CO-OPERATIVE Financial Services has beaten off some 2,000 companies from around the globe to take the coveted award for the world's best sustainability report.
The biennial benchmark of the world's best sustainability reports, commissioned by the United Nations Environment Programme, ranks CFS' first such report, published in May this year, as number one.
This is not the first such win. When the benchmark was last published in 2002, the Co-operative Bank ? which now with its sister company Co-operative Insurance Society makes up CFS ? had its Partnership Report also ranked number one.
Mervyn Pedelty, Chief Executive of CFS, said: `All of us at CFS can be very proud of this achievement because it recognises the work of every single member of CFS staff ? whether it is through their efforts to maintain our ethical and environmental progress or their unstinting drive to make relationships with all our stakeholders as productive as possible.
`It is even more remarkable when you consider that a number of countries now have a mandatory requirement for businesses to produce such reports and many companies have responded in an innovative manner in order to fulfil this obligation.`
CFS is virtually the only company in the world to adopt a totally transparent approach to lobbying and this was a factor in its sustainabilty report being the only one to receive a score of 70 per cent plus from the benchmarkers.
Under the heading of `Influence and Action` in every relevant section of the 90 page Sustainability Report, CFS clearly states the lobbying position it has adopted on various issues.
Added Mr Pedelty: `A great deal of the good CSR work undertaken by many companies is undermined by allegations of hypocrisy. By openly disclosing where they stand on each material issue, and submitting this to external audit, companies could robustly counter these allegations.`