Asda NI teaches us all how to really do ‘good’

I’ve just come back from Northern Ireland where I was attending and speaking at the Business in the Community’s first Summit there. I also spent time in store and talking to colleagues. The Summit was excellent and spoke to the role that business must play in helping to make a difference, particularly in these current challenging times. Northern Ireland’s economy in particular is not recovering as fast as the rest of the UK and youth unemployment is rising.

I was asked by BBC Radio our views on our role and gave a quick interview alongside Mike Barry of M&S. I love to collaborate with other companies as together we can make the most difference even if our view on making sustainability affordable and accessible is different to how M&S see themselves. Mike’s a great guy. You can hear the clip below:

The leadership role our colleagues in Northern Ireland are playing is simply stunning. We have 16 stores there and employ nearly 5,000 people. I bet you didn’t know that we also have a dedicated local sourcing team based in Antrim and they have sourced over 1,400 products so far – sales account for £1 out of every £5 spent in these shops. They are also helping develop these suppliers and this year ran a Supplier Development Academy to train them in valuable skills they need to grow their businesses. Talk about playing a big role in supporting the economy and creating jobs!

Aubrey Swift runs our NI operations and his team are not without recognition – this year they won Responsible Company of the Year and Employer of Choice Award 2012. What an inspiration.

Posted by Julian on 22 October 2012
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