responsibility throughout their operations. I congratulate Unipart for achieving a four star rating because it demonstrates a clear commitment to an integrated approach to being a responsible business."