Sustainability stars shine at UK's first National CSR Awards

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 11 Mar 2015 12:07
Nine Awards and two Special Recognition were handed out at new National CSR awards
Nine Awards and two Special Recognition were handed out at new National CSR awards

Marks and Spencer, Wyke Farms and Zurich Community Trust were among the winners of the first National CSR Awards, celebrating the best of ethical governance and good business practice.

Individual Leadership Awards were presented to Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, for Innovation & Technology and to Bill Eyres, Head of Sustainability at O2 (EMEA), for his tireless work on the Think Big project.

Tony Juniper, Environmentalist and National CSR Awards judge, told the event at Mercedes-Benz World in Surrey that the awards recognised how CSR must now be an integral part of a company’s strategy.

He said "The days when social responsibility could be treated as an add-on to business-as-usual are gone. Companies cannot simply give money to a charity to compensate for unsustainable practice.

“The bar has been raised and CSR must be part of businesses's strategic core, with social, environmental and sustainability objectives embedded across every aspect of how they work."

Special Recognitions were also given to Legal & General and Charities Aid Foundation for their perfect example of a community partnership, and to Marks and Spencer for the legacy of their Plan A initiative.

The award judges agreed that, since Plan A's launch back in 2007, Marks and Spencer's sustainability plan continues to set the benchmark for corporate responsibility in the UK. "Plan A goes beyond targets. M&S; sees it as a starting point rather than the finish, using it to instil culture change and embedding it in everything it does." commented Liz Jones, editor of Ethical Performance.

Karen Sutton, National CSR Awards Founder and Chief Executive, said: "Half of the winning projects were joint partnerships between private organisations and charities, reinforcing the effectiveness of collaboration and the advantages gained for both communities and businesses."

Organisers of the National CSR Awards, which is designed to recognise a broad range of CSR disciplines, say next year’s event will be staged in London.

The full list of category winners is:

Best Education Project Award (Large Organisation): Tesco – Eat Happy Project

Best Community / Education Development Award (SME Organisation): BAM Construction in partnership with Manchester City Football Club – City Football Academy

Best Community Development Award (Large Organisation): Zurich Community Trust in partnership with Age UK – Call in Time

Innovation for Workplace Practices Award: Chiswick Park – Chiswick Park – Enjoy-Work

Environmental Leadership Award: Wyke Farms – 100% Green

Individual Outstanding Leadership Award: Bill Eyres – Head of Sustainability (UK & Europe), O2

Individual Outstanding Leadership (for Innovation & Technology) Award: Alejandro Agag – CEO, Formula E

Overall Excellence in CSR: Marks and Spencer – Plan A

Special Judges Award for Community Innovation: Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets Councils – Zero Emissions Network

Special Judges Recognition for Community Partnership: Charities Aid Foundation in partnership with Legal & General – Social Enterprise Assist

Special Judges Recognition for Legacy: Marks and Spencer – Plan A.

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