Food service wholesaler Brakes Group has scored a gold award in the Business in the Community (BITC) 2012 Corporate Responsibility Index.
The voluntary benchmark of corporate responsibility, now in its 10th year, is designed to improve companies’ social and environmental performances.
“Achieving Gold means that Brakes Group is able to demonstrate openness and transparency through effective public reporting of its environmental and social issues, programmes and performance. It also means its CSER strategy includes clear and measurable targets, which are articulated in an effective manner,” said Stephen Howard, chief executive at BITC. .
Brakes was lauded for its collaborative efforts with customers and suppliers, and for its environmental, community and employee development programmes.
Its continued efforts to reduce road miles and carbon dioxide emissions gained especial praise and initiatives included the use of rail to replace road deliveries between the Midlands and Scotland, the introduction of Liquid Natural Gas vehicles and partnerships with other companies (such as Nestlé Professional) to reduce empty return journeys.
Judges were also impressed by Brakes’ new supply chain practices – such as partnerships with suppliers to reduce packaging, a returnable crate initiative and its support for British, ethical and sustainable sourcing through its championing of British Red Tractor certified lines, Fairtrade teas and coffees, and fish accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council or Friends of the Sea.
Ian Goldsmith, group chief operating officer at Brakes said: “As a business, we aim to provide what our customers need today while delivering responsible and sustainable business practices to protect tomorrow - through driving down food miles, responsible sourcing, and supporting the communities we serve, Brakes Group strives to do the right thing.”
Other gold winners in the awards included Dairy Crest Group, Mitie Group and Sodexo, while Elior, InterContinental Hotels and Rentokil all scooped silvers.
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By Angela Frewin
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