Category Descriptions 2022

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Sustainable Impact by a Small or Medium Business

SMEs, though often operating with smaller resources and budgets, often engage in meaningful and high-quality work, and this category recognises the best practice by such businesses, which prove that size is not a factor in the capabilities of a business to make a positive impact in the world. The SME category applies to companies with 50 employees or less and recognises excellence in a variety of areas. This category is not specific to environmental or community-based projects; all categories of projects can be entered.

Social Enterprise 

This category awards excellence in working with a partner social enterprise. Businesses can partner with a social enterprise in a number of different ways, for example, including social enterprises in their supply chain, funding the delivery of a specific initiative, provision of work experience and/or employment to social enterprise clients, engaging in an awareness campaign with the partner social enterprise, or providing operational and skills sharing which will support the social enterprise’s work. This category is about business engaging through collaborative means so that the impact of the social enterprise is increased. This category is open to companies (non social enterprise) who partner with a social enterprise. Click here to view our checklist to help ensure your partnership is with a social enterprise.

Diversity, Inclusion & Equity

This category seeks to recognise initiatives that enhance the diverse environment of workplaces and foster inclusion for all staff. Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity in business is about ensuring that the workplace environment is one in which staff are valued for their many differences and are not left behind or excluded because of them.

This category might include initiatives which examine who is being hired, who is being promoted, and what can be done to improve these practices so that no one is excluded based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or other traits. On inclusivity, programmes entered in this category might look at the culture within a company and how a business ensures that diversity is welcomed and differences are embraced.

Community – Volunteering

This category aims to award a company for excellence in employee volunteering. Volunteering is a way for a business to give back to the local community by offering their time and skills free of charge.

Volunteering enables employees to engage in meaningful activities which will enrich communities and benefit the participants too. Skills and knowledge sharing are ways in which a company can meaningfully add to the work of a charity partner. Projects entered in this category should outline time commitments, levels of staff participation, knowledge transfer and skills sharing involved the programme.

Community – Partnership with charity

This category awards excellence in working with a partner charity. Businesses can partner with a charity in a number of different ways, for example, engaging in an awareness campaign with a partner charity, or providing operational and skills sharing which will support the charity’s work.
This category is about engaging in a considered partnership with a charity and offering support through a variety of collaborative means, with staff engagement, skills sharing and more of relevance.

Community – Community Programme

A community programme represents a sustained effort by a business to strengthen its links with the community in which it operates, and to have a positive impact on its locality. The programme should respond to a specific need in the community and should focus on the measures taken by a business to engage with the community and all relevant stakeholders on talking it.


In following with the principle of ‘Think Global, Act Local’ this category seeks to celebrate organisations that have taken actions to improve their local environment. Companies are invited to report on projects that work to enhance biodiversity; reduce waste; or improve water or air quality. These activities could include campaigns to encourage greener behaviours or installation and restoration projects that have environmental improvement as their primary goal. These programmes might have been carried out on-site or within the local community of the company and have had a tangible outcome in terms of improving the environment.


Sustainable workplaces are those that support employee well-being and inclusion. It involves going above and beyond what is required by business to ensure employees can develop to their full potential, and work in an environment that is welcoming and full of opportunities. This can range from family friendly workplaces, healthy workplace initiatives, mental health support and team building initiatives. Workplaces have also had to navigate the impact of COVID-19, with the overnight transition to remote working, and the closure of schools and childcare. This year in particular, the Workplace category seeks to recognise excellence in policies and programmes that support staff in adjusting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including measures that support work-life balance and managing caring responsibilities.


Communication is vitally important in highlighting the work that companies engage in. This category reflects the steps taken in communications across the board, internally with employees on the company’s work and engagement, externally with the charity partner or community, and wider again, with customers and external business stakeholders. Communications is about spreading the message effectively and sharing best practice and knowledge. Excellence in communications gives as many people as possible the opportunity to input and get involved.

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