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Economy

Health and wellbeing initiatives take centre stage at UK-wide Sustainable City Awards

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The City of London Corporation has announced that the 2016 Sustainable City Awards are now open for entries. For 14 years, the awards have celebrated and honoured outstanding contributions to sustainability across sectors as diverse as buildings, health and wellbeing, climate change and food.

This year’s awards focus particularly on the health and wellbeing category. In April, a YouGov survey found that more than half of all employees suffer from burnout, severe anxiety and physical and emotional exhaustion in the workplace. The City of London Corporation hopes to recognise those organisations across the UK who put staff wellbeing at the forefront of their business strategy.

The prestigious awards, run by City of London Corporation attract the best UK organisations which are committed to sustainable initiatives.

Simon Mills, Head of Sustainable Development at the City of London Corporation, says: ‘The UK-wide Sustainable City Awards are designed to recognise the sustainability initiatives of all businesses big or small across the full range of sectors.  This year, we are recognising those businesses and organisations which put the health and wellbeing of their staff at the top of their business agenda.

“We have had previous winners including the sustainable food initiatives, green entrepreneurs and ethical fashion. As an organisation, we are proud to be recognising the sustainability initiatives of such a wide range of businesses and organisations who have worked hard to ensure they are the pioneers of sustainable business development.’

The Sustainable City Awards are open to all types of UK organisations from the private, public and third sectors. Whether entries are from a multinational corporation or a community-run action group, the City of London Corporation would like to hear how businesses are ensuring staff wellbeing. The awards have been designed to allow all organisations, no matter how large or small to compete on an equal basis.

The diversity of the awards reflects the City of London Corporation’s commitment to sustainable growth and its recognition that organisations and firms, no matter what sector, collectively contribute to a sustainability agenda that will benefit current and future generations with jobs and growth underpinning the City’s mandate. From financial markets to fish-markets, and from parks to the arts, since 2001, hundreds of organisations – from cycling and traffic management initiatives to fashion up-cyclers and supermarket chains – have been recognised for their efforts to drive green growth.

The Awards this year will be held in the Lord Mayor’s residence, Mansion House, in March 2016.

To apply for any of this year’s Sustainable City Awards, visit the website for application and entry details.

Critical dates

– 30th November 2015: Closing date for applications

– December-February 2016: Judging

– March 2016 Awards Ceremony

Sustainable City Awards Categories

Sustainable Finance: In association with UKSIF

This category recognises and rewards innovation and best practice in all areas of sustainable investment and finance that support sustainable economic development, enhance quality of life and safeguard the environment.

The Farsight Award: In association with Gresham College, USS and Z/Yen

The Farsight Award recognises the best individual piece of analysis by an investment research institution which integrates traditional financial analysis with longer term issues such as climate change, corporate governance and human capital. Contributors to the London Accord will automatically be entered.

Tackling Climate Change: In association with The Institute for Sustainability and the Worshipful Company of Fanmakers

This category recognises and reward organisations who are taking steps to mitigate the effects of their activities on climate change or to adapt their operations to reflect the impacts climate change will have on their business.

Sustainable Travel and Transport: In association with Campaign for Better Transport

This category recognises and rewards innovative schemes which encourage people to make more use of sustainable forms of travel, transport and logistics, or which reduce the impact of traffic and transport on the environment.

Resource Conservation: In association with the Worshipful Company of Launderers and the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators

This category recognises and rewards organisations that are taking positive steps to improve resource conservation through reducing the consumption of water, gas or electricity.

Building Sustainable Communities (London only): In association with the Worshipful Company of Patten Makers and the City Bridge Trust

This award is for voluntary organisations that can demonstrate their work makes a tangible difference to the sustainability of their locality by bringing people together, especially from across different communities.

Sustainable Buildings: In association with the CIOB and the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors

This category recognises and rewards excellence and innovation in sustainable building design for new build and refurbishment projects.

Health and Wellbeing: In association with the City of London Health and Wellbeing Board

This category recognises and rewards businesses that have outstanding practice in relation to sustaining the health of their workforce: organisations that are doing really innovative work to recognise that their people are their most important assets, and creating work environments and cultures that promote and sustain all aspects of health and wellbeing

Sustainable Places: In association with British BIDs, the London Sustainability Exchange, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners

This category aims to recognise and reward organisations who work to create unique sustainable characters for town centres and industrial parks- not only enhancing the quality of life of all those who visit, work or live there but acting as a significant attractor for business investment.  For more information see the “This Year’s Theme” page on our website.

Responsible Waste Management: In association with the Clean City Awards Scheme

This category recognises and rewards best practice with respect to responsible waste management. Applicants should demonstrate innovative waste management practices particularly with respect to implementing the waste hierarchy of minimising waste, reusing and recycling materials. Judges will also be looking for evidence of how the organisation is tackling wider waste issues, such as compliance with Duty of Care Regulations and engendering pride in the local environment.

Air Quality: In association with Building and Engineering Services Association and Kings College London

The Air Quality Improvement category recognises and rewards innovation and best practice in reducing emissions of air quality pollutants and mitigating the effects of business activities on local air quality.

The Sir Peter Parker Award: In association with BCE Awards and WRAP

An award will be made to the organisation which best demonstrates leadership in sustainability. This organisation will be chosen from the winners and highly commended entries in each of the above categories.

Sustainable City Awards Overall Winner

The organisation that best demonstrates a pioneering approach to innovation and leadership in sustainability will be presented with the Overall Winner’s trophy. This organisation will be chosen from the winners and highly commended entries in each of the above categories by a high level judging panel comprising category partners and eminent guests.

Economy

How Going Green Can Save A Company Money

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going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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Economy

Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance

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“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]mintel.com

Report contents:

OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Report definition
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
ISSUES AND INSIGHTS
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
THE MARKET – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
PUTTING FINANCIAL SERVICES IN AN ETHICAL CONTEXT
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
GREEN, ETHICAL AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ISSUES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES
The role of investing
Divestment
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
THE CONSUMER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
THE ETHICAL CONSUMER – SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ACTIVITIES
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE COMPANIES
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
CONSUMER TRUST IN THE BEHAVIOUR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS GREEN AND ETHICAL FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS TRANSPARENCY
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
THE ROLE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS IN SOCIETY
The social debt of the financial crisis
THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
CHALLENGER COMPANIES AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

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