Natura, The Co-Operative, Western Union, Roshan, Mars, Unilever and Vodafone are among the winners revealed last night at Ethical Corporation's Responsible Business Awards ceremony in Central London

London, 25 June 2013

Last night, nearly 250 of the world's leading responsible business experts gathered at Ethical Corporation's Fourth Annual Responsible Business Awards ceremony in Central London.

Close to 300 entries were received this year, coming from virtually every sector, and from all over the world, proving that sustainable business is no longer the preserve of the northern hemisphere developed world.

The judges were looking for entries that represented real, lasting change.

These awards aimed to recognize the companies and NGOs who are leading the pack in tackling global challenges seriously, communicating honestly and authentically about those challenges, and accelerating the pace of the changes that are so urgently needed to place the world on a more sustainable footing.

"This evening was a celebration of organisations doing exactly that, and anyone on our shortlist should be incredibly proud of their efforts." says Toby Webb, Founder of Ethical Corporation.

And the winners were...

Best employee engagement Award

Nominees for this category:

  • Carillion
  • Coloplast
  • Grainger
  • Life Technologies
  • No-vartis International
  • PTT Global Chemical
  • Western Union

In this category, the judges were looking for a genuine two-way dialogue which had lead to meaningful change within an organization.

The Highly Commended company was Coloplast. Had they provided more evidence, the judges said that they may well have awarded them winner for this category.

The winner of this award was Western Union. The judges praised the winning company for taking employee engagement to the next level. They were especially impressed by the Western Union’s employee 'shared value' competition, and the fact that it yielded no less than 71 ideas - from employees around the world - which were then turned into businesses.

Sustainability Commercialized Award

Nominees for this category:

  • Novartis Arogya Parivar
  • Roshan
  • Santander, Brazil
  • Turk Telekom
  • Union of Agricultural Cooperative of Messinia
  • UPM
  • Wala
  • Western Union

In this category, the judges were looking for an organization who could most clearly demonstrate how they have incorporated responsible business and sustainability thinking into commercial objectives

The highly commended company for this category was UPM. The judges were impressed by UPM's ambitious target to generate over 50% of their sales from growth businesses – including developing the world’s first bio-refinery - by 2020.

The winner was Roshan. The judges praised them for rolling out a commercial platform in Afghanistan and successfully incorporating this new product into their mainstream business-thinking. By creating this ‘mobile money’ product, Roshan has not only made it easier for rural populations to have banking access, they have also helped reduce corruption and re-establish trust in the banking sector.

Best Supplier Engagement Award

The 10 nominees for this category were:

  • BT
  • George
  • HP
  • Natura
  • Nestle
  • Pepsico
  • Skanska
  • The Body Shop
  • The Co-Operative
  • Unilever

The judges were looking for a progressive company that shows clear engagement with suppliers, and which is helping suppliers deliver on sustainability goals pro-actively.

Nestlé was chosen as the highly commended company in this category. The judges were impressed by the sheer scale of this company’s efforts to roll out a responsible sourcing approach across their whole supply chain. They also commend Nestlé for having developed an in-depth partnership on palm oil in Indonesia, with The Forest Trust and Greenpeace.

The winner for this award was Natura. They demonstrated a comprehensive ambition to work with their suppliers by engaging them to assess their own social, economic and environmental costs. The judges felt that this achievement alone makes Natura a game-changer in supplier engagement.

Best NGO Campaign Award

The 4 nominees were:

  • - for the ‘Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline’ campaign
  • The Environmental Justice Foundation - for their ‘Save the Sea’ campaign
  • First Peoples Worldwide - for their campaign on ‘Building the case for ethical investing with indigenous Peoples’
  • WWF-US - for their ‘Don’t flush tiger forests’ campaign

The winner was for their Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline. Keystone XL is the hugely-controversial, proposed oil-pipeline that would transport crude oil extracted from tar sands in Canada through to the US Gulf coast for refining.

Campaigners have two principal concerns. First that the pipeline cuts through many environmentally sensitive areas, where the result of a leakage could be catastrophic.

And second that developing tar sand oil is damaging not only where it is extracted but also everywhere else when the resulting fuel is burned.

The pipeline plans have yet to be fully approved in Washington and campaigners have fought hard to get their concerns a wide audience -including a mass-picket at the White House in February which resulted in heavy news coverage as some famous, celebrity faces were publicly arrested for climate campaigning.

Ethical Corporation congratulates for taking climate campaigning to a new level.

Best Consumer Engagement Campaign Award

The 6 nominees were:

  • Cotton Made in Africa
  • Neal’s Yard Remedies
  • Sky
  • Standard Chartered
  • Taylor Guitars
  • Tesco, Poland

For this category, the judges expected the winner to show how they have engaged consumers with a positive social or environmental message or campaign.

The winner for this award was Neal's Yard Remedies. The judges praised the companu for a meaningful campaign which raised awareness about a very real environmental issue which impacts their own business as well as many other industries.

Best Business-NGO Partnership Award

The nominees for this category were:

  • AstraZeneca and Plan Young Health - for their ‘Young Health Programme’
  • Bio-Regional and B&Q - for their ‘One Planet Home’ programme
  • Ferrovial - for their ‘Social Infrastructure Programme’
  • HP & Clinton Health Access Initiative - for their programme on ‘Early Infant diagnosis of HIV and other diseases’
  • The Co-Operative & CARE International - for their ‘’ project
  • Sainsbury’s & Comic Relief - for their ‘Red Nose Day’ programme
  • UNEP FI / Global Canopy Programme / FGV - for their ‘Natural Capital Declaration’ programme

In this category, the winner will have shown clear commitment to a long-term, mutually-beneficial partnership that can demonstrate real social/environmental and governance gains for society.

Highly commended for this category are B&Q and Bioregional’s for their One Planet Home Partnership. The judges were impressed by how they managed to embed sustainability successfully across their business and made substantial changes to their core product as a result.

The winning partnership was HP & Clinton Access Initiative. HP used their unique technological advantage to successfully tackle an important health issue. The judges were impressed by how they used their core-competency to generate positive and meaningful change on a large scale, outside their own business sphere.

Best B2B Partnership Award

The nominees were:

• Coca-Cola Enterprises & ECO Plastics – ‘Continuum Recycling’

• Life Technologies & Kimberly-Clark – ‘RightCycle program’

• The Co-Operative Enterprise – ‘The Co-Operative Hub’

• Unilever & Vodafone – ‘ECOTAB app’

The winner of this category will have shown clear commitment to a long-term, mutually beneficial collaboration which can demonstrate real commercial benefits and social/environmental/governance gains for society.

The Co-Operative were highly commended in this category.The judges were impressed by their commitment to their UK community through a hub offering free, tailored business support from experienced advisers to business groups, budding entrepreneurs and co-operatives.

The winner was the ECOTAB App partnership between Unilever and Vodafone. The judges rated this winning partnership as truly transformational and expect it will change the way supply chains operate in the future. Together, the two companies developed a technology to connect small- holder farmers with the world’s largest tea company and adopt agronomical best practices to ultimately improve livelihoods.

Best Domestic Community Investment Award

The nominees were:

  • Bank of America, Merrill Lynch
  • City of London
  • Coca Cola Enterprises
  • Fundo Vale
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Sky
  • The Co-Operative
  • Virgin Media

The highly commended company for this award is Virgin Media. The judges were impressed by the sheer scale of Virgin Media's community investment. 10 Million Dollars was committed to the future of young entrepreneurs, to encourage innovation and the development of young talent across the UK – the investment has now been extended to 30 Million Dollars.

The winner for this category was The Co-Operative. They impressed the judges by developing a community investment programme which tackles an important societal issue, and is in line with their core ethical plan. The program had a significant, and measurable impact on young people in the UK such as the employment of 1,200 apprentices.

Best International Community Investment Award

The nominees were:

  • Alliance Boots
  • Anglo-American
  • Export Development, Canada
  • Ferrovial
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Mondelez
  • Telefonica
  • The Co-Operative
  • Standard Chartered
  • Western Union

The winner of this award will have demonstrated how community investment work outside their home market has benefitted a community or communities in a meaningful, measureable way.

The highly commended company for this award was Mondelez. The judges felt that the reach and the breadth of their commitment was extraordinary. Mondelez have dedicated 400 Million dollars (over 10 years) to improve the lives of 200,000 cocoa farmers around the world.

The winner was Alliance Boots. They created a unique and challenging programme which the judges felt was impressive and unusual in terms of philanthropy. Alliance Boots has developed a computer system to help further cancer research. As a result of this initiative, more patients are surviving.

Sustainability Report of the Year Award

The nominees for this category were:

  • Alcoa
  • Coca Cola Enterprises
  • Export Development Canada
  • GE
  • Lego
  • Natura
  • Sainsbury’s
  • The Co-Operative
  • WPP

This category is sponsored by Credit 360.

This year’s highly commended company is GE. The judges felt that GE’s sustainability report was engaging and made good use of different communication channels.

The winner for this award was The Co-Operative. The company showed signs of a comprehensive and honest sustainability report, which engaged widely with the stakeholder community and set clear targets.

Best SME Award

The nominees were

  • Eco Recycling
  • Elan Hair Design
  • Elin Appliances
  • Forster Communications
  • Imagem Corporativa
  • Kebony

For this category, the judges were looking for the company with under 250 employees that has clearly 'innovated' on sustainability in 2012.

The highly commended company was Elan Hair Design. The judges were impressed by the way Elan makes the smallest shop in the high street as eco-friendly as possible - quite an achievement, considering the huge environmental impact of the average hair salon.

The winner was Kebony. They stood out by offering an innovative product which tackles a major challenge faced by society: the huge negative impacts of tropical hardwood production on rainforests.

Best Private Company Award

The nominees were:

  • Alliance Boots
  • Mars
  • National Commercial Bank
  • New Balance
  • SC Johnson
  • Tetra Pak

The judges were looking for a comprehensive approach to embedding sustainability targets and a clear demonstration of leadership from the board and owners of the business.

The official sponsor for this category is Firmenich.

Tetra Pak were highly commended for this category. The judges were impressed with this company’s comprehensive forward looking targets. However, they would have liked to see more evidence of top management buy-in.

The winner was Mars. They developed a sustainable sourcing practice for cocoa in Africa and has trained local farmers to yield 80% of the crop from 20% of the cocoa trees. Beyond the business gains of this strategy, the judges recognize that this is a huge achievement towards sustainable sourcing of cocoa around the world.

Head of Sustainability of the Year Award

The nominees were:

  • Paul Wright - from Asda
  • Matthias Leisinger - from Kuoni
  • Hannah Jones - from Nike
  • Shainoor Koja - from Roshan
  • Andy Wales - from SABMiller
  • Paul Monaghan - from The Co-Operative

The Head of Sustainability of the year, 2013 is Andy Wales from SABMiller.

SABMiller is one of the world’s leading brewers - with more than 200 beer brands and some 70,000 employees in over 75 countries.

Andy Wales is a leading thinker in how companies should be linking resource-use (particularly water use) to the long-term sustainability of business-models and how better resource-use will help product innovation and encourage local suppliers.

The winner is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a London Sustainable Development Commissioner and a member of the Global Agenda Council on Water Scarcity.

CEO of the year Award

The winner for this category was Natura's CEO Allessandro Carlucci.

With a turnover in 2012 of $3.2 billion, over 6,000 employees and 1.2 million consultant re-sellers, this Latin American cosmetics company has always had strong environmental and social commitments.

Their CEO has been at the forefront of the company’s sustainability initiatives throughout his career. He joined the company in 1989, straight from business school, and worked across the organisation. In 2005 he was appointed CEO, just one year after the company went public.

Natura works with a wide variety of suppliers, large and small and engages with villages and communities in the Amazon who supply crucial base ingredients for some of the companies products.

The CEO’s stated aim has been to gain ingredients from the unique biodiversity in the Amazon, but in a sustainable way – that is not damaging to Amazonian ecosystems and which benefits the local farmers.

Natura works to engage its suppliers in improving their social and environmental performance. It has established several focus areas, including: water, sustainable entrepreneurship, climate change, solid waste, quality in relationships, and socio-biodiversity in the Amazon region.

For such environmental and social programmes to be successful needs strong leadership and direction, something that the Natura’s CEO clearly provides.


For more info about next year's Ethical Corporation Awards, please contact Ethical Corporation on +44 (0) 207 375 7508 or on

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