“In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder in the business but in fact the very purpose of its existence.”
— Jamsetji Tata, Founder (1839 – 1904)The Tata tradition in community development has, since the earliest days of the group’s history, been defined by the values embedded in its core. Founder Jamsetji Tata was keen to avoid “patchwork philanthropy”, preferring to pursue activities that delivered sustained developmental impact.
In the UK, Tata companies continue to embrace the notion of giving back to the community, seeking to support the societies in which they operate. Inspired by the role that Tata Sons, Tata companies and the Tata trusts have played in contributing to the development of a nation in their home market of India, Tata companies in the UK have keenly pursued the development of programmes that could have a national and international impact.
Beyond community engagement, the companies recognise their responsibility to deliver corporate sustainability to employees, to the marketplace and to the environment.
The Tata Corporate Sustainability Group
Tata companies in the UK have come together to share experiences, best practices and ideas in the area of corporate sustainability. The Corporate Sustainability Group (CSG), chaired by Malcolm Lane, director of corporate affairs at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), meets quarterly and considers the impact that Tata operations have in the workplace, marketplace, community and on the environment. It also seeks to build a framework of initiatives that individual companies can choose to collaborate on.
“The recession has brought with it a great deal of discussion on the subject of ‘what is the purpose of business’ and ‘what is the purpose of profit,’” says Mr Lane. “Phrases such as ‘social enterprise’ and ‘Big Society’ are very much en vogue. But if you analyse Tata’s unique business model and history, you’ll see that they have been there all along. Tata’s UK companies cherish the opportunity to continue this great tradition of corporate sustainability.”
The four areas of focus:
- Marketplace: Driving positive, responsible and ethical action towards customers and suppliers, and being an influence for good among our peers.
- Workplace: Seeking to maximise the job satisfaction and general wellbeing of employees and their families.
- Community: Addressing a broad range of society impacting activities, many in the areas of health and education.
- Environment: Driving action to address the challenge of climate change and acting as good stewards of the planet and its people.