The 5th Annual Responsible Business Awards 2014 Winners Announced

US SIF Foundation highlights investment options
to improve economic opportunities for women

Mars, Itau Unibanco, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd, PureCircle, Yes Bank and B&Q are among the 14 winners at this year’s Responsible Business Awards

On Monday, 29th September 2014, nearly 200 of the world’s leading responsible business experts gathered at Ethical Corporation’s Fifth Annual Responsible Business Awards ceremony in London’s Mayfair.

About 400 entries were received this year, covering a range of sectors and industries from all over the world, in itself reiterating the fact that responsible business is steadily becoming mainstream. The judges were looking for entries that clearly demonstrated how the company had incorporated responsible business and sustainability thinking into various areas of business, linking it back to commercial objectives.

Opening up the Awards Ceremony, chairman of this year’s judging committee Professor David Grayson said that the standard from this year’s entrants had been very high, and that it’s great to see and read about all the great sustainable work that’s being done around the world. More information on the judges’ feedback is available from Ethical Corporation.

This Year’s Winners were:

BEST B2B PARTNERSHIP

Nominees for this category:

Mars Incorporated – Mesquite Creek Wind Farm
Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd (GIIL) – GIIL and Baileys Sustainable Cream Initiative
Agility – A Partner in Logistics Emergency Teams (LETs)
Zip Xpress – Haworth/Zip Xpress

In this category, the judges were looking for a clear commitment to a long-term, mutually beneficial collaboration that can demonstrate real commercial benefits and social/ environmental/governance gains for society.

The Highly Commended company was Mars Incorporated – Mesquite Creek Wind Farm. The judges commented on the entry as “inspirational, innovative, raising the bar for the sector and making a tangible difference on a potential global scale project. We’d like to see Mars incorporate mentoring/sharing of best practices and help other companies take on similar initiatives.”

The winner of this award was a partnership between Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd (GIIL) and Diageo. The judges found the partnership to be “impressive long term, mutually beneficial… with the ongoing effort and wide dairy industry effects.”

BEST BUSINESS/ NGO PARTNERSHIP

Nominees for this category:

Marks and Spencer and Good World Solutions – Leveraging mobile technology for real-time supply chain transparency
Shell and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
Woolworths and WWF-SA partnerships: Sustainable business initiative
Barclays and Care and Plan UK – Banking on Change
Interface and Zoological Society of London – Net-Works: delivering social, economic and environmental benefits to the Philippines
Central England Cooperative and Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council – The Saffron Acres Project
Starwood Hotels & Resorts and UNICEF – ‘Check Out for Children’
B&Q and BioRegional and The Sylva Foundation – Good Woods
Turk Telekom (TT) and Bogazici University GETEM and Assistive Technology and Education Laboratory – Books on the phone
SM Prime Holdings – Sensory Friendly Movies

The judges were looking to the same criteria as in B2B Partnership. The only difference here was that the partnership should have taken place between a company and other entities (i.e. NGOs, governmental body, charity or other).

Having perhaps, the longest list of nominees, this category was one of the hardest to choose from. Nevertheless, judges selected a partnership between Barclays, Care and Plan UK with their project Banking on Change as highly commended, stating:

“A unique savings rather than credit-led approach that allows increasing individual savings and financial literacy in undeveloped areas.”

The winner was Interface and Zoological Society of London – Net-Works: delivering social, economic and environmental benefits to the Philippines. The judges gave it the highest appraisals:

“It’s a real social business project, economically successful and one that creates a truly sustainable business model.”

BEST CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT CAMPAIGN (SOCIAL MEDIA AND TRADITIONAL)

Nominees for this category:

CVS Caremark – CVS Quits
Sky – Sky Rainforest Rescue
B&Q – Great British Bee Count – Smart Phone App (B&Q and Friends of the Earth)
Santander – Reduza e Compense CO2
Racold Thermo – Racold Switch2Green
Fashion Revolution – Fashion Revolution

The judges were looking to reward the company that demonstrated how it has chosen a particular issue and campaigned to promote pro-social/greener behaviour via traditional/new media channels. Key indicators were creativity, the importance of the issue(s) chosen and the effectiveness of the campaign through the measurements available.

Although this category wasn’t the longest one, the judges couldn’t limit themselves to selecting just two projects. They decided to pay a tribute to CVS Caremark with its project CVS Quits, justifying their choice by the fact that they were “struck by the boldness of the decision on a major consumer and national issue. It represents an “excellent personal consumer engagement campaign which brings in national leadership.”

Highly Commended in this category was named B&Q – Great British Bee Count – Smart Phone App (B&Q and Friends of the Earth). The judges said of it: “it’s truly a grassroots project, relevant to the business with clear metrics and measurement period. We look forward to learning about the results! Very consumer orientated.”

The Award however went to Santander Brazil – Reduza e Compense CO2.

“Original and tangible public awareness campaign, very much integrated on positive business opportunities, which is also replicable anywhere in the world. The project benefits investors and provides meaning awareness through engagement with citizens” the judges said.

BEST EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

Nominees for this category:

Seventh Generation – LEAD w/Values
Procter & Gamble – Fabric Care
Dell – Dell’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and employee engagement
Bacardi Limited – How Bacardi Limited engages its global employees in sustainability and CR
TD Bank – The 4Hs of Environmental Engagement
The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited – Be an inspiration – HSH Group Corporate Responsibility Video-making contest
Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) – How AB InBev is empowering colleagues to reduce environmental impact across 25 countries and its supply chain
Itau Unibanco – Financial Education at Itau Unibanco: a challenge that begins at home

The judges were looking to reward a company that demonstrated how they engaged with and listened to employees around sustainability policies, and took those ideas on board to refine their sustainability plans, business opportunities and targets.

The Highly Commended company in this case was Seventh Generation. The nominated projects LEAD w/Values was named as “a truly integrated approach with strong learning and benchmarking pillars, also well incentivised by annual bonuses.”

The Winner of this award was Itaú Unibanco with their project Financial Education at Itaú Unibanco: a challenge that begins at home. The award winning project “showed a very clear link back to mainstream business practice. It is a truly integrated engagement on a very crucial issue such as financial literacy.”

BEST PRIVATE COMPANY

Nominees for this category:

Roshan – A Changemaker in 2014
Mars Incorporated
Bankinter – “Tic, Tac, Toe” Sustainability Project
Bacardi Limited – Bacardi Launches Good Spirited; Building a Sustainable Future
SC Johnson – SC Johnson’s journey to zero landfill

This award was aimed at acknowledging the privately-held, unlisted company which has best demonstrated their commitment to embedding sustainable business across. A comprehensive approach, targets across the board and a clear demonstration of top level leadership from the board was vital for this category.

The stakes were high in this category and it was hard to compete with the past Awards winners such as Roshan, Mars Incorporated and SC Johnson.

The Highly Commended was named Roshan – A Changemaker in 2014 as “Roshan is a major economic force in the country with a unique business model that has an effect against all odds.”

Beating all the records, the Award went again to Mars Incorporated for the second consecutive year. “An impressive commitment company, with a number of strong projects across the business” the judges said.

BEST SME

Nominees for this category:

The Mad Monkey Hostel – Social Responsibility As A Core Business Driver
GXT Green – GXT Green and ECOgrade Degradable Bags
Intex Solutions
MBA Polymers – Sustainable Polymer Technology
Elan Hair Design – The UK’s most eco-friendly hair salon

The judges were looking for companies who had created products or services with a clear social/environmental gain alongside a business case. Clear measurable gains rather than pledges to improve were key to winning. Only companies with under 250 employees, that have clearly innovated on sustainability, in 2013 were eligible to enter.

Given a diverse nature of the nominated projects, the judges found it hard to limit themselves on selecting only two nominees. Hence, when announcing the results, the judging committee remarked that “if there was a category for best social enterprise, The Mad Monkey Hostels should have won it. It’s scalable and inspiring.” So The Mad Monkey Hostels received a special mention for their project “Social Responsibility As A Core Business Driver.”

The Highly Commended in this category was Elan Hair Design – The UK’s most eco-friendly hair salon as it’s “a truly compelling business case.”

The Award was given to a company that showed that “sustainability is at the core of their business” and whose “commitment to sustainability is impressive”. In other words, MBA Polymers – Sustainable Polymer Technology.

BEST SUPPLIER ENGAGEMENT

Nominees for this category:

Nestlé – Responsible Sourcing at Nestle
Blackmores – Blackmores Fish Oil Sourcing
Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd (GIIL) – Advisory Function Support of the On-farm Open Source Program
Woolworths – Enterprise development: Farming for the future
Vodafone – best supplier engagement
Lockheed Martin – Lockheed Martin’s Sustainable Supply Chain Management

The award was given to the company that showed clear engagement, both bottom-up and top-down, with suppliers, and was helping suppliers deliver on sustainability goals proactively, and against firm and clear targets.

The Highly Commended in this category was named Woolworths – Enterprise development: Farming for the future. “The project demonstrated a holistic mutually beneficial supplier engagement approach.”

Nestlé’s Responsible Sourcing at Nestlé took the main prize in this category. The judges praised the winning company for making programs very clear and scalable with well-defined standards and targets as well as tracking for now. They also found “Nestlé’s strong commitment to traceability back to source” impressive.

BEST SUSTAINABILITY REPORT

Nominees for this category:

Coca-Cola Icecek – Coca-Cola Icecek 2012 Sustainability Report
H&M – H&M Sustainability Report 2013
The Maersk Group – The Maersk Group’s Sustainability Report 2013
GE – GE Sustainability Report 2013
Legal & General – Housing, Health and Later life matters
Merck – Merck 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report
Nestlé – Nestle in Society: Creating Shared Value and meeting our commitments 2013
Nike – FY12/13 Sustainable Business Performance Summary
Deutsche Telekom – We take responsibility – CR Report 2013
The Co-operative – Sustainability Report 2013

The winner would have to show judges how they are communicating progress whilst being honest about the challenges they face and clear about the business wins their report has achieved for the company. Demonstrating critical stakeholder engagement was a must.

This was a truly hard decision as the judges were debating over the winners for a long time.

The Highly Commended in this category was H&M with their 2013 Sustainability Report. The judges were impressed by their “very clear, honest report. Accessible and easy to extract information.”

The Winner was The Maersk Group with their 2013 Sustainability Report. The judges said that the report showed “good transparency on challenges and achievements. Openly spoken about issues they face with good overview of 2013 performance as well as on their future strategy.”

MOST EFFECTIVE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY INVESTMENT

Nominees for this category:

Aviva – Aviva sets the standard for improving lives whilst tackling climate change
KPMG – KPMG’s BRIGHT Programme
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) – A fair Deal for Sierra Leone
Twinings – Improving Health, Nutrition and Promoting a Protective Environment for Adolescent Girls on Assam Tea Estates
HP – HP LIFE e-Learning
VimpelCom / Mobilink – Improving Literacy in Rural Pakistan
Monsoon – Barabanki Weavers Project
Tetra Pak – Supporting small holder milk farmers in Bangladesh through the Dairy Hub model
The Co-operative – going ‘beyond Fairtrade’

The judges were seeking a winner that demonstrated genuine commitment to vulnerable communities, and has responded to them meaningfully outside their home market. The challenges of measurement were taken into consideration, but the winning entry would have to have demonstrated measurements of effectiveness and the positive results of their community investment work. The Highly Commended in this category was Twinings, with the submitted project Improving Health, Nutrition and Promoting a Protective Environment for Adolescent Girls on Assam Tea Estates.

The judges recommended it as “quite original, innovative project on a very unique topic”. “Strong collaboration with local and regional government was also shown. Judges commended an integrated Phase I + II approach.”

The Awards in this category was given to Mobilink, which is VimpelCom’s operator in Pakistan for their project Improving Literacy in Rural Pakistan. The judges praised it as “a fantastic program, very scalable with tangible results.”

MOST EFFECTIVE DOMESTIC COMMUNITY INVESTMENT

Nominees for this category:

Sky Academy Skills Studios
Mondelez International – Health for Life
Pure Leapfrog – Pure Leapfrog Community Energy Fund – Moving IRR to SRR
TTNET – Internet4All
PT Bumi Resources – The Self-Reliant Villages Program
Turkcell – “Women Empowerment in Economy” (WEE) project
PT Pertamina EP – Community Investment as Competitive Advantage of PT Pertamina EP Subang Field
Tropicalia – The Accidental Girlfriends
Votorantim Metais – The Future in our Hands: a project with a focus on qualification and inclusion of the youth in the labor market

Being able to show how a community investment strategy to the “home” market has resulted in ‘win-win’ outcomes for both parties in the last two-five years was the main criterion for the judges in this award. The company should have clearly demonstrated how investment has benefitted local communities in a long-term and sustainable way.

Surprisingly, in this category both awards went to the Turkish companies. The Highly Commended was TTNET – Internet4All as “the project demonstrated clear benefits for local communities sustainably and in a long term.”

The Winner was Turkcell, for their “Women Empowerment in Economy” (WEE) project as it is “a project of a significant scale with country level outcomes.”

SUSTAINABILITY COMMERCIALISED

Nominees for this category:

B&Q – One planet home program
MBA Polymers – Sustainable Polymer Technology
Natura – SOU: Why do you need what you don’t need?
Wheelabrator – Green Steam Keeps the Linens Clean
Kebony – The Sustainable Alternative To Tropical Hardwood
Ecolab – Ecolab: Partnering to solve global challenges, sustainably
Net-Works – Net-Works: good for people, the environment and business
GXT Green – GXT Green ECOgrade Degradable, Sustainable, Carryout bags
PureCircle – Empowering the food and beverage industry to drive down impacts through sustainable “better-for-you” ingredient choice

The winner needed to have shown how they created a definitive new product or service from sustainability/CR thinking, but also demonstrated exactly how it has been incorporated into mainstream business thinking across the company.

B&Q seemed to be the judges’ favourite as they were named The Highly Commended in this category as well with their project One planet home program. The judges called it a “unique program offering considerable environmental and commercial benefits.”

The Award went to a stevia producer PureCircle for their project which empowers the food and beverage industry to drive down impacts through sustainable “better-for-you” ingredient choice. “A commercially successful project, important nutrition wise with strong environmental performance” – the judges said.

HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY OF THE YEAR

Nominees for this category:

Wembley Stadium,  James Huartson
B&Q,  Matt Sexton
YES BANK,  Namita Vikas
Natura Ecoparque,  Denise Alves
PureCircle,  Ajay Chandran

This award would go to the head of sustainability or corporate responsibility who has effectively managed risk, and has also shown how sustainability/CSR related opportunities can be seized by companies and integrated into their business offerings and operations.

This year Head of Sustainability Award was given to Matt Sexton at B&Q. The judges said “Matt Sexton has done the work that everyone is encouraged to do. A very comprehensive approach to sustainability has been demonstrated.”

CEO OF THE YEAR

Nominees for this category:

Seventh Generation,  John Replogle
ITC Hotels,  Nakul Anand
Roshan,  Karim Khoja
Yes Bank,  Rana Kapoor
Zip Xpress,  Dina McKnight
Southwest Airlines,  Gary Kelly

The judges were looking for the business leader who has clearly shown they have led their company effectively in the last 12-18 months on sustainability/CSR issues. The winner needed to demonstrate a clear grasp of both the issues and the need to commit to managing the unknown towards real targets, which demonstrates both sector and individual leadership.

CEO of the year was awarded Rana Kapoor from Yes Bank as “Mr Kapoor has been very vocal about promoting responsible banking in India. This is an excellent model for CEOs today across all industry sectors.”

THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

This award is for the individual that has dedicated their long career to sustainability/CSR and has a considerable track record of success. They have have been a catalyst for real, proven change. This award was non-entry. This year the Award was given to Mary Robinson.

“Throughout her lifetime, Mary Robinson has embodied the entire spectrum of sustainability, championing economic, social and environmental issues, whether during her time served as President of Ireland, as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, or as recently nominated UN special envoy for climate change.”

Ethical Corporation would like to thank the winners and all nominees in participating in this year’s Responsible Business Awards and serving as a great example of making responsible business possible.

For more information about the awards, the judges, the shortlist or the dinner ceremony, contact Elina Yumasheva in London at  elina.yumasheva@ethicalcorp.com  or on +44 (0) 207 375 7573 or visit www.ethicalcorp.com

 

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