Corporate Social Responsibility

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Suzanne MacDonald-Carr, centre, presents the Corporate Social Responsibilty award to Will Self and Laura Wells of Suffolk Life. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Corporate Social Responsibility award is aimed at commercial businesses which demonstrate how they integrate the success and smooth running of their business with a strong sense of responsibility and consideration for their role as a corporate citizen.

The award criteria were to be able to demonstrate where applicable their commitment and involvement in the key areas of CSR:

Organisational Governance  – the system to make and implement decisions in pursuit of objectives

  • Accountability, transparency and ethical behaviour
  • Respect for obligation and values

Human rights: (seven areas)

Due diligence, human risk situations, resolving grievance, discrimination and vulnerable groups, civil and political rights, economic social and cultural rights, fundamental principle and rights at work

Employment  Practices:  (five areas)

Employment and employment relationships, conditions of work and social protection, social dialogue, health and safety at work and human development and training in the workplace

Environmental issues: (five areas)

Prevention of pollution, sustainable resource use, climate change mitigation and adaptation, protection the environment, biodiversity and restoration of natural habitats.

Community and Involvement Development: (seven areas)

Community involvement, education and culture, employment creation and skills development, technology development and access, wealth and income creation health and social investment.

Fair operating practices: (five areas)

Anticorruption, responsible political involvement, fair competition, promoting social responsibility in the value chain respect for property rights.

Consumer Issues: (seven areas)

Fair Marketing, protecting Consumers health and safety, Sustainable consumption. Consumer, service support and complaint dispute resolution, consumer data protection and privacy, access to essential services and education and awareness.



Suffolk Life

Suffolk Life is one of the UK’s largest providers of self-invested pension plans.
Having opened its first SIPP in 1996, it now looks after pensions for more than 30,000 savers.
It administers pension funds worth £10bn and also owns more than 3,500 commercial properties on behalf of pension savers, many of which are in East Anglia.
CSR is a vital part of Suffolk Life’s culture, and its 300 staff actively raise money for local charities, focusing this year on the Rural Coffee Caravan.
The judges said: “Suffolk Life is able to demonstrate the structure within the business that supports a thorough CSR policy. We felt that Suffolk Life had a considered approach to CSR through employee engagement and connecting with the local community including charity work, environmental impact, training and supply chain management.”

The runners-up

Breheny Civil Engineering

Breheny Civil Engineering, which was formed in 1963, is one of the largest privately owned civil engineering companies in the UK, covering the majority of England from its head office in Needham Market.
Its vision is to be a professional, profitable and socially responsible business.
It aims to value its people, customers and suppliers and has respect for the community and environment, with a belief in openness, honesty and taking pride in what it does.
The judges said: “Breheny is a well established local business with over 200 local employees. During our meeting, Breheny demonstrated that while they have a diverse workforce, a good CSR policy helps underpin the businesses beliefs and helps maintain a low staff turnover.
“Beheny has policies in place to lower its environmental impact and to maintain good site conditions that help to improve local relationships.”

Elite Swimming Academy

Elite Swimming Academy offers the ultimate solution to swimming tuition and coaching for children and adults of all ages and abilities.
World class coaches, small class sizes, capped at three swimmers, and warm private pools mean that it can guarantee fast results in every lesson.
Elite Swimming Academy also offers open water swimming and under water stroke video analysis to triathletes and open water swimmers.
The judges said: “The Elite Swimming Academy provides a valuable service to paying clients which enables them to give back to the local communities.
“They have an open and well structured approach to CSR and the judges agreed that they are achieving more than even their award application demonstrated. Without the ongoing investment from ESA, some local swimming pools would be at risk from closure which would greatly impact local communities.”