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'The ‘S’ in ESG: how social responsibility is shaping the future of business' now launched

23 March 2023
s in esg creative

Neighbourly has recently launched a new paper, The ‘S’ in ESG: how social responsibility is shaping the future of business. The paper will focus on the ‘social’ component of ESG and how it can be harnessed to boost brand value, encourage employee trust and remain on top of social legislation, as well as driving better business practice. 

Over four chapters covering key themes surrounding sustainability and social impact, the paper will take a closer look at what this means for your business and how you can align social goals with other business and ESG objectives. It also explores where social strategy can be applied across multiple facets of a business, whether you work in marketing, HR, operations or finance. 

The chapters include:

  1. Why social impact measurement is gaining momentum
  2. The changing relationship between ESG and brand value
  3. Fostering inclusion and improving equity beyond the office
  4. Meeting the global cost-of-living crisis with investment in local communities

This paper demonstrates how a localised strategy is not only an investment in the communities which a business cares about but also in their licence to operate, as employee and consumer expectations evolve.

You can expect to find direction on where there are opportunities to make a big impact, no matter how your organisation is currently navigating the ESG space. 

Read the full paper here.

Meet Sally - Client Success Director at Neighbourly | a #MeetTheNeighbours B Corp Month Special

21 March 2023
meet the neighbours sally

In the second of our ‘Meet the Neighbours’ series, where we meet and greet with some of the fantastic team members at Neighbourly, we’re running a B Corp Month special edition with Client Success Director and B Leader, Sally. 

As a sustainability professional with over 15 years of experience in building stakeholder partnerships, Sally’s focus now lies in the relationship between businesses and grassroots organisations and charities as a tool to build and embed change and social impact. Working at Neighbourly for over five years, Sally has been instrumental in establishing and maintaining our certification as one of B Corp’s founding members.

If you had to sum up what your role at Neighbourly involves in one sentence, what would you say? 

Sally: In my role I work directly with businesses that want to make a measurable community impact through the Neighbourly network of good causes. 

“From shaping and launching national campaigns through to data analysis - no two days are the same”

Understanding the resources businesses have to give but also the kind of impact they want to have is a key part of this role, as I help to facilitate and maintain giving initiatives and programmes from employee volunteering, to the distribution of grant funding or surplus products that support all facets of local communities and areas of need.

Can you share some of your personal highlights from your time working for Neighbourly?

Sally: The Neighbourly team is a diverse bunch, yet we all have a common thread of Neighbourly values joining us together. Supporting each other through the rollercoaster of the pandemic alongside delivering for a burgeoning client base - particularly where we are working with sectors feeling some of the deepest impacts - is an experience not easily replicated and one I'll remember forever. 

“I love connecting people, creating reciprocally beneficial partnerships and strengthening the fabric of our fantastic local ethical business network.”

Being part of a small and fast-growing scale-up (from twenty or so colleagues when I joined to over 100 today), the range of activities I’ve been involved in is wide. 

From shaping and launching national campaigns through to data analysis - no two days are the same. I’ve been privileged to work alongside the most wonderful and passionate colleagues with a desire to make an impact in our communities. 

Can you tell us a bit more about your role as a B Corp Ambassador - and what motivated you to get involved in the world of B Corps?

Sally: Really, it comes down to five words: the right thing to do. I was taking a career break when I first heard about the B Corp movement, and knew I had to be involved. I decided to train to be a B Leader - a consultant who guides businesses through the B Corp certification process - with B Lab UK. The training was in two parts and by the time I came back to do the second half of the training, I had begun working at Neighbourly, one of the UK's founding B Corps. 

Whilst I no longer work actively in a ‘B Leader’ role, I am currently co-chair for the B Local Bristol and Bath cohort, helping to organise events for people to connect, learn and network.

Previous events have included SafarB (a 'safari' around BCorps in Bristol), a tour and baking session hosted at Hobbs House Bakery where we baked bread rolls in the shape of a "B" and the inaugural PurposeFest held this month.

I'm a natural 'convener' so being co-chair is a great fit as I love connecting people, creating reciprocally beneficial partnerships as well as strengthening the fabric of our fantastic local ethical business network.

If you could positively change one thing about the world of business, and spread it across the globe, what would it be and why?

Sally: Incorporate consideration for people and planet, alongside profit in all business models (sound familiar?). 

Dogged profit-chasing and shareholder primacy at the expense of all else has led us to the global predicament we have today, but a consideration for all stakeholders, including the planet, would have far-reaching positive impacts and lead to a kinder, more sustainable world - in business and beyond.

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£1 billion social impact by 2025

7 March 2023
£1 billion social impact Neighbourly

At the start of 2023, it is clear that we're living in unprecedented times. The crises of a global pandemic, war, cost of living, and recession have exposed the stark inequalities that exist in our world, and now more than ever, there is a need for businesses and individuals to take positive action.

In response, progressive businesses are transitioning from the traditional focus on shareholder value to a more holistic view of ‘stakeholders’, with an increased desire to make a meaningful difference in the world. As a result, social and environmental positive impact is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have.

Yet, we must move faster. It is crucial that our efforts result in tangible positive impacts in our communities, so that stakeholders, including customers and employees, can witness the effects of ESG initiatives. Transparency is key to prove that real and lasting positive change is being made.

So far, the Neighbourly platform has facilitated over £250 million of impact into local communities across the UK and Ireland, and we have set a further goal to deliver £1 billion of positive impact by 2025.

We measure impact by calculating the combined value of all donated products, food, money, and volunteer time through the platform, and every business we work with can see exactly how they have contributed to this number.

The Neighbourly platform makes it easier than ever for businesses and our 25,000-strong (and growing) network of local good causes to connect. Our technology enables funds, volunteers, and product donations to be effectively matched with the local communities who need it most.

These smaller, local charitable organisations have the potential to make a huge impact on social and environmental issues, but their capacity is limited by a lack of resources, funding, and restrictive public policies. By leveraging the power of technology, we can help them to overcome these barriers and focus on what they do best - building healthy, happy and sustainable communities. Our goal, with the help of our partners, is to protect and expand this vibrant and resilient population of local community organisations.

Everyone can contribute, whether they are a company, individual, local charity, or good cause. Together, we can help our local communities thrive in the face of adversity.

Our mission is to generate £1 billion of measurable social impact by 2025, and we need your help to make this happen. We're grateful to all those who have already made such a huge contribution, and for those who would like to join us in creating tangible change, sign up now.

Let's work together to make a difference. Global change starts locally.

Meet Jane - Neighbourly's Brand and Communications Lead | #MeetTheNeighbours

23 January 2023

In our new ‘Meet the Neighbours’ series, where we meet and greet with some of the brilliant team members that work behind the scenes at Neighbourly, we introduce Jane, Brand and Communications Lead. 

As one of the business's longest-standing employees, Jane is synonymous with all things communications at Neighbourly. Her extensive knowledge of the Neighbourly brand has seen her lead on high profile PR projects with our business partners, commission innovative research studies on topics such as workplace happiness and successfully lead her team on developing content and comms processes. 

How has the world of corporate giving changed since you started working for Neighbourly?

I started working at Neighbourly in the company’s very early days - 9 years ago. In that time, the world of corporate giving/impact has seen some real shifts, from the language being used, right through to its increasing value in organisations, and therefore how well it’s resourced, prioritised and communicated. 

"[Corporate Giving] is now more about action, authenticity and results, which can only be a good thing"

Obviously all companies are in different places but, generally, they are now thinking about corporate impact more holistically and it is more tied to the strategy and purpose of the organisation. We’re also seeing forces like investors and the Gen Z workforce creating even more shifts; it's now more about action, authenticity and results, which can only be a good thing.

How does marketing differ at a business like Neighbourly? Is there anything you've learned from working at Neighbourly that you'd like to share with other marketers?

As a B Corp and mission-led business, our marketing approach has always aligned with our values and ethics and that means careful selection of partners, platforms and tactics as well as data management. 

Sometimes these decisions are tough, but an ethical stance will always be beneficial to the longer-term integrity of the brand and the company’s growth. Marketing for a scaleup business also requires a different mindset to marketing in larger organisations - flexibility and an agile approach is key.

Can you name one Neighbourly good cause whose work particularly inspires you and why?

There’s so many brilliant causes in the network it's hard to choose. One that particularly inspired me recently was the Caenhill Countryside Centre that we filmed in October as part of the M&S’ Gifts that Give Christmas campaign. Caenhill is a not-for-profit community project, set within a 70-acre farm in Wiltshire, that aims to support young people and those in care. 

Run by a team of volunteers aged between 4 and 86, Caenhill runs courses focusing on well-being and education with a mission to bring countryside learning and sustainability messages to young people and the local community at large, all whilst caring for abandoned and unwanted animals. See the film we produced here.

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Neighbourly Launches Warm Communities Fund

1 December 2022

In response to our most recent community survey Neighbourly has launched the Warm Communities Fund to provide targeted support to local charities and community groups in our network who are providing ‘warm banks’, food donations and low-cost-to-prepare meals up and down the country to those who need it most.

Research shows that one in every five people in the UK is living in relative poverty, and food insecurity is on the rise.

As Neighbourly’s recent survey of community charities demonstrates, the cost-of-living crisis means that demand for support is growing while the availability of funding and other forms of support is decreasing:

  • 50% are planning to provide "warm banks" this winter
  • 65% have a seen a drop in financial donations
  • 63% are aiming to provide more food that requires little or no energy to prepare
  • The average energy bill for community charities is expected to rise by 119% (£7,600 p/a to £16,700)

This shortfall will have a direct and damaging impact on the communities served by these charities and groups.

The Neighbourly Warm Communities Fund (via the Neighbourly Foundation, charity 1189514) has been set up to enable individuals and organisations to make donations which will be distributed over the winter period and beyond. The campaign will be “needs-led” with micro-grants provided to local charities and community groups in our 22,000+ UK & Ireland network.

Through our work, we know that small charities and good causes know the needs of their community better than anyone else, and are able to support them in the most impactful ways. If you would like to find out more about the fund, make a donation or a business pledge, follow the link to our webpage below.

Aldi unveil Christmas 2022 advert with Kevin the carrot

10 November 2022

Aldi’s Christmas 2022 TV advert is here, featuring their partnership with Neighbourly alongside last winter’s festive phenomenon Kevin the Carrot and a cameo from Marcus Radishford. Echoing the same powerful sentiment “make Christmas amazing for everyone”, the ad sees Kevin the carrot embark on a new, yet familiar, Christmas adventure.

Neighbourly is delighted to feature in the advert, which highlights the work we’ve done with Aldi since 2019 distributing community grants as well as surplus food from all of their UK stores to local small charities and community groups. So far, Aldi has donated over 25 million meals to those in need, including schools, soup kitchens and breakfast clubs.

Additionally, this year Aldi is encouraging their customers and followers to support the Neighbourly Foundation*, to help local communities in need over the winter. 

If you, like family member Jasper Carrot, would like to donate some of your pocket money you can click the link below to help local families.

*charity 1189514

Gifts that Give - M&S and Neighbourly’s Christmas Partnership Launch

4 November 2022

This Christmas M&S has teamed up with Neighbourly to deliver a Christmas campaign with a purpose. As winter can be a difficult time for the most vulnerable in our local communities - with small charities and causes often seeing a big spike in demand and the Cost of Living Crisis adding further strain, M&S wanted to help by launching their Gifts that Give initiative. 

M&S has given £1 million across 1,000 small charities and community groups in the UK and Ireland through the Neighbourly Foundation (charity 1189514). The donations will contribute towards supporting each organisation through what is set to be a difficult winter period. 

To mark the festive campaign, M&S has brought together a number of these hardworking groups to feature in their Christmas TV advert, which you can watch on our website

You’ll also be able to meet and find out more about three of the good causes in the advert: the Kaotic Angels, Caenhill Countryside Centre and the Y Centre Skaters. These charities invited Neighbourly to visit their hometowns to film them doing what they do best, helping their local communities. 

How the grants will be used this Christmas

From food banks and homeless support to disability charities and schools spanning the UK, the 1,000 recipients are using their grant money for a variety of reasons. Amongst the beneficiaries are Scout and Rainbow groups who will be using the money to heat their venues through the winter months and a refugee charity called 3D Drumchapel in Scotland who is using the money to “run sessions to help with the cost of living and an after school club to bring families into the warmth, allow children to do their homework and also to provide families with a hot cooked meal”. 

Whiterock Children’s Centre Christmas Appeal in Northern Ireland will be using their grant money to help people in their local community struggling with the cost of living by “giving some support with the non essentials like toys or clothes for Christmas”. Also being supported is England community transport charity, Please Take Me, whose aim is to give those suffering with cancer in their community “free, regular, net-zero, non-emergency transport to and from their hospital appointments.”

You can find out more about the inspiring causes receiving the grant here. You can also find a list of all of the charities and good causes featured in the advert at the end of the blog.

About the M&S and Neighbourly Partnership

In 2015, M&S became a founding Neighbourly partner as they were leading the way in delivering their pioneering Plan A Sustainability strategy. M&S's first campaign engaged thousands of staff in fundraising £900k for local causes in its first year, a success that led them to working with Neighbourly to develop a number of innovative and evolving programmes over many years.

M&S went on to launch mass employee volunteering, a network-wide back-of-store food and product surplus redistribution, and further rounds of targeted fundraising and grants programmes with wide-reaching social and environmental impact - supporting over 6,000 local good causes which help an estimated 2.3 million people every week.

“M&S's Christmas campaign is a brilliant celebration of kindness and a timely reminder of the importance of community at a time when support at a local level is needed more than ever. 

“Findings from our recent community survey found that 83% of local groups are already experiencing a rise in demand on their services yet 69% reported they’ve found it harder to find funds in the last three months. We’re delighted to have partnered with M&S on the distribution of this £1million fund which will make a huge difference to groups in our network over the winter period. This campaign builds on a long-standing community strategy that has seen M&S support over 6,000 good causes in the Neighbourly network and donate nearly 50 million meals worth of surplus food."

Steve Butterworth, Neighbourly CEO

Charities features in the TV ad: The Kaotic Angels Club, The Y Centre Skaters, UK Soul Choir, Mintridge Basketball Club, Kearsly Brass Band, Caenhill Countryside Centre, Paddington Arts Dance Group, Valley Invicta Primary School at East Borough Majorettes, Bengali Dancers.

Neighbourly Awarded ISO27001 Accreditation

7 October 2022


As a business that uses technology to build strong and sustainable communities, remaining on top of cyber challenges and being committed to securing the data of our partners and good causes is paramount. For this reason, Neighbourly is very proud to announce that we have just been awarded an ISO27001 certification, making us the only company in our sector to have achieved security credentials of this level.

ISO27001 is one of the most widely recognised and internationally accepted information security standards designed to help global businesses set up, administer and maintain information security management systems. The certification confirms that we identify and manage risks consistently and measurably.

What does this mean for Neighbourly’s community?

  • From data asset classification to physical security, our certification means that any potential security gap has been identified and sufficiently protected against so anywhere your information is stored has been assessed and secured

  • Neighbourly is committed to being routinely audited by an accredited, independent certification body, as well as internal auditing, monitoring and reviewing, to ensure the protection of data grows along with the business 

  • Your data and security teams can be assured that we take your company or charity information protection extremely seriously and with our ISO27001 certificate it is now easier to communicate this

Achieving this level of security certification is the result of a huge amount of work and commitment from everyone at Neighbourly as we continue to challenge ourselves to reach the highest standards within our industry. 

To stay in the loop about the Neighbourly platform and any future credential upgrades, sign up to our business newsletter.

10 #FixThisCrisis campaigns you can get involved in

7 September 2022

The UK is currently facing a national emergency in the form of the cost of living crisis. Even before the crisis, millions of people across the country were facing a winter choosing between heating or eating, and many are now realising that they may not be able to afford either.

Along with more than 50 organisations, we are supporting Turn2Us and Save the Children in the #FixThisCrisis campaign which is calling on the government to act with urgency to ensure the wellbeing of the population. 

Below we have compiled some of the campaigns and petitions being run by charities in response to the crisis so that you can show your support.

38 Degrees - We need an emergency budget that boosts Universal Credit now

This petition is urging the Government to announce an emergency budget that increases Universal Credit immediately.

With the cost of living crisis already hitting families hard and energy bills set to soar even more, this is more important now than ever.

“The Government raised Universal Credit during the pandemic - providing a lifeline to millions - and with enough pressure, they could do it again.”

Turn2Us - Write to your MP

Join Turn2Us in their campaign to ask for urgent action to help people during this cost of living crisis.

Writing to your MP lets them know how people in their area are being affected and can encourage them to take action.

“The more MPs that receive emails in their inbox, the better. Even if you think your MP will not be receptive, it is still important to write to them - the more public pressure MPs receive, the better chance we have of making a change.”

Action for Children - We need urgent and decisive action on the cost of living crisis

In this open letter to Liz Truss, Action for Children are asking the new Prime Minister to take the urgent steps required to give families the support they need and strengthen the safety net. 

Their three requests are that the government:

  1. Restore benefits to a decent level. If the cost of living goes up, benefits should reflect this.
  2. Increase the child element of Universal Credit to help lift children out of poverty.
  3. Deliver a serious and cross-government strategy to tackle child poverty and make it a key part of the government’s plans for levelling up.

  • Add your signature to the letter here

Save the Children - Call on the Government to do more to ease the cost of living crisis

Save the Children are calling on the government to invest in a level of social security that is sustainable and sufficient for people to live on.

“When parents can’t afford the basics, children pay the price.”

  • Sign the petition here

Independent Age - Tell the next Prime Minister to take action on the cost of living

Writing to the Prime Minister, Independent Age are asking that urgent action is taken to support older people in financial hardship to address the spiralling cost of living. 

They are currently just 1,274 signatures away from their target of 5,000 - add your name below!

  • Sign the petition here

The Trussell Trust - Everyone should be able to afford the essentials

While food banks are there to help people when they need it most, this cannot, and should not, be the country’s long-term solution to hunger. 

Everyone should be able to afford life’s essentials, so we need a stronger social security system that provides security every day, not just in times of national crisis. 

  • Send a message to your MP here

Action Storm - Vulnerable young people are going hungry to pay the bills. End food poverty now!

Vulnerable young people faced with food poverty are experiencing huge difficulties with inflation historically high, energy costs soaring, rent and food prices going up, and an inevitable recession. This is putting noticeable pressure on their mental health.

Action Storm are calling on the government to:

  1. Uprate benefits to reflect the real cost of living.
  2. Remove the five-week wait for the first Universal Credit payment.
  3. Offer the choice of more regular payments i.e. every 2 weeks

  • Sign the petition here

Provide an energy grant to people with a disability or serious medical condition

This petition is calling on the government to provide a grant, so that people with a disability or serious medical condition can afford to run the equipment, or heating, they need to stay alive.

At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.

  • Add your signature here

Mencap - Call on the government to do more to ease the cost of living crisis

“The cost of living crisis is tough for everyone, but it can be even harder for people with a learning disability, many of whom are on low incomes, rely on disability benefits, and who need support to be able to budget and navigate complex information from energy suppliers.”

Mencap are working with UK partners including Shelter, Mind, Save The Children, Parkinsons UK and Action for Children to request that the government invest in a level of social security that is sustainable and sufficient for people to live on.

  • Sign the petition here

38 Degrees - We can't take more energy bill hikes!

38 Degrees are petitioning that the government, and energy regulator Ofgem, must intervene now to protect us from the upcoming energy bills increase. 

By stopping and reversing the catastrophic energy bill increases they can help to make sure that everyone is warm this winter.

  • Sign the petition here

Neighbourly sets out roadmap to Net-Zero

5 September 2022

With just three years left on the clock to curb emissions, Neighbourly has pledged to become net-zero by 2030. As an SME, this means fulfilling the commitment for both scope one and two emissions - for example, tracking and reducing the emissions produced directly by our organisation like heating our office, and the resources we use to run the business.

Furthermore, we have chosen to take the more ambitious route of including scope three emissions in our roadmap - namely the emissions impact of home working and business travel.

Our pledge comes part and parcel of our membership of the B Corp Climate Collective and as such will be checked and verified by the SME Climate Hub (part of Race To Zero) to ensure our goals are in line with climate science.

Why Net-Zero?

As a founding UK B Corp, Neighbourly is committed to business as a force for good, working to help other organisations and industries to become more impactful, sustainable and responsible.

Sustainability, the environment and social impact have become mission critical priorities for long-term business success and integral to company growth strategies. As a result we are seeing more and more organisations, from a wide range of industries and sectors, wanting to be genuinely more responsible when it comes to supporting their local communities - turning to Neighbourly for help.

By submitting this pledge we plan to:

  • Demonstrate our commitment to being a force for good.
  • Inspire our network and clients to join the global sustainability movement
  • Drive behavioural changes across our workforce to encourage sustainable practices and behaviours
  • Embed sustainability into our actions and operations

With transparency a key part of our commitment as a B Corp, we will continue to share updates on our progress to net-zero. To find out more about our roadmap to Net-Zero click the blue button below to view our strategy overview document.