Npower has received a hat-trick of Big Tick Awards from Business in the Community (BITC), winning accolades for marketing and innovation, education, and skills for life, in addition to achieving platinum status in BITC’s corporate responsibility index.
Achieving awards in three completely different areas, coupled with its platinum status, reinforces its commitment to responsible business practice.
With offices in Solihull, where it employs just over 2,000 people, the Big Tick award-winning initiatives include npower’s regional and national Spreading Warmth programme which was recognised with the P&G responsible marketing and innovation award for the second consecutive year.
The programme has trained staff to identify and assist vulnerable customers and, through engagement with external stakeholders, npower has developed a targeted programme which provides meaningful help to more than 150,000 of its customers.
In addition to its Spreading Warmth programme, npower received the Skills for Life award for the second year running in recognition of the development of its learning culture in the North East.
The programme centres on improving literacy and numeracy levels amongst its employees whose prior learning experiences may have been disjointed or limited as a result of the traditional industry-based economy in the region.
This led to the establishment of an on-site learning resource centre at four of npower’s sites in the region, which have contributed to its continued business success and increased its competitive advantage.
Npower’s engineering and science-related education programme, forming part of the Brighter Futures programme implemented by the Didcot Power Station in Oxfordshire, completes the trio by receiving the Merrill Lynch education award for the third year.
Designed to engage, inspire and involve young people aged from 4–18 years, this initiative has provided valuable ‘out-of-the-classroom’ work-related learning experiences for primary, secondary, special schools and colleges.
During 2008, more than 4,500 students from 178 schools and colleges have experienced a guided tour assisting in their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and geography/environmental studies. npower has also recruited 27 apprentices from 14 local secondary schools since 2003.
Anita Longley, head of corporate responsibility at npower, said: “Winning three Big Tick Awards and achieving Platinum status is a terrific accolade for the business and reinforces our commitment to our employees, customers and the communities we operate in.”
BITC’s Corporate Responsibility Index recognises companies with a systematic approach to managing, measuring and reporting on business impacts in society and the environment.
The Big Tick is awarded to businesses which are able to demonstrate significant impact and high-quality management of their responsible business practices, as Stephen Howard, chief executive at Business in the Community, confirmed: “The Big Tick is now recognised as both a valuable and difficult award to achieve.
“Those who achieve the Big Tick are leading companies, ones that run their businesses aware that they depend above all on the talent, innovation and loyalty of their people.
“They know that they cannot build a successful business without constantly showing their commitment to being a better business,” he added.