FAQ: What are the Responsible Business Awards?

December 5, 2016 Maria Janjua

What issues do the Awards cover How are the Awards assessed | What levels of achievement are there?

The Responsible Business Awards is the longest-running, most highly-regarded awards programme for responsible business.  Run by Business in the Community, it is open to organisations of all sizes and sectors, and each year recognises and celebrates the best in responsible business practice and CSR in the UK and internationally.  A robust assessment process, carried out by industry experts, make this one of the most trusted awards programmes in existence.

This is the twentieth year the Awards have been running; previously to 2013 they were known as the Awards for Excellence, and also by the name of one of the endorsements, the "Big Tick".

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What issues do the Awards cover?

The Awards cover the issues that Business in the Community has identified as being most important to the aim of building a fairer society and a more sustainable future.  The full list of Awards running this year can be found on the Awards category index; each is focused around one or more of our areas of ambition: environment, employment, education, enterprise and employees.  There are also three categories for companies having an impact internationally, the Unilever Global Development Award, supported by Business Fights Poverty, the UPS International Disaster Relief and Resilience Award, supported by the UK Department for International Development and the Fujitsu Award for Responsible Business in a Digital Age.

Additionally, our Responsible Business of the Year Award is open to companies that display outstanding practice across multiple issues throughout their business.

If your organisation's activity relates solely to race and/or gender equality, please look instead at our Workplace Gender Equality Awards and Race Equality Awards.

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How are the Awards assessed?

There is a two-stage assessment process for the Awards.  Every submitted entry will be rigorously assessed by business and other industry experts through this process.

Stage 1 - March: Using the comprehensive scoring guide (available in Award guidance packs), our trained assessors will identify the 2017 Award Shortlisted and Finalist entries.  Entries that score above a certain threshold will be Shortlisted, and the highest scoring entries per category will become Finalists.

Stage 2 - May: The Finalists will be asked to present to a judging panel of Board-level business and industry experts, at a location in London.  This panel will then determine the overall Award Winner and any Highly Commended entries.

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What levels of achievement are there in the Awards?

There are four levels of achievement in the Awards.

1. The Awards Shortlist.  This recognises organisations that are having a significant impact and are effectively managing a programme or initiative addressing one or more key social and/or environmental issues.

2. The Award Finalists. The top-scoring entries in each category, which will demonstrate a high impact on society or the environment, and notable benefits back to the business, along with a very sound quality of management processes, including measurement of progress and stakeholder engagement.

3. Highly Commended.  This is a discretionary accolade given by the judges for an entry which demonstrates outstanding vision, impact, and notable benefits for all stakeholders including the business itself.  The entry will have shown solid evidence of successful engagement, but have come short of convincing the panel of the full integration of the programme or initiative into the operational practice of the business.

4. The Award Winner.  The example of excellence in a category, the winner will show exceptional leadership and inspiration on the relevant issue.  Along with excellent depth and/or breadth of impact on society or the environment, they  will also have embedded their activity into the heart of their business.

Business in the Community will supply a communications pack and endorsement mark - the planter, see example right - in electronic format to Award entrants as each set of results are revealed, to support their internal and external communications about their achievement.

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