Retailers Marks & Spencer, Boots and Morrisons were winners at the Business in the Community’s annual responsible businesses awards ceremony in London last night.
The awards were presented in the presence of Business in the Community President HRH the Prince of Wales and an audience of almost 1,000 of some of the most high profile names in business.
Taking the biggest prize of the night was Marks & Spencer, which was named Responsible Business of the Year. This is the third time Marks & Spencer has won this prestigious award, which it received for putting significant energy behind Plan A, its vision to become the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015.
Paul Drechsler, chairman and chief executive, Wates Group, the outgoing Responsible Business of the Year, said: “Marks & Spencer has achieved ambitious goals over the last five years since they launched Plan A, showing us all how a company can robustly embed sustainability into the heart of how it does business. The judges wanted to recognise the scale of achievement of Plan A and were impressed with how brave M&S has been in doing this openly in the public domain. And the journey does not stop here. We have no doubt that they will continue to raise the bar for responsible business in the years ahead.”
Morrisons was named winner of the Workplace Talent and Skills Award and highly commended in the Bank of America Education Award.
Boots won the Channel 4 Work Inspiration Award for its work experience programme, which has involved over 5,000 young people in the last three years.
Stephen Howard, chief executive of Business in the Community, said: “The winners of our Awards for Excellence are companies who have gone the extra mile to embed responsibility into the heart of their business. They all understand that the mutual benefit of being a responsible business means it is possible to transform business and transform communities at the same time. Our winners are strong examples of how business can be a force for good.”
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, BITC is one of the largest and most influential responsible business charities and the awards celebrate those companies who have shown innovation, creativity and a sustained commitment to corporate responsibility.
In recognition of the 2012 awards theme of excellence, guest were joined by Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes and Paralympian Liz Johnson.. The event was hosted by Suggs and BBC journalist Mishal Husain at London’s Old Billingsgate Market and was supported by Wates Construction.
Awards in numbers
With all national and regional award entries combined, BITC received 335 entries in 2012. 87 entries resulted in National Big Tick awards and 53 of these were shortlisted for the finals within their category. 105 companies had their 2010/2011 national Big Ticks reaccredited this year.
For full details and case studies of all the 2012 Awards for Excellence winners, visit www.bitc.org.uk/awards