For the second year in succession, BT has won the top accolade at the 2008 UK Sustainability Reporting Awards, which identifies and highlights innovative attempts by companies to communicate corporate sustainability performance and to reward transparency.
‘We are delighted to receive the ACCA sustainability reporting award for our 2008 report,’ said Chris Tuppen, BT’s chief sustainability officer. ‘We want to continue to improve the coverage of the key material issues in our reporting. This is why we have placed greater emphasis on the opportunities that sustainability brings. We think the biggest potential in the future for us to make a positive difference lies through our products and services.’
Five other organisations were also recognised at the ceremony held at the British Library in London.
Unilever and The Co-operative Group were runners-up in the main award category. Traidcraft, the UK’s leading fair trade organisation, and REAP, a local sustainable development charity in Scotland, received a joint commendation in the SME reporting category, while Royal Dutch Shell plc was praised for its use of electronic media in its reporting of environmental, social and sustainability impacts and activities.
‘It is becoming ever more apparent that sustainability must be integral to business strategy and we are glad to see organisations are recognising this,’ said Rachel Jackson, ACCA’s head of social and environmental issues. ‘The diverse range of companies honoured at the awards demonstrates how important it is for organisations to make this commitment to transparent and ethical reporting, regardless of the size or type of industry they operate in. However, despite the well deserved recognition offered to Traidcraft and REAP in the SME category, entries from SMEs were particularly low this year, and ACCA hopes that involvement will increase in the future.
‘It is especially encouraging to see so many companies continuing to invest in sustainability despite the current economic climate, placing an even greater emphasis on its place within today’s business environment. However, ACCA would still like to see more companies prioritising the issue of sustainability, ensuring it becomes a core staple of business strategy. It is also still difficult to ascertain where organisations sit within the context of sustainable development and clearer clarification from organisations will be required in the future.’
The full list of awards and commendations for 2008 are:
Winner, Best Report – BT
Runners-up – Unilever and The Co-operative Group
Joint commendation for SME Reporting – Traidcraft and REAP
Electronic Media Commendation – Royal Dutch Shell Plc