HRH, The Prince of Wales

HRH the Prince of Wales: “Thank you for joining us – even through this snow – for my 25th AGM. You have been long suffering to put up with me – if you want to get rid of me please say so!’

HRH chaired his first meeting of the BITC at Lloyds Bank 25 years ago…

“I would like to say a word of thanks to the Prime Minister for being here today. His schedule has certainly been busy…” (Prince William, David Cameron and Davd Beckham have just arrived back from the FIFA bid announcement; HRH the Prince of Wales’ eldest son has given him insider knowledge, he said, of the hard work and lengths to which the UK bid team went to).

Reflecting on changes since the early days of BITC: the importance of the people in the workplace, CSR… and more recently the changes of what CSR means:

“Helping to tackle social issues is an essential part of building a long-term business” HRH Prince Charles

“In this room today are companies who have shown themselves to be far sighted and responsible businesses, in disadvantaged areas” HRH the Prince of Wales.

“We need more companies to join this campaign. 79% of business leaders feel they can do more to engage other businesses to join. Imagine the impact we could have…”

HRH talks community champions and social enterprise:

Remarkable community champions – Dick Atkinson, Borstal Heath, to name one. So often it is the very practical help form businesses that helps social entrepreneurs do their amazing work in the communities.

Meddling or mobilising: business leaders working together can achieve real practical solutions in ways that have eluded the rest of us.

Teach First of which HRH is a patron, will next year be the largest recruitment programme to get our brightest graduates in to the schools who need them.

There is much more to do: so many places have been left behind in this country – where hope and aspirations have diminished.

“My challenge to you: Together we should identify a few of those places and see what we can do. How can we galvanise those places… build more social and community capital” (HRH).

HRH urges leaders to consider “social value and environmental value, as well as commercial value” in business decisions.

“Severe environmental challenges face us: we must change. We have to change. If we fail the earth we fail humanity. We cannot ignore what confronts us. Britain should be leading the way

..we cannot ignore what confronts us. Britain should be leading the way” (HRH).

Choose something specific that your business can make an impact on, then engage in making a positive difference.

Over the years there has been many examples of outstanding leadership: Two stand out to HRH and those are Sir Phillip Green, and Steve Holliday (Skills & Talents).

“Each and every one of you here today has played a part in this. Working together we will achieve so much more. This means collaboration between businesses, charities, NGOs. With your help – we will not fail. Thank you” (HRH).

Sir Stuart Rose thanks HRH Prince Charles for his support:

“Thank you all for taking part in our survey: the overwhelming message is that there is still more to do. However our members agree that businesses should step up… and they want to do” (SR).

“Collaboration is essential in addressing the challenges ahead. Our members want to do this.. they are committed to doing this. We would like the Government to commit to removing obstacles, the red tape – in moving forward.

Sir Stuart Rose speaks specifically about competition law, and making it more amenable to sensible co-operation.

He then welcomes, the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron.

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