Independent market research group Munro Global partnered The Sunday Times and environmental performance specialists, Bureau Veritas in the inaugural Sunday Times Best Green Companies awards.
This new benchmark for environmental performance is designed to encourage, acknowledge and publicise businesses and other organisations, which are striving to improve their environmental performance.
The award provides a definitive guide to companies with the most radically improved environmental performances. Uniquely, the survey takes account of the views of employees - who get to rate their organisation’s green credentials - as well as assessing the environmental performance, policies and practices of businesses.
Following an awards ceremony held on London’s South Bank on May 14, Tyne and Wear-based coffin manufacturer, J C Atkinson and Son, to lift the title of Best Green Company 2008. The construction giant Carillion finished in second place overall with Co-operative Financial Services third.
The 50 Best Green Companies in Britain were revealed in the inaugural Sunday Times Green List published in The Sunday Times on 18 May.
Munro Global companies FDS International and Maven Research provided the survey power behind the awards and conducted all analysis for The Sunday Times. Bureau Veritas, a leading environmental consultancy provided data verification and developed the scoring system behind the awards.
To enter, each company had to complete two surveys. Firstly the employer survey gathered hard environmental data such as carbon footprint, energy consumption and reduction, waste production and reduction, and to what extent suppliers are assessed for their green credentials.
The second part of the entry requirement was a staff survey. Sixty attitudinal questions were asked of staff that ranged from ‘My boss expects me to save the environment while he/she drives a gas-guzzling company car’ to ‘Progress against the organisations’ environmental policy is communicated regularly’.
Will Ullstein, director of innovation at Munro Global said: “This survey offers an unparalleled insight into how deeply environmental issues have permeated a company’s structure. It provides a benchmark for corporate environmental performance as well as identifying what staff are thinking and what action they are taking on the shop floor.”
As well as winning the overall competition, J C Atkinson triumphed in the competition for small companies with high and medium environmental impacts. Carillion topped the charts for big and mid-sized companies with high environmental impact, while Co-operative Financial Services won the contest to find the best big and mid-sized company with medium environmental impact.
Loughborough Students’ Union, in seventh place overall, won the category for small companies with low environmental impact, and The National Magazine Company was successful in the big and mid-sized companies with low environmental impact.
From coffins made from wood drawn from sustainable forests to saving 50,000 litres of drinking quality water per year by collecting their rainwater from the factory roof, J C Atkinson has made a green impact. The firm has recently installed its own biomass generator at its factory in Washington, which uses sawdust and wood off-cuts to produce heat and the firm’s electricity, as well as surplus for the national grid. The factory operates 24 hours a day and consignments of coffins leave the site in the middle of the night to make transport more efficient.
The Sunday Times 50 Best Green Companies employee survey reveals that the staff believe that the firm goes for the most environmentally friendly solution rather than the cheapest (with a green score of 87%) and being green does not stop them getting on with their job (89%).
Employees also believe that the firm is doing everything it can to minimise its environmental impact (84%) and think the significant investment in environmental initiatives has been worthwhile (88%).
The company wins an impressive score of 96% for the boss, Julian Atkinson, being committed to the environment and staff say he leads by example (93%).
Richard Caseby, managing editor of The Sunday Times, said at the launch of the awards: “The 50 companies in this survey are all pioneers – enterprising, enlightened and fizzing with new ideas. All have a common sense of purpose about their corporate social responsibility”.
With British business at the forefront of driving environmental change and cutting carbon emissions, there is much to be proud of. The 50 companies in the supplement represent the peak of excellence.
But Ullstein warns there is much more work to be done. "Companies and employees alike have made fantastic progress in adopting green initiatives but wholesale changes to corporate behaviour are needed to take the whole process much further."
|National rank||Company||Sector||Headquarters||Size ||Impact|
|1||J C Atkinson and Son||Manufacturing||Washington||Small||Medium|
|3||Co-operative Financial Services||Financial services||Manchester||Big||Medium|
|4||Pureprint Group||Printing & publishing||Uckfield||Small||Medium|
|5||Skanska UK||Construction||Rickmansworth||Big ||High|
|7||Loughborough Students’ Union||Education||Loughborough||Small||Low|
|8||Saint-Gobain Glass UK||Manufacturing||Goole||Small||Medium|
|10||The National Magazine Company||Media||London||Mid||Low|
For more press info, photos or to set up an interview, please contact William Ullstein at Munro Global
tel. 020 7281 3383 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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