COVER STORY - GEORGE BEST BELFAST CITY AIRPORT Belfast City Airport leading the way for Responsible Business in Northern Ireland Following two high-profile Corporate Responsibility Award wins for George Best Belfast City Airport this year, Corporate Responsibility and Human Resources Director Michelle Hatfield highlights the hugely positive impact that working responsibly has on the business and the community. Members of the George Best Belfast City Airport CR team celebrate the 2017 awards success. Michelle is with Laura Duggan, Environmental Manager, Stephen Patton, HR and CR Manager, and Paula Bittles, Executive Assistant, who won the inaugural British Irish Expo Unsung Hero Award eorge Best Belfast City Airport has long been renowned for its strong Corporate Responsibility (CR) pedigree, but the business has scaled new heights recently with two major award wins further endorsing its commitment to CR. In the last six months, the airport has been named Northern Ireland’s Responsible Company of the Year by Business in the Community and won the Right Place to Work accolade at the Irish News Workplace and Employment Awards. Alongside these award successes, the airport’s Community Fund – one of the main vehicles through which the airport delivers its CR strategy – is fast approaching the £350,000 investment mark. These are just a few examples of why 2017 has been an extremely strong year so far, along with cohosting in April one of the most successful Routes Europe conferences in recent years – an event at which over 1,200 aviation delegates experienced the warmth and charm of Belfast. G 12 www.businessfirstonline.co.uk Michelle Hatfield, Corporate Responsibility and HR Director, heads up the CR and HR teams at the airport. Recognised by the Institute of Directors in 2014 as UK Director of the Year for Leadership in Corporate Responsibility and with more than 10 years of experience in the aviation and CR industry, Michelle ensures CR permeates throughout every aspect of the business. Awardwinning strategy Michelle said: “As a key economic and tourism driver for Northern Ireland, and one of the biggest employers in east Belfast, it is vital that we play a significant role in the community we serve. “Our CR strategy is driven by listening; listening to the local community and our staff to ensure our work is addressing the needs of the community. “It has been developed to ensure we are acting responsibly in all areas of our business, focusing on four core strands – People, Environment, Community and Education. This strategy is championed by our Chief Executive, Brian Ambrose, and is at the core of all our operations. “Within this strategy, there is a strong emphasis on young people and helping them realise their ambitions by presenting them with opportunities and experiences they may not have otherwise had. “Our approach to CR allows us to offer support and provide opportunities to neighbouring groups and individuals, as well as encouraging our staff to engage in volunteering and personal development where possible. Our invaluable partnerships with schools and local community groups really make a difference, positively affecting thousands of people.” Community Fund Established eight years ago, the airport’s Community Fund aims to enrich and support the local community through investing in educational, community and environmental projects in greater Belfast and North Down.