Co-ops nominated for Responsible Business Awards

The Southern Co-operative and Midcounties Co-operative have been nominated for a Responsible Business Award recognising their work towards creating innovative and sustainable business practices that improve their communities,...

The Southern Co-operative and Midcounties Co-operative have been nominated for a Responsible Business Award recognising their work towards creating innovative and sustainable business practices that improve their communities, workplaces and the environment.

The awards, now in their nineteenth year, are run by Business in the Community and The Prince of Wales’ Responsible Business Network. The Southern Co-operative’s Bereavement Centre is nominated in The Experian Building Stronger Communities Award category and described as a “commendable submission, addressing a clear societal need”.

The Bereavement Centre provides one-to-one counselling, support groups and memorial services to the public free of charge. It also offers free training or education to community partnership groups like hospices, hospitals and charities.

Co-operatives: the ultimate responsible business?

The Bereavement Centre counsellors. L-R: Janet Quintavalle, Ingrid McAllister-Derry and Gary Orchard [photo: Southern Co-operative]
The Bereavement Centre counsellors. L-R: Janet Quintavalle, Ingrid McAllister-Derry and Gary Orchard [photo: Southern Co-operative]
Steve Pearce, chief operating officer for end of life services at the Southern Co-operative said: “The service has helped to improve the lives of thousands of individuals in our communities who have suffered loss and also educated multiple organisations and professionals who in turn are putting their training into practice to help those who are bereaved. It is a service that we are extremely proud of at the Southern Co-operative and hope to continue to expand the service over the coming years.”

The Bereavement Centre supported almost 7,000 bereaved people between January 2014 and December 2015 while educating a further 4,000 in how to help those who are grieving.

After recognition in last year’s awards, Midcounties Co-operative has this year been re-accredited for continuing its efforts towards being a responsible business. It has worked to reduce energy consumption and waste, increase recycling, and develop a successful low carbon energy business.

It gained further recognition for continuing to support local foodbanks, improved access to defibrillators and encouraging employees to get involved in volunteering.

midcounties logoAdditionally, Cargill Coop Academy is nominated for the Unilever Inspiring Young Talent Award. Launched in the Ivory Coast, the programme aims to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers as well as increasing productivity. It comprises of management training and support for agricultural co-operatives.

Business in the Community received 297 entries for the awards, shortlisted 103 and re-accredited a further 82 organisations.

All the coverage from Responsible Business Week 2016

The awards announcement coincides with Responsible Business Week 2016, which runs from 18-22 April. Stephen Howard, chief executive of Business in the Community said: “We know that every day businesses contribute towards more resilient communities, stimulate local economies, help to create skilled and healthy workforces and tackle environmental challenges. But more companies need to share these ideas and actions to grow the responsible business movement in the UK and abroad, which is why we launched Responsible Business Week.

“[The awards] shortlist represents the very best of business. Celebrating their stories helps raise awareness of business as a powerful force for good.”

The finalists have been invited to present to a judging panel on 12 May. The winners will be announced at a gala event at the 02 in London on 11 July.

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