Being recognised as a finalist in the Company of the Year category for the Against Breast Cancer Achievement Awards has been a stand out moment this month. It’s strengthened my resolve to work to increase our efforts with growing FastTrack Fit Camp so that we can give more back to the projects that mean something to us.
I wanted to know more about who I am in the running with and was delighted that Richard Collins of CSR Accreditation gave me 30 minutes of his time so that we could talk all things Corporate and Social Responsibility and the importance of his business.
How old is CSR Accreditation?
CSR-A was launched in July 2018, but was in the developmental and planning phase for 20 months before then.
Why Corporate and Social Responsibility?
Richard’s skill set is branding and has run a very successful personal branding company for many years. Within this business he would share with his clients the truth bomb that ‘brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.’
And with modern day methods for instantly reviewing a company on TripAdvisor or Google it’s all too easy to ruin a brand or give one a massive boost.
During this time Richard saw an opportunity to reward those businesses who were already contributing to a more ethical way of trading and set up the International CSR Awards. This was in 2011 and since then he’s been involved in seeing the progress of businesses take on a bigger and more responsible role within their communities.
Who do you help?
CSR-A helps showcase businesses of all sizes by recognising their contribution to their four pillars of excellence (environmental, workplace, workplace CSR, philanthropic CSR). Each company applies for accreditation and shows, by application what they are already doing in all of these areas. As a business you don’t need to show excellence in all areas, that’s where growth can occur. But once applications are received they are separately assessed by three independent and verified members of the CSR-A panel.
Once the application has been assessed a mark is given and awarded. This however isn’t the end of the process. It’s merely the beginning.
The ongoing measuring of social and environmental impacts is all part of the CANI (continuous and never ending improvement) that being CSR savvy engenders.
What gets you up each day?
All aspects of this work inspire Richard. But when challenged he was particularly keen to measure the improvement to society that CSR brings. This accreditation, the only UK accreditation for CSR, is tracking, measuring and reporting on just that. It’s powerful stuff, showing how big an influence on society this work has.
How many companies have been through the accreditation panel?
50 and they’re all founder members (that includes FastTrack Fit Camp!)
What is your CSR contribution?
For every application CSR-A donate 5% of the fee to charity.
They also plant a tree for every accredited company (FastTrack Fit Camp get a tree planted for us too!)
Now to the final two most important questions…
Coffee or tea?
Outside exercise or inside?
Well, he loves to swim, but in a pool. He’s never tried open water swimming – I did mention that I did it for the first time this year and it was lovely, recommended that he tries it out soon!
But Richard is a national level archer and so he enjoys being outside in woodland whilst competing.
It was a pleasure to speak with Richard and learn more about this business. There is way more that I’ve not covered here like his Green Apple Awards, his links with Buckinghamshire New University and his view on the appalling behaviour of some corporates whose focus on profits is ugly in the extreme.
I’ll leave you with his tag line, which I just love.
“CSR shows what good looks like” – I’ll take that. I think FastTrack Fit Camp are looking pretty damn good.
Good luck in the awards Richard, it’s fabulous to be up against someone with the same views and energies on business doing good.
FastTrack Fit Camp is an outdoor fitness business with the focus on improving people on the inside so they feel good on the outside. In 2019 FastTrack Fit Camp became a Social Enterprise and committed to distribute a minimum of 50% of profits back to community environmental projects each year with the goal of helping our local citizens feel good whilst being outside too.