Socially Responsible SMEs to enter BITC Awards

Socially Responsible SMEs to enter BITC Awards for ExcellenceSmall businesses that can demonstrate outstanding corporate social responsibility (CSR) are being called on to enter Business in the Community’s (BITC) 2010 Awards for Excellence.

Small firms can enter any of the 15 main award categories. There is also a specific category for firms with less than 250 employees — the Small Company of the Year Award.

Categories include the Talent Award, the Healthy Workplace Award, the Bank of America Climate Change Award and the Active Communities Award.

Businesses that can prove their CSR programme has had a positive impact will receive a Big Tick, a nationally recognised logo which they can use on their websites, marketing materials and letterheads. Between three and five businesses in each category will then be shortlisted for the overall awards, the Examples of Excellence.

“At a time when many companies are cutting back, it is vital that we continue to celebrate those which recognise that their CSR activities are just as important now as ever,”

said BITC spokeswoman, Clare Haines

“Our winners tell us that the application process is a valuable tool for evaluating the work they have been doing, and provides a template for their programme development.

“On average, we receive around 350 entries to the awards each year, which result in approximately 35 to 40 per cent receiving a Big Tick,” she added. “The size of the company is taken into account — for example, a company with only ten employees that managed to provide 1,000 hours of employee volunteering for a local cause is a much higher level of achievement than a company with 100 employees achieving the same level of activity.”

Entrants to all categories must be able to show evidence of the impact they are having on the community or environment, prove that the programme could be replicated and demonstrate a clear business case for the activity.

The 2009 winner of the Small Company of the Year Award was Redeem, which provided educational programmes to 6,000 schools, developed a scheme to recycle goods from major retailers in exchange for loyalty rewards, and developed partnerships with nine charities.

The closing date for entries is 5th March 2010. The Examples of Excellence winners will be announced in July 2010.

For more information and to enter the awards, visit the BITC website

Socially Responsible SMEs to enter BITC Awards

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