Virgin Media moves to boost ethical cred

Richard Branson's Virgin Media is making fresh ­efforts to bolster its social and ethical reputation, with the appointment of its first director of corporate ­responsibility.

Stuart Poore takes charge of a newly formed corporate responsibility team of three people, having previously held a similar role at a defence technology company.

Virgin Media’s arch-rival Sky has a dedicated corporate responsibility team of 15 headed by corporate responsibility director Ben Stimson.

The team was set up in 1999 and the company has been carbon neutral since May 2006.

Ashley Stockwell, brand MD at Virgin Media, said: ‘The emphasis of the role will be on harnessing the ­passion and commitment among Virgin Media ­employees for delivering ­socially and environmentally responsible products and services to our customers.’

Poore said Virgin Media had ‘the potential to differentiate itself as a company that understands what it takes to be a responsible business’.

He added: ‘As the brand evolves we need to more ­systematically address the issues of CR. We have dealt with the nitty-gritty issues of launching the brand, now we need to turn our attention to key reputational issues.’

Poore was previously ­corporate responsibility manager at defence tech­nology and security firm ­QinetiQ. Before that, he was a senior lobbyist at wildlife charity WWF-UK.

Virgin Media has yet to decide the titles of Poore’s colleagues in the newly formed corporate affairs team.

Sara-Jane Amey was previously head of regulatory affairs at Ntl:Telewest, while Geraldine Pack joins the team from Virgin Group, where she helped to set up and launch Virgin Unite, the group’s independent charitable arm focusing on social and environmental ­issues.

Virgin Media is the largest Virgin company worldwide and boasts almost ten million customers.

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