THE Co-operative Bank and Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) are celebrating after scooping three accolades at this year's UK Sustainability Reporting Awards, organised by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
CIS and the bank were both given top awards, in recognition of their reports on the economic, social and environmental impacts of their activities.
The Co-operative Bank Partnership Report was the winner, for the third consecutive year, of the premier sustainability reporting award, with the judges commending it as "an example of a comprehensive and complete report with an impressive depth of coverage of all issues: economic; environmental and social".
The bank also received a commendation for the electronic version of its report, with the judges saying that they were particularly impressed by the attention given to issues of accessibility and usability including the downloadable summaries in seven languages.
CIS was declared joint winner of the Social Report Award, for the second time in three years, with the judges drawing attention to how it addresses the core business issue of investing responsibly.
The Awards for Environmental, Social and Sustainability Reporting were presented by Environment Minister Elliot Morley MP. All report entries were judged by an expert panel, including Department of Environment Farming and Rural Affairs and Department for Trade and Industry officials, auditors and academics.
The Chair of Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) Sustainability Steering Group, Ken Lewis, Resources Director, CFS, said: "We are proud of our achievements and this is once again a notable milestone for the Co-operative Bank and CIS. However this is the last time that the bank and CIS could win any reporting awards separately!
"From this year we will be publishing a consolidated CFS Sustainability Report for the two organisations and will take forward the highest standards from each. This move is another example of the positive changes that have been taking place since the formation of CFS, and will reinforce our overall market position."
Andrew Harding, Executive Director ACCA UK, said: "ACCA is pleased to have received so many strong entries for this year's UK Awards which recognise that sustainability reporting helps all stakeholders to gauge non-financial risk and identify poor performance.
"If used properly, non-financial reporting also helps organisations to control weaknesses and minimise the risk of ethical misconduct.
"There is, however, a long way to go, as many more organisations should be reporting in this way."
Pictured above? The Sustainability team and their awards (l-r): Jo Healy, Social Accountability Manager; Paul Monaghan, Head of Sustainable Development; Jos Mister, Sustainability Adviser; John Sheerin, Head of Procurement and Supplier Management; Simon Williams, Director, Corporate Affairs and Sarah Hunt, Environment Manager.