Chris Harrop, group marketing director, responsible for sustainability, at Marshalls plc. has been appointed Chair of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) UK Network.
Said Harrop, “I am extremely honoured and excited to take up this important post within the UNGC. I’m passionate about the role that the private sector has to play in sustainable development. I’ve found through experience that the UNGC offers a framework, like no other, which enables companies to address the complex issues of sustainability, supports them on their journey, provides intelligent challenge, first class education and ahead-of-the-wave debate and information. The UNGC’s principles in relation to human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, together with its Communication on Progress reporting provide an excellent framework for driving change within organisations and embedding sustainable practice.”
He added, “Marshalls’ relentless commitment to sustainability in all aspects it is business activities has enabled me to develop my own understanding, push the boundaries and has ultimately enabled me to take up this opportunity with the UNGC, for which I’m most grateful.”
Under Harrop’s direction Marshalls became a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact in 2009. The impact of his work spans both corporate and product sustainability in the UK and overseas; from reducing Marshalls’ environmental impact, being the first in the world at the time to carbon footprint over 3500 products, developing products which alleviate flood risks, driving a programme of human rights impact assessments, ethicising the supply chains, delivering the first ethical stone product range to market, and working with a range of actors overseas to improve working conditions and provide community programmes in India, China and Vietnam, including workers’ rights education, pay and conditions, women’s empowerment and health programmes.
Graham Holden, Marshalls CEO, commented, “Chris has worked long and hard to develop the sustainability agenda within Marshalls and to drive positive change within the organisation and throughout the wider landscaping sector. I’m delighted that his passion and drive have been harnessed by UNGC in this way. I am sure that Chris’s positive impact will be keenly felt within the UNGC UK Network.”
Outgoing chair, Andrew Cave, head of sustainability at RBS said, “I’m delighted to hand over the baton to Chris and am confident that under his leadership the UNGC UK Network will continue to grow and to lead the way.”
Harrop was also recently was presented with a “Game Changer” Award by BITC, an accolade which recognises and celebrates the critical role that individual from business play in driving forward the responsible business movement. This award honours professionals that have been most influential and transformed the responsible business agenda over the last thirty years.
Harrop concluded, “I count myself very fortunate to be in a position to take up this role with UNGC. I relish to opportunity to further influence and drive the sustainability agenda and to shift corporate sustainability from niche to mainstream.”
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