The Midcounties Co-operative awarded national CR accolade

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L-r: Pete Westall, Ben Reid (both Midcounties Co-operative), Ben Irving, a Teenage Cancer Trust ambassador, Tom Marshall, head of partnership fundraising at Teenage Cancer Trust, and Adrian Wilkinson, group general manager for The Midcounties Co-operative Pharmacy

L-r: Pete Westall, Ben Reid (both Midcounties Co-operative), Ben Irving, a Teenage Cancer Trust ambassador, Tom Marshall, head of partnership fundraising at Teenage Cancer Trust, and Adrian Wilkinson, group general manager for The Midcounties Co-operative Pharmacy

The Midcounties Co-operative has been awarded a coveted 4.5 star rating in Business in the Community’s annual benchmark of responsible business, the Corporate Responsibility Index (CR Index), rising from 4 stars in 2014 and achieving a score of 98% against a national average of 91%.

The CR Index is a robust benchmarking tool which has helped hundreds of companies measure and manage the progress they are making to integrate responsible business practice into their mainstream business at all levels.

The sought after 4.5 star rating, which few businesses have achieved, recognises the Society’s commitment to supporting and developing the communities in which it trades.

The Society has been praised for distributing over £1.5m in charity and community investment, including £550,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust, and for providing support to over 10,000 community groups in 2014.

The CR Index also recognises businesses who have excelled in environmental activity and rewarded The Midcounties Co-operative for its outstanding success in reducing energy consumption by 10 percent since 2009 and increasing the percentage of its waste that is recycled from 21 percent to 83 percent during the same time period. In total, the Society has made staggering eco efficiency savings of over £1 million.

The enhanced 4.5 star accreditation comes after The Midcounties Co-operative won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development last week for its ongoing commitment to sustainability.

Pete Westall, group general manager for Co-operative social responsibility, said: “The Midcounties Co-operative is committed to bringing our members and colleagues together to provide impactful and sustainable support for local community groups. We are extremely proud of everyone who helped us to achieve this outstanding rating and to make a lasting difference in the areas where we do business.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our services through initiatives such as volunteering, community grants and training programmes and we hope to increase our impact on local communities and the environment even further over the course of 2015.”

Analysis of the 2015 CR Index data suggests that significant progress is being made to shift responsible business up the corporate agenda with an increase in companies taking social and environmental issues into account when developing new products and making investments.

Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: “The 2015 CR Index shows us that we are moving in the right direction and companies are now increasingly integrating responsible business practice into decision making right across the business. To truly change business culture, companies need to engage their people to embrace a different way of doing business with responsible values at the core. So it is especially encouraging this year that we have seen a significant increase in the representation of corporate responsibility, both at board level and amongst the generation of future leaders that will shape the businesses of tomorrow.

“I congratulate The Midcounties C-operative for achieving its ranking and look forward to working together to create a fairer society and a more sustainable future.”