Welsh Firms Show Outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility

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* HE best examples of business as a force for good were showcased in Cardiff last night as Business in the Community held its annual Wales Awards for Excellence.

This year, a dozen companies were recognised for their outstanding corporate social responsibility programmes at a gala dinner at the Swalec Stadium, sponsored by Wales & West Utilities.

Hosted by ITV Wales presenter, Ruth Wignall, with lively performances by Britain's Got Talent finalists Nu Sxool and the Tenovus 'Sing for Life' Choir, the gala event also celebrated Business in the Community's 30th anniversary year.

The top accolade, the Welsh Government Responsible Company of the Year, went to RCT Homes, who were recognised for their work transforming lives and communities. The company which was only established in 2008 was seen to have made significant progress on all aspects of its corporate social responsibility programme in a short time and for "living and breathing" their pledge to be "more than a landlord". RCT Homes are the first social landlord to receive this prestigious award.

Among the other winners last night were Dwe r Cymru Welsh Water who picked up the Carbon Reduction Award for their pounds 75m investment in renewable energy; and the Thomas Carroll Group who won the Principality People Development Award for their ongoing commitment to training and nurturing skills of their employees.

Two international firms recognised for their work in Wales include Laing O'Rourke, who won this year's Welsh Water Employee Volunteering Award while ScottishPower picked up the Inspiring Young People Award for their partnership work in Wrexham with Ysgol Rhosnesni.

Two new categories launched in 2012, the Working Links Employability Award and the Chwarae Teg Agile Organisation Award, were awarded to Rhondda Housing Association and Bangor-based social care provider, Anheddau Cyf.

Cardiff-based G24 Innovations and North Wales businesses including UPM Shotton Paper and St Asaph-based automotive parts manufacturer, TRB were among the organisations that received highly commended awards. Bluestone Resorts were also presented with a Big Tick Reaccreditation after being named the Example of Excellence at the 2011 UK Awards for their work in supporting rural farmers.

The event also marked the opportunity to celebrate and recognise individuals and business leaders within Wales that have made a significant personal contribution to the local community. …