COVID-19 has forced us all to rethink the way we behave and operate. It has also created and, in some instances, exacerbated the issues facing our society. Experts warn that we are facing a ‘mental health tsunami’ as individuals face increasing demands at work and home. The digital divide is starker than ever, with some homes being unable to access online support, education or work. The climate crisis is becoming more urgent and that it is a much bigger crisis than the one we are in currently.
The #BuildBackResponsibly campaign therefore aims to get organisations working together to help tackle four key societal issues:
- Mental health and resilience
- Digital inclusion
- Climate change
- Inclusive employment.
Danske Bank is one of a number of organisations acting as ‘champions’ to help tackle these areas, and has come on board as both a Digital Champion and a Climate Champion. Part of this commitment involves Danske’s experts sitting on the respective steering groups with other organisations, helping to determine priorities, set targets and maximise societal impact.
Vicky Davies, Deputy CEO at Danske Bank said:
“As Northern Ireland’s biggest bank we have a responsibility to help make an impact on the key societal issues in Northern Ireland. Over the past year that has meant focusing on supporting our personal and business customers through the pandemic, looking after the wellbeing of our colleagues, and striving to be a force for good in society. As we emerge from the pandemic our focus is now very much on helping Northern Ireland grow again, responsibly.
“The four key areas of need identified by Business in the Community align strongly with our own responsible business strategy. We have a strong focus on diversity and inclusion and are working together with AWARE NI to help tackle mental health, particularly in our young people. We’re delighted to work with Business in the Community and other organisations in the private and public sectors to help tackle both the digital divide, and climate change.
“We’ve signed the Climate Pledge, committing to reduce our own carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, and have developed a unique new climate literacy pilot for six of our corporate customers. To help address the digital divide we’ve donated 90 laptops to help children who need them, and are committed to helping to develop the digital skills needed to participate fully in today’s digital world. There’s lots to do. We’re committed to playing our part, and encourage other businesses to think about the role they can play in building back responsibly.”
Business in the Community Managing Director, Kieran Harding added:
“The pandemic has provided serious difficulties for individuals and businesses. On the other hand, this year has also made the impossible, possible. Companies have been more generous, more supportive and more flexible than many said was conceivable. 2020 might have brought some of our hardest challenges, but it has also shown us that the sky is the limit when it comes to responsible business.
“We are encouraging every business in Northern Ireland to work with us in the coming year as we focus on four key areas mental health and resilience, digital inclusion, the climate crisis and inclusive employment.”
The ‘champions’ supporting the campaign include SHS Group (Mental Health and Resilience); encirc (Inclusive Employment); Danske Bank, Power NI and PSNI (Digital Inclusion) and ABP Food Group, Danske Bank, encirc, Lidl, NI Water, Power NI, SONI, Translink and Deloitte (Climate Change).
To get involved, or to find out more, please visit: www.bitcni.org.uk/BuildBackResponsibly