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Abergavenny Company Announced as National Responsible Business Champion 2016

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Jonathan Djanogly MP and Baroness Greengross, Co-Chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Responsibility Group (APCRG) have today (6 July) announced that Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd has won the APCRG’s 2016 National Responsible Business Champion award.

The APCRG National Responsible Business Champion 2016 was presented with the 2016 National Responsible Business Champion award by the Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, at a reception in Parliament today.

The APCRG Responsible Business Champions scheme is supported by longstanding APCRG member National Grid plc, Business in the Community’s Responsible Business of the Year 2014/15.

APCRG National Responsible Business Champion 2016Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd, nominated by David TC Davies MP (Monmouth), was chosen by a Parliamentary judging panel which looked at nominations from MPs representing constituencies across the UK.  The runner-up was Zurich Insurance, nominated by both Robert Buckland MP (South Swindon) and Justin Tomlinson MP (North Swindon); Canary Wharf Group, nominated by Jim Fitzpatrick MP (Poplar and Limehouse) was third placed.

Three other companies – Anglian Water Services Ltd, nominated by Jonathan Djanogly MP (Huntingdon); Port of Blyth nominated by Ronnie Campbell MP (Blyth); and Xiros Limited nominated by Greg Mulholland MP (Leeds North West) – were highly commended by the Parliamentary judging panel.

Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said:

“Capitalism is a force for good and must be defended. But trust in business is low after the financial crisis so we have to show that profits and ethics are not mutually exclusive  Responsible businesses show time and again how they harness the great power of capitalism to improve communities and improve lives alongside making a profit.  We should all champion responsible business practices and the winners of this award demonstrate to me what I know to be true – business really is a force for good.  I welcome the APCRG’s work in promoting a better understanding of what corporate responsibility means and in encouraging MPs to identify and celebrate the work of responsible businesses in their constituency.”

Jonathan Djanogly MP said:

“The judging panel were very struck this year by the very positive and supportive way in which so many of our small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are operating across the UK both in terms of their internal working practices and the social contribution which they make to their communities.  Many of them do not have dedicated “corporate responsibility” teams but simply believe that operating responsibly is the right way to behave and makes good business sense.

The Swindon MPs, Robert Buckland and Justin Tomlinson, were united in commending the wonderful work of Zurich Insurance. Clearly this is an excellent company.  Not only is it very supportive of its local community, but the judges were impressed by its commitment to promoting a healthy workplace and encouraging diversity and equality.

Zurich Insurance was unlucky to come up against such strong competition this year because in any other year, it might well have won our national award.  The same could be said for Canary Wharf Group (CWG) nominated by Jim Fitzpatrick MP.  The judges would like to commend the deep social investment in the local community made by this excellent company.  Jim Fitzpatrick was eloquent in drawing our attention to the efforts it has made to ensure that its developments open the widest possible economic opportunity to people living in surrounding areas. We commend the company for its transformative work in extending education and employment opportunities in the local area.

We were told by David TC Davies MP who nominated Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd that

“fairness, inclusion and respect is central” to the business approach of this company and it was entirely borne out by the facts were we were given about its working practice, treatment of suppliers and strong support for its local community.  The judges commend its support for the local community and investment in healthy workplaces, but where this company really stood out was in its support for equality and diversity and, particularly, its support for older workers – something we particularly wanted to encourage and celebrate this year.  20% of the company’s board members are female. Alun Griffiths regularly hosts Women’s Careers in Construction events and supports the Government’s #Notjustforboys campaign.

The age range of the company’s workforce extends from 16 to 81 years of age, with many employees working into their 70s.  Employees are encouraged to work for as long as they wish. Part-time working or changes in roles are regularly offered if that is what the employee would like.

The company believes this commitment to equality and diversity is the reason for its industry-leading low turnover rates of 1.03% and we agree. We hope that other companies will follow this lead.  I am delighted that Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd has been chosen as the APCRG’s National Responsible Business Champion 2016.”

Baroness Greengross said:

“This year we had more than twice as many nominations from MPs as last year and the overall standard was higher.  As a result some excellent companies were not even long-listed for our National Responsible Business Champion award.  The companies which not only made the shortlist but topped it have every reason to feel extremely proud of their achievement.

Our scheme differs from other responsible business awards in that it focuses on the impact of companies at a constituency level.  We devised this scheme because we wanted to encourage MPs to consider whether companies in their constituencies are operating responsibly and to help us identify – and celebrate – the achievements of the very best.  This means that small and medium sized companies have every chance of competing successfully under our scheme against great national and international businesses. Of course large companies can also have an incredibly positive and substantial impact at a constituency level and this is why we have seen MPs pick some of our very best and well known companies, such as Fujitsu, Marks & Spencer, Northumbrian Water Group and Zurich Insurance as their Constituency Responsible Business Champions.

I offer my warm thanks to all the companies nominated as Constituency Responsible Business Champions by their MPs for the wonderful work they are doing in their communities and, of course, my congratulations to Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd on their tremendous success in becoming our APCRG National Responsible Business Champion 2016.”

Joss Clarke, Head of EU & UK Public Affairs, National Grid said:

“National Grid is very pleased to support this Responsible Business Champions award scheme, which has attracted increasing support from MPs across the UK. It is important that responsible businesses share what they are doing and encourage the wider business community to get involved. Business has an important role to play in helping to build strong communities in the areas where they operate and also in enhancing the environment.

We welcome the way in which MPs of all parties and from across the UK came together today to celebrate the achievements of their Constituency Responsible Business Champions.

We congratulate Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd on winning the National Responsible Business Champion award 2016.  We hope this will encourage them to continue with the excellent work which has led to this success and encourage other companies to emulate them.”