The huge positive impact businesses are making to society and the environment were given a glittering showcase last night at the Responsible Business Gala Dinner, held in the Royal Albert Hall in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales and his sons TRH The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Over 1,400 senior business people attended the event, which was supported by Jaguar Land Rover, BITC's Responsible Business of the Year 2013, and hosted by comedian David Walliams and Sky Sports presenter Natalie Pinkham. Entertainment included performances from the Military Wives Choir and George the Poet, and guests also enjoyed seeing Natalie Pinkham interview David Henson, the captain of the Great Britain squad at the US Warrior games for injured and disabled servicemen and women about the upcoming Invictus Games.
Winners across 13 categories were announced, with National Grid taking the most prestigious award, Responsible Business of the Year 2014. The company was recognised especially for its commitment to creating a sustainable energy network for the future - lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 53% since 1990 while undertaking the biggest network expansion for 50 years - as well as for its work inspiring the next generation of talent through education programmes.
Scooping the Santander Responsible Small Business Award was Novus Property Solutions, a family owned refurbishment and maintenance firm. The achievements which brought it the award include diverting 97% of its waste from landfill, and demonstrating a commitment to skills development, with 11% of its employees being apprentices and trainees.
Other winners ranged from major companies such as EDF Energy, whose work helping Okehampton College reduce their energy bills to near zero won them the Education Award, to Camden Town Unlimited, a Business Improvement District which won the ASDA Enterprise Growth Award for its creative approach to urban regeneration, to law firm Freshfields, who gave ex-offenders a second chance by training them to enter employment. LINKS
The winners were selected by an independent judging process from over 150 leading companies recognised by Business in the Community with a Big Tick for demonstrating commitment and achievement in responsible business.
Also announced, by HRH The Prince of Wales was the appointment of Marc Bolland, CEO of Marks & Spencer, as the Prince's National Ambassador for Responsible Business. Mr Bolland will work with the regional Prince's Ambassadors to encourage responsible business practices across the UK.
Responsible Business Awards 2014 – the winners
Responsible Business of the Year – recognising large businesses that have adapted their business strategy so that their products, services and people build resilient communities and more sustainable futures.
Winner: National Grid – Responsible Business Award
Santander Responsible Small Business of the Year – recognising small and medium sized businesses demonstrating a holistic responsible approach to business; within the community, marketplace sustainability and amongst their workforce.
Winner: Novus Property Solutions Ltd – The Novus Sustainable Programme
Asda Enterprise Growth Award – recognising businesses that engage, support and do business with small and medium enterprises to drive local economic growth.
Winner – small company: Camden Town Unlimited – Collective project
Winner – large company: Blakemore Fine Foods – Heart Distribution Producer programme
Building Stronger Communities Award (new award) – recognising partnerships between businesses and community organisations that successfully address a key social issue and make a lasting impact.
Winner: New Charter Housing Trust Group – Inspire: Integrated Family Services
Bupa Workwell Engagement and Wellbeing Award – recognising businesses that are improving the wellness and engagement of their employees.
Winner: Gentoo – Employee Wellbeing: Happy, Healthy and Here (HHH)
Dairy Crest Rural Action Award – recognising businesses that support rural communities to maintain a vibrant, sustainable rural economy.
Winner: WM Morrison Supermarkets plc – Morrisons Farming Programme
Education Award, supported by UKCES – recognising businesses that are building sustainable partnerships with schools in the UK, to raise aspirations of young people to enable them to build successful working lives.
Winner: EDF Energy and Okehampton College
Engaging Customers on Sustainability Award, supported by How on Earth (new award) – recognising businesses that use their marketing activity to inspire and enable people to live more sustainable lifestyles.
Winner: Anglian Water Services – Love Every Drop – Keep it Clear
Inspiring Young Talent Award (new award) – recognising businesses that address youth unemployment and the UK skills gap by using either 'youth friendly' recruitment practices, inspiring work experience programmes or accessible routes to successful working lives such as apprenticeships.
Winner: EE – EE Apprenticeship Programme
International Disaster Relief Award, supported by the Department for International Development (new award) – recognising businesses that can demonstrate positive disaster relief action in the immediate aftermath of international disasters.
Winner: UPS Humanitarian Relief Programme
Sustainable Products and Services Awards (new award) – recognising businesses that are embedding environmental sustainability into core products or services, as well as the processes used to produce or develop them.
Winner: Lakes Free Range Egg Company Ltd – environmentally friendly egg production
Unilever International Award, supported by Business Fights Poverty (new award) – recognising businesses that can demonstrate positive impact against one or more of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Winner – small company: Glasgow Caledonian University – Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing
Winner – large company: GlaxoSmithKline – 20% Reinvestment
Work Inclusion Award – recognising businesses that help disadvantaged people into employment and/or improve their employability skills.
Winner: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP – Ready for Work