Office supplies firm takes Australian awardJanuary 2009
Corporate Express Australia, the office supplies and services company, has been named Sustainable Company of the Year in the Australian Sustainability Awards.
The business took the title at a ceremony in Sydney for an ‘exemplary’ supply chain programme implemented throughout its 100 main suppliers; for its range of ‘green’ products, of which there are more than 100, and for its ‘outstanding’ environmental and labour relations record.
The awards, now in their eighth year, mark best practice in corporate sustainability across companies listed on the Australian stock exchange.
The Sustainable Small Company of the Year award went to Blackmores, a health and food supplements company that was said to be an exceptional example of a business in which staff welfare and development are to the fore. In addition, the company was said to have taken significant steps to reduce its environmental impact.
Among the other corporate winners, AGL Energy received the environment award for climate change reporting with top-ranking disclosure in its externally assured sustainability report; Lend Lease took the social-community title for its focus on the community in its core business activities; SP AusNet’s diversity, recognizing the greater contribution that women can make to the male-dominated industry, qualified it for the labour relations award; and Westpac, which has avoided the worst of the credit crunch through sound corporate governance and risk management, won the corporate governance award.
In a close contest for the financial services awards Christian Super, VicSuper and Hesta received above-average scores under five assessment criteria – level of engagement in responsible investment sector activity; investment in sustainable investment funds and mandates; the extent to which they require their other fund managers to integrate environment, social and governance (ESG) factors into their investment process; proxy voting and corporate engagement; and their own corporate ethics and CSR performance.
Christian Super, which had received an honourable mention in last year’s awards, became the Sustainable Super Fund of the Year.
The Special Award for Sustainability Research went to Andrew Gray, head of ESG research at Goldman Sachs. Gray wrote a paper that found a positive correlation between governance ratings from CGI Glass Lewis and share price returns over seven years, including the financial crisis. The Ethical Investor Fund of the Year, as judged by Lonsec, the financial research group, was Australian Ethical Equities Trust.
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