From a national broadcaster to a small start-up that makes bamboo golf tees, this year’s Global Good Award (GGA) winners yet again demonstrate how businesses large and small are bringing sustainability to the fore – pandemic or not.
Sponsored by leading contract caterer CH&CO, this year’s awards – which recognise and reward change across all aspects of purpose-driven sustainability and social impact – attracted more entries than ever before, with entries across all 17 categories increasing by 40% on 2020. There was a significant increase in entries from companies and organisations from outside the UK too.
Winning this year’s Global Good Company of the Year, ITV was recognised for its social purpose programme, More Than TV, which is at the heart of the channel’s business strategy and has four key areas of focus: Better Health, Diversity & Inclusion, Environment and Giving Back. At the other end of the scale, social enterprise Ocean Tee received gold in the Best Start-Up category, lauded for its ambition of not just selling (and developing) bamboo golf tees but in creating conversations and collaborations that bring sustainability to the forefront of the industry.
“It’s the breadth of entries from businesses as huge as GSK to small social enterprises like Ultra Education, that make this awards programme so exciting and rewarding to be involved with,” comments long-time judge Dr Paula Owen, founder of eco action games, director of Green Gumption and trustee of Possible, a climate change charity. “Every year we are blown away by the standard of entries and this year was no different despite the global pandemic.”
Other big names taking home gold from the virtual ceremony on 22nd September include Aviva (Climate Action – Journey to Net Zero sponsored by Planet Mark), DPD (Waste Reduction and Minimalisation), GSK (Employee Engagement and Wellbeing), KPMG (Sustainable Supply Chain), Octopus Energy (Technology for Good sponsored by erjjio studios) and Samsung (Educational Excellence – Large Organisation).
The Global Good Awards recognise individuals too. Individual Leader of the Year, sponsored by Prospect Arts, went to Matthew Owen, director of Cool Earth, the organisation that works with indigenous communities to protect the rainforest. He has overseen its programme partnerships expand from a one in Brazil to 13 worldwide.
The Canon Young Champion of the Year, sponsored by Canon EMEA, is split into two age categories. The Under 21 winner has been named as Samuel Anjolaoluwa for his Students of Ibadan project, which explores the Nigerian student experience. The Under 16s category went to Mishal and Mir Faraz, brother and sister who have relentlessly campaigned to protect the environment in the UAE.
And given the challenges presented by the pandemic, the 2021 awards also included two new Covid Champions categories recognising organisations that went above and beyond in responding to the impact of Covid-19. Unilever won gold for its work with the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in creating the Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition which helped mount a rapid response programme to limit the spread of Covid-19 among vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries. In the smaller organisation category, Toybank received gold for its agility in continuing to deliver teaching to 51,000+ at risk children in India.
Karen Sutton, GGA CEO, comments: “These awards are not celebrating tick-box sustainability exercises but real, core business and social practices and achievements that are part-and-parcel of the way an organisation operates.
“We’re in a crucial decade requiring urgent action and as such, our award winners have to achieve a certain percentage score in order to get on the podium, with all Gold winners receiving a minimum score of 80%. No-one wins Gold for just being the highest scorer in the category!
“Given the past 18 months we’ve all been through, it’s fantastic to see that working towards a better world for people, the planet and the global economy hasn’t fall off the radar.”
You can see the full listing of all 17 category winners here.