Ethical Performance
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‘inspirational’ Co-op Bank takes third major award

September 2001

The Co-operative Bank has won the Impact on Society Award at the annual Business in the Community Awards for Excellence for its ‘inspirational’ commitment to corporate social responsibility and stakeholder dialogue.

The UK bank was praised as an ‘example of excellence’ by the judges, who were especially impressed by the link between its ethical policies and a 17-fold increase in profits since 1992.

The increased profits and a doubling in the number of customer accounts since 1997 were largely due to the ethical stance of the bank, the judges said. The bank had created ‘a new business model designed to serve the interests of all those involved in the bank’s activities, not just the shareholders or customers’.

The Business in the Community Award is the third major prize the Co-operative Bank has won in the CSR field this year – in the spring it won first prize in the UK’s second annual Social Reporting Awards and was joint winner of this year’s Environmental Reporting Awards. UK national lottery operator Camelot was highly commended in the Impact on Society category for its commitment to review the impact of its policies on stakeholders ‘in every area of business’, and for its use of stakeholder feedback ‘to inform strategies for continuous improvement’. Camelot was commended in the same category last year.

The previous winners of the Impact on Society Award, which is now in its fourth year, were BT, Whitbread and United Utilities.

A host of companies received awards in 13 other categories this year. Among them were Tesco, which received an Innovation Award for its Seacroft Partnership helping to tackle unemployment, and the Lattice Group for its Lattice CRED project that uses work-related learning to motivate 14-16 year olds at risk of exclusion from school.

The Neighbourhood Renewal Award went to Lloyds TSB for its role in the Portsmouth Area Regeneration Trust, which has set up a micro-credit scheme to help poor people to launch new businesses or improve their homes.

JP Morgan received the Diversity Award for its ‘War for Talent’ diversity programme, which includes ‘awareness workshops’ for staff.

In the international category the Brazilian media company TV Globo won a Global Leadership Award for its use of soap operas to raise issues of social concern in the country.


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