Business leaders from across the Tees Valley have expressed their desire to work together to promote and uphold ethical business practices.

Dozens of representatives from across the private, public and voluntary sectors attended Teesside University for the launch of the Tees Valley Ethical and Responsible Business Network.

The event, which was organised by the North East Initiative for Business Ethics (NIBE) in partnership with Teesside University Business School and Venator, heard about the different ways in which companies and organisations can implement ethical business practices and the benefits that they can bring.

A panel discussion with representatives from Venator, Northumbrian Water, Nouveau Group and Wilton Group shared examples of best practice.

Topics that came under discussion included:

  • the importance of ethical supply chains and the need to properly audit them.
  • making it easy for employees to report instances of bad practice without fear of reprisal.
  • communicating your company values to employees and ensuring that they are acted on.
  • the benefits of  good Corporate Social Responsibility.

The event also heard from a group of final year students from Teesside University Business School about a project they had worked on with Middlesbrough Council to address social problems in the town.

Teesside University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) Professor Jane Turner OBE, opened the event.

She said: “As an institution which is dedicated to educating the next generation of business leaders, we take the principles of ethical business behaviour extremely seriously.

“Business ethics form a major part of our qualifications in Teesside University Business School, including our new MBA.

“In order to develop an inclusive, ethical and sustainable economy in the Tees Valley, we have to work together and we’re committed to collaborating with businesses to achieve this.”

NIBE was established in 2013 as an independent regional resource to focus on business ethics and bring people together to learn from each other, share good practice and make a difference in the community.

Chair of First Face to Face Ltd, Caroline Theobald CBE, who chaired the event, said: “It’s fantastic that so many businesses and individuals support this initiative and that we’ve already got organisations offering events and time to take this agenda forward.

“If we all take responsibility for taking small steps to improve the way we do business and listen and learn from others it’ll add up to a big difference and make the North East famous as a place to do good business.”

For more information on NIBE visit