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Charity Bank Impact Awards Winners Announced

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Last night the Charity Bank Impact Awards 2016 were held at The Mercers’ Hall in London. Notable winners on the night include EVA Women’s Aid who won the Greatest Impact Award, and Graham Perolls who was honoured as Change Maker of the Year. The Charity Bank Impact Awards has now been running for four years.

EVA Women’s Aid, which supports women who have been victims of domestic or sexual abuse and violence and their families in Teeside, won the Greatest Impact Award. Graham Perolls CMG was named Change Maker of the Year for his work in establishing Hospices of Hope, the leading palliative care development organisation in South-East Europe.

The awards were open to all current Charity Bank borrowers and were in two categories: the Greatest Impact Award with the winner selected by a panel of judges, and as a new category for 2016 the Change Maker Award to recognise exceptional individuals who are the driving force behind their organisations, shortlisted to three by the judges and then open to a public vote.

Accepting the Greatest Impact Award on behalf of the team at EVA Women’s Aid, founder Richinda Taylor said: “Sadly many women believe that there’s no way out for them but we help them to see that there is a future after domestic violence. This award recognises the work that our specialist team does in helping these women rebuild their lives – we are touched and honoured to receive it.”

Other charities shortlisted for this award were:

  • Chapter – one of the first arts centres in Britain when it was founded 40 years ago. It offers a number of facilities for different arts under one roof around an open accessible space in Cardiff that has nearly 800,000 visitors a year.
  • Stockport Hydro – the first community-owned hydro scheme in the Greater Manchester Area on the Rover Goyt, with two Archimedes screws named Thunder and Lightning.

The Change Maker of the Year Award was given to Graham Perolls for his tireless work over the past 25 years in the delivery of hospice and palliative care, starting in Romania in 1992 and expanding with partners in Serbia in 2006 and Moldova in 2008. His dedicated team has facilitated care for 30,000 patients and training for 20,000 health care professionals from all over Central and Eastern Europe.

Graham said: “I make no apology that whether we are members of the European Union or not our charity brings hope to some of the most marginalised people in Europe. It is a huge privilege to be able to make a difference to the lives of children and adults facing a terminal or life-limiting illness.

“Katia, one of our young patients with muscular dystrophy, has just won a scholarship to Manchester University to study psychology and we are immensely proud of her achievements.”

Change Maker Award nominees, selected by the judges, also included:

  • Susan Aktemel, founder of Homes for Good, a property management and letting agency in Glasgow operating as a social business.
  • Mandy Young, founder of Adrenaline Alley, a leading skate ramp park and performance centre in Corby, Northamptonshire.

Addressing the awards was Ian Scholes, chief executive of Spacious Place Enterprises, a social enterprise in Burnley that aims to help people move from a place of restriction to a place of hope and opportunity, said: “It’s great to be part of the Charity Bank Awards and meet so many individuals and organisations committed to investing so much time, energy and effort into helping people and communities become the best they can possibly be.”

Patrick Crawford, chief executive of Charity Bank, said: “Those shortlisted for this year’s awards deserve recognition for their indomitable spirit and passion. This is our opportunity to pay tribute to them and all the marvellous charities we have the privilege to work with every day as they help the disadvantaged, enrich lives and make our communities better places.”

Watch EVA Women’s Aid and Graham Peroll’s stories here and here.

Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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