Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chief Executive of Morningside Pharmaceuticals Ltd, examines how CSR activity makes good business sense.
“Businesses in the East Midlands are among the most innovative, productive and successful in the UK. The region is the fastest growing economy outside of London & the South East and is the manufacturing spine of the country. And it’s a major contributor to the overall UK economy.
“For many businesses their commercial success enables them to focus their attention on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives both locally and nationally.
“That’s just the case at Morningside Pharmaceuticals. We supply medicines to UK hospitals and pharmacies – and through international aid agencies, we have experience of exporting to more than 100 countries over the past 25 years.
“As we’ve grown, we’ve forged links with a number of charitable, sporting, educational and cultural institutions in the Midlands and across the UK.
“To me, it makes business sense to invest in CSR initiatives. The ethos of our company is that the people who take our medicines should know who is supplying them.
“We want Morningside to be a recognisable brand nationally and we aim to make a big difference to the lives of people living here through community projects and charitable support.
Living and breathing company values
“Morningside’s charitable support includes funding for Rainbow’s Children’s Hospice and the LOROS hospice Light up a Life remembrance service, which was attended by more than 1,000 people. The company also provides for CLIC Sargent through the funding of free accommodation for families, in Nottingham, while their children are being treated for cancer.
“We’ve provided a minibus for Age UK, which helps rescue older people from loneliness by providing essential transport for the charity’s befriending service. Another example is the funding of a brand new online quality and stock management system for African Medical Aid charity Inter Care, as well as support for the British Asian Trust which runs many humanitarian projects in South East Asia.
“All of the charitable initiatives we’re involved in very much align with our values as a company. It’s important that your staff live and breathe your company’s values in a consistent way, so having a strong CSR focus helps achieve this.
From sport to students
“But we also felt it was important to support a wide range of community initiatives, ranging from charities to sporting clubs to the universities. I feel passionate about helping to create new opportunities for young people nationally, as well as creating jobs.
“Recently Morningside signed a naming rights deal with the 3,000 capacity Morningside Arena, which is home of the UK basketball champions the Leicester Riders, and provides free community space for local charities. Morningside also supports Leicester University with raising money for their Medical School and sponsors the Morningside Medical Centre at Grace Road, the home of Leicestershire County Cricket Club.
“Morningside’s employees have volunteered their time to help young people develop their careers. One event saw the HR Team attend a Careers Speed Network event where 13- to 18-year-olds from a number of schools spent a few minutes talking to local employers to help inform their future career decisions.
“Along the way we have learnt that investing in CSR activities and promoting volunteering, not only raises awareness of our brand, what we do, and our values as a business – but also enhances our culture, so our employees love coming to work and our business benefits as a result.”