03/12/2004

Firms invited to enter Business In The Community's Awards

Firms across the UK are being invited to apply for Business in the Community's Awards for Excellence 2005.

The awards represent an opportunity for both large and small companies to receive nationwide recognition for the impact of their commitment to responsible business practice.

Business in the Community's "Big Tick" Awards for Excellence are among the most prestigious responsibility awards in the UK. Rigorously assessed and independently assured they have become a powerful benchmark of good corporate practice. They recognise companies for integrating responsible business practice into their mainstream operations resulting in a positive impact in the workplace, the marketplace, the environment or the community.

The Minister of Corporate Social Responsibility, Nigel Griffiths, attending Business in the Community's annual general meeting, paid tribute to the work of the group's members. He said Business in the Community was "leading its members in the drive to make responsible business practice an integral part of the way we do business both here in the UK and wherever we operate in the world".

"That of course includes the sort of business practice which Business in the Community's Awards for Excellence celebrate. I'm very pleased that the Department of Trade and Industry has been supporting the Awards since they started seven years ago and we are continuing that relationship for 2005," the Minister said.

The awards, now in their eighth year, are the primary means by which Business in the Community identifies, celebrates and shares good practice in corporate responsibility.

Marks & Spencer Chief Executive Stuart Rose said: "I am delighted to launch the Awards for Excellence 2005 and call upon companies, large and small, to enter. The process of assessment is a rigorous check on performance, and the Big Tick, awarded to successful companies, is now a powerful tool for communicating organisational and brand values."

Those companies that demonstrate a high standard of excellence in the way they organise and integrate responsible business practices will be awarded a 'Big Tick'.

Urging any companies with a story to tell of a positive impact on communities to enter the awards, Julia Cleverdon, the Chief Executive of Business in the Community, said that the 2005 awards would have a special focus on how companies could share and spread the good practice, knowledge and learning that the Big Tick companies had acquired.

In 2004, there were 138 recipients of the endorsement logo from across the UK representing many differing business sectors.

(SP)

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