Yorkshire firms shortlisted for prestigious awards programme backed by HRH The Prince of Wales

Several Yorkshire businesses are celebrating after making it onto the shortlist for the most prestigious awards programme, championing responsible business in the UK and abroad.

Driven by the charity Business in the Community (BITC), HRH The Prince of Wales’ Responsible Business Network, the 2016 Responsible Business Awards celebrate inspiring examples of businesses that are making a significant difference by taking action to improve their local communities, create more inclusive workplaces and tackle environmental challenges.

The announcement coincides with Responsible Business Week (18-22 April 2016), an annual campaign to increase awareness of and showcase the positive contribution made by businesses up and down the country to society.

Skipton Building Society has been shortlisted for the Experian Building Stronger Communities Award (in recognition of Sir John Peace), Leeds-based bmJV has been shortlisted for the Bupa Wellbeing at Work Award, while St Leger Homes of Doncaster has been shortlisted for the Championing an Ageing Workforce Award.

Skipton Building Society launched a scheme to contribute to help people plan for life after retirement. Using online forums and a database of resources, the company is giving people of all ages a platform to find information and share experiences.

Its portal ‘Retiresavvy’, which works in partnership with Relate, Age UK and Dementia Awareness, reaches approximately 40,000 people every week through Facebook, with a further 10,000 users visiting the website each month.

A joint venture of BAM Nuttall Ltd and Morgan Sindall, bmJV increased awareness of health, safety and wider wellbeing issues through a series of training initiatives, including free health checks and a ‘Safety Incentive Scheme’ rewarding good practice each month with a £25 voucher and £50 donation to the winner’s chosen charity.

The programme has seen improved employee engagement and empowerment to challenge safety issues, while on bmJV’s highways project, no shifts were lost throughout 2015, a saving of around £210,000.

St Leger Homes’ workforce is made up of an increasing number of people aged 50 and over, many of whom have increased caring responsibilities and need to work reduced or more flexible hours.

The company introduced a ‘New Directions’ programme to help staff retrain and work flexibly, which has helped to deliver an improved quality of life, build confidence, and contribute to the local economy. The company has also saved an estimated £26k in recruitment costs by supporting older employees to continue working.

Liz Needleman, area director, England East, Business in the Community, said: “Now more than ever, business has a vital role to play in helping to tackle the societal challenges we face in our communities, schools, workplaces and the environment.

“But responsible business is not simply about ticking the CSR box for companies; done effectively, as shown by Skipton Building Society, bmJV and St Leger Homes, it also makes for healthier communities and ultimately more successful businesses.

“Through the Responsible Business Awards, we aim to celebrate and shine a light on this fantastic and inspiring work, showcasing how businesses can be an influential force for positive change.

“We commend all the Yorkshire companies for their commitment to this.”

Shortlisted companies will be recognised at the Yorkshire & Humber Responsible Business Gala Dinner sponsored by Asda and Provident Financial, and taking place on the 16 June at Elland Road Stadium. The companies then chosen as finalists will be invited to present their programmes to an expert board level judging panel, and the overall winners will be announced at BITC’s Annual Responsible Business Gala at the O2 in London on 11 July, hosted by Fujitsu (2015 Responsible Business of the Year).

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