The National CSR Awards 2017, sponsored by Revive and now in their third year, were held at the impressive Lord’s Cricket Ground last night (18 May) and saw businesses of all sizes recognised for leading the way in sustainable business practice.
From a hotel in Northumberland to a youth charity’s partnership with an American multinational technology company, winners came from across the country and a wide range of industries.
“The standard of entries this year has been incredible and some categories were particularly hard fought,” comments Karen Sutton, CEO and Founder of the awards. “Every year just gets better and better. It’s a privilege and a pleasure to reward such fantastic achievements.”
The Overall Excellence in Corporate Responsibility went to technology company VMware for its Global Impact Report which shares the company’s VMware 2020 vision to serve as “a force for good,” outlining its sustainability roadmap and detailing the aspirations and goals it has established across its products, operations and people.
The Clean & Green award went to Battlesteads, an hotel in Northumberland that is widely recognised as one of the UK’s top sustainable tourism destinations. Owned by Richard and Dee Slade since 2005, the hotel features 22 bedrooms including five recently built eco lodges, a restaurant with local produce menus, a bar serving biodynamic wines and ales from local micro-breweries and its own on-site observatory. In this category, Land Securities earned a Highly Commended from judges for its resource efficiency programme, supported by ambitious carbon, energy and waste reduction targets.
Building Sustainably was won by Wilmott Dixon Construction for its University of Leicester Centre for Medicine, the UK’s largest non-residential project built and certified to the ultra low energy consumption Passivhaus standard. Verto Homes was Highly Commended for its Towan Heights project.
WWF and M&S won Green Supply Chain for their work in sustainable cotton in India with glass manufacturer Encirc named as runner up for its comprehensive sustainability strategy, “Our Sustainable Futures”, which has resulted in reducing the carbon footprint of its supply chain by hundreds of thousands of tonnes every year.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle went to Caledonian Produce for its Sustainability in Action campaign which enabled an increase of over 34% of previously considered waste product going on for further positive re-use; with surplus food and ingredients going on to benefit the local community via a network of social enterprises and charities.
Go Ahead London topped the Sustainable Transport category beating off stiff competition from Manchester Airport Group and UPS. Having successfully retained Routes 507 and 521 through the competitive tendering process, Go Ahead set about transforming a central London garage from a conventional diesel facility to an electric one. The project has delivered real health benefits for all and set the benchmark for future schemes.
The Sustainable Small Business was won by Belu. The company has recently committed to working with WaterAid until 2030 to help them achieve their vision of everyone, everywhere having access to water and sanitation by 2030, aligning with WaterAid to support the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal 6.
Best Individual Community Partnership went to UK Youth and Microsoft for its digital skills programme which in 2016 expanded with the creation of Generation Code, a practical and targeted curriculum aiming to inspire the next generation of coders. Aviva was named as runner-up for its Aviva Community Fund project.
The joint Best Partnership in the Community award went to Selfridges and the Zoological Society of London for its Project Ocean, an ongoing partnership to stop overfishing and pollution; increase ocean protection; and engage new audiences in marine conservation. The runner up was UBS and Into University, a partnership that has worked towards a shared goal of tackling educational disadvantage since 2007.
Best Community Partnership (Legacy) was awarded to Investec and the Bromley by Bow Centre for its Beyond Business initiative, a unique social enterprise incubator, that launches and supports sustainable businesses in Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham, all in the top 5% of deprived boroughs in London. The category runner up was Kellogg and its Breakfast Club programme which first came into being in 1998.
The International Sustainable Community award was won by R Twining & Co in tandem with UNICEF in recognition of its work in supporting young girls living on tea estates in Assam. Yorkshire Water and Water Aid with its Big Wish for Ethiopia campaign was named runner up.
Global Best Education Project was awarded to Unilever and Project Dirt for its Outdoor Classroom Day, while the National Best Education Project went to Enjoy Work, Chiswick Park, a youth employability programme. Runner up was Mace Ltd for its Building Futures work and HMRC was named Highly Commended for its Tax Facts programme.
Outstanding Corporate Leadership was won by Caroline Hill, head of sustainability at Land Securities. Since joining Land Securities, Caroline has demonstrated innovation and a long-term commitment to position Land Securities as a sustainability leader in its industry. This has been clear from the sheer quantity of initiatives that it has been able to achieve in just 18 months and through the significant improvement in performance in this area as a business.
A special judges award – Grass Roots Communities went to Cordwainers Grow CIC for its Hackney Herbal project. The project specialises in creative workshops and events that connect and inspire people around the extensive uses of herbs. It grows herbs in a patchwork of sites around Hackney supporting volunteers to get hands on horticultural experience. From these herbs it creates seasonal herbal tea blends which are sold through local cafes.
ONES TO WATCH
The awards judging panel devised an additional category this year called Ones to Watch. This was to acknowledge entries that were not able to fullfil all the necessary criteria in a particular category, but deemed worthy of recognition because they excelled in many areas.
Monodraught was highlighted as ‘One to Watch’ in Clean & Green for its cool-phase low energy system that provides intelligent control of ventilation & cooling.
Olio, the food sharing app, was named as One to Watch in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It’s a free app that connects neighbours with each other and with local shops and cafes so that surplus food can be shared, not thrown away.
While Social Value Portal named as ‘One to Watch’ as a Sustainable Small Business. Harrow Council engaged the Social Value Portal to pilot their social value procurement platform on a tender for the renovation of a council property in Harrow. The council wanted to award the project to the supplier who offered not only the best offer in terms of price and quality but also with the strongest CSR programme.