As the Responsible Business Awards in Wales 2015 are launched, Rosie Sweetman, Director of Business in the Community Wales, reflects on the stories from 2014.
The Responsible Business Awards in Wales highlight and celebrate best practice in the field of responsible business. What was clear from the brilliant stories coming out of the 2014 programme was that there are many businesses in Wales who get it.
Enter the Responsible Business Awards in Wales 2015 now.
They understand the business case for being responsible and they know exactly how their business benefits.
Following by example
Our Awards ensure applicants have to think about the business case for what they are doing – just like they do in their day job.
They need to, as the team from GD Environmental did, think about their plans for strategic growth and how tackling their waste and identifying staff development opportunities helped to support that. Hopeful applicants in 2015 will want to consider the example set by Wales & West Utilities and their commitment, across their company, to managing, measuring and effectively resourcing their work with customers and stakeholder groups of all shapes and sizes.
Businesses thinking about the 2015 Awards programme might want to look at the P&A Group and how personal and professional development opportunities for their Managing Director, Steve Morgan, were aligned with the mentoring needs of a then struggling social enterprise – which has since gone from strength to strength.
Clear business case
In all these examples, and in many others in our 2014 Awards case study library, the business case is central to the success not only of the Award entry, but also to delivering the stated commercial aims of the business.
Our judges, who are all drawn from the Welsh business community, look for this business case. They review, scrutinise and debate the integration between what the company is doing in the field of responsible business and why they are doing it – what is the driver, what will the impact be on the bottom line or staff morale?
With this strong emphasis on a clear business case, the Awards can be quite testing. BITC asks for a lot of qualitative and quantitative data and all of the applications are debated and in some cases argued over by the judges!
But with this challenging process comes a robustness. The Responsible Business Awards that BITC runs across the UK every year are the longest-running peer-assessed awards which focus on responsible business and so we don’t hand out trophies easily!
A successful Award entry needs to go beyond ‘just good work’ and needs to clearly set out the commercial reasons for being involved in a particular project or programme and tells the story of what, how and why the company is doing what they are doing.
And by working with our applicants and helping them to tell these stories, we hope to inspire more companies in Wales to think about their business case for being responsible and make a positive difference to the challenges we face as a nation.