It is widely agreed that our planet is facing a climate emergency and increasingly society expect companies to lead and address social and environmental challenges. This award acknowledges businesses that have embraced innovative opportunities to develop a sustainable model for the future. Being socially responsible is not just good for society it can also benefit a firm’s performance. Recent studies show that more than 90 per cent of consumers expect businesses to operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues.

With an ever-growing amount of people actively seeking out responsible products wherever possible. It can also help employers to attract and retain the best staff. Many employees want to feel that when they go to their place of work, they’re part of something that is making a positive impression on their community.

Social responsibility empowers people to leverage the corporate resources at their disposal to do good. Being part of a strategy that helps the greater good can boost employee morale and lead to greater productivity in the workforce. The finalists in this category underline how the drive to maximise profit can be balanced by approaches that stress positive social and environmental impact.

Business academics warn that if sustainability remains a marketing message rather than being deeply rooted in an organisation’s culture,  companies risk losing the trust of staff, the public and investors. If you were to sum up the one characteristic that our finalists embody to their customers it would be the word “authenticity”. This is important because a business claiming one thing and operating in another way will eventually find itself in an unsustainable position. All the three finalists in this category have shown social responsibility at the heart of what they do.

York Press: