Ulster Bank Wins Outstanding Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility Award

Ulster Bank has won the Outstanding Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award at the 2015 Chambers Ireland CSR Awards held in Dublin last night (03/09/15). The judging panel selected Ulster Bank for the sustained excellence of their CSR programmes. 

The twelfth annual Awards were partnered by Business in the Community Ireland, run in association with the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government and kindly sponsored by BAM Ireland, the Environmental Protection Agency and JustGiving. Each winner was presented with a specially commissioned trophy designed by Waterford Crystal. 

Speaking at the event, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland said: “The number of companies embracing CSR is growing every year due to the increasing recognition that responsible business practice is smart business practice, with benefits not just for the wider community, but for the business itself. Tonight, we are delighted to celebrate the commitment of Irish companies to CSR and impressed by the level of dedication and creativity shown by our businesses in carrying out their CSR strategies.” 

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Minister Alan Kelly T.D. continued, “I am delighted that my Department continues to support these awards. The principles of CSR fit very well with my own Department’s objectives of promoting and supporting the sustainable and inclusive development of communities. We recognise that through philanthropic funding and other CSR activities, the business sector provides much needed supports across the spectrum of the Government’s priorities – in areas such as the environment, education and in tackling disability and disadvantage. I would like to congratulate not only all of tonight’s winners but all of those who have been shortlisted.”

“Being a good corporate citizen has become an essential part of growth and success for any organisation. We at Business in the Community celebrate 15 years of existence this year and we have long advocated how strategic CSR should be at the heart of how a business should operate. CSR is shown to drive innovation, trust and transparency, all of which the world needs more of as the challenges of a growing population, climate change and biodiversity become more evident day by day.  These awards provide a real showcase of great company practices in a variety of industry sectors all over the country so we congratulate all the winners as they can inspire many other companies to follow suit.”, Tina Roche CEO Business in the Community Ireland added.

Theo Cullinane, CEO of BAM Ireland concluded: “At BAM we are delighted to sponsor the Chambers Ireland CSR Awards again this year. We believe that Corporate Ireland has a critical role to play in driving societal change, implementing environmental initiatives and local community involvement. I’d like to congratulate everybody in Chambers Ireland, Business in the Community and all the entrants and finalists this year.” 

Other awards presented on the night: 

Excellence in Communication Award

Electric Ireland for the initiative Darkness into Light. Darkness into Light is Electric Ireland’s flagship fundraising and awareness event which occurs every May. Thousands of people gather nationwide at 4am to walk or run a 5km route as dawn breaks. The event drives conversations around the issue of suicide and represents community, hope and solidarity. The event is also symbolic of the work of Pieta House – bringing people from darkness into the light. Electric Ireland has supported Pieta House through the Energy for Generations fund since 2005.

Excellence in International CSR

IBM Ireland for the IBM Corporate Service Corps Program. The Corporate Services Corps provides groups of IBM employees the opportunity to complete four week community-based assignments in emerging markets. During the assignment, participants perform community-driven economic development, healthcare and education projects. IBM’s Corporate Service Corps builds skills and capabilities that can contribute real and sustainable solutions to many of the world’s toughest challenges. By the end of 2015, IBM will have deployed 3,500 employees to projects in 40 countries globally.

Excellence in Environment Award – Large Indigenous Company

Cork University Hospital with the project Achieving a Sustainable Environment at Cork University Hospital. Cork University Hospital Campus is the first healthcare facility in the world to be awarded a Green Flag by An Taisce and the Foundation for Environmental Education for its environmental achievements. Cork University Hospital Group is committed to becoming a leading sustainable, low carbon organisation delivering sustainable healthcare into the future.

Excellence in Environment Award – Multinational Company

Astellas Ireland Co., Ltd. (Kerry Plant) for the project “Changing tomorrow” – Our journey to Sustainability. Astellas is a forward thinking organisation which strives to reduce its impact on the environment. Astellas has excelled in the area of renewable energy and decreased its reliance on non-renewable energy sources by 62% and carbon emissions by 69% since 2005. It has also showed initiative in reducing its reliance on landfill by up to 70% since its journey started in 2000.

Excellence in Marketplace CSR Award

Abbott Nutrition Ireland with the “Essential Elements of Nutrition Care Programme”. The Programme has been specifically designed to equip healthcare professionals and catering staff with the tools to provide optimum nutritional care for residents in the Care Home setting. The programme was first launched in 2006 and is now acknowledged as a world class programme by the Irish Care Home sector.

Excellence in Community – Community Programme – Large Indigenous Company

Dublin Port Company for the Early Learning Initiative. Dublin Port Company is a longstanding supporter of educational programmes in the Dublin Docklands area. In order to promote the attainment of higher education locally, DPC partnered with the National College of Ireland to support their Early Learning Initiative. Results published by the NCI found that 83% of the children in the programme are meeting their developmental milestones in May 2014 compared with only 17% of the children when they began the programme in November 2012. 

Excellence in Community – Community Programme – Multinational Company

Genzyme for the project Partnership with Project Treo Port Láirge. As part of a wider suite of CSR activity, Genzyme has partnered with Project Treo Port Láirge to help deliver a series of training programmes designed to divert at risk young people from repeat offending behaviour. Through the Project, young offenders are equipped with skills that greatly improve their life prospects and reduce the risk of them becoming habitual offenders with huge costs to themselves, their families and wider society.

Excellence in Community – Volunteering – Large Indigenous Company
Ulster Bank
for the project MoneySense for Schools. MoneySense is Ulster Bank’s flagship skills-based volunteering programme. It harnesses the banking expertise of its staff to deliver personal finance classes to secondary students, reaching over 55,000 students island-wide. 250 Ulster Bank staff are trained to teach the programme and they have donated more than 4,500 volunteering hours to help young people learn about money, banking, borrowing, saving and starting a business. 

Excellence in Community – Volunteering – Multinational Company

Intel Ireland for the project Intel Involved. Intel Ireland employees have a long tradition of community engagement and in 2014 58,680 volunteer hours were recorded by its Irish employees. The involvement of Intel employees in their local communities has made a huge impact on local organisations, clubs and schools. Intel employees have increasingly found opportunities to donate the skills that they have honed at Intel—providing legal, human resources, marketing, finance, and IT expertise to schools, non-profits, and NGOs.

Excellence in Workplace CSR  Award – Large Indigenous Company

ESB for the project Positive Mental & Physical Health Promotion among ESB Staff. Positive mental health promotion among staff is a key priority for the health and wellbeing team within ESB. A range of supports have been developed to encourage self-awareness, develop coping strategies and provide access to more acute intervention routes. ESB has recently introduced new elements to its range of support for staff concerned about personal mental health issues or about issues with friends and colleagues including a Wellbeing Website, Wellbeing Champions, Positive Mental Health and Resilience for teams and individuals and Wellbeing Calendar.

Excellence in Workplace CSR  Award – Multinational Company

PayPal’s Live Well Programme. PayPal aims to ensure that employees can live a healthy, active life at work as well as at home. Their benefit package includes health cover for teammates and their families, access to an onsite gym, annual health assessments and onsite restaurants. In 2014 PayPal expanded its health strategy with a Live Well Programme that includes onsite dental appointments, a smoking cessation programme, a holistic fitness and wellness programme implemented in collaboration with their health partner, gym provider and catering company. The programme also includes a Maternity and Parental Strategy that supports new parents and women on maternity leave.

Excellence in Community – Partnership with Charity – Large Indigenous Company

Bewley’s for the initiative Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning. For 22 years, Bewley’s has supported Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of local hospice care. With €2.5m raised, the 2014 campaign supported major fundraising by the Hospice movement which supports over 3,100 people per month, and 732 new patients per month, in community based palliative care.

Excellence in Community – Partnership with Charity – Multinational Company

Microsoft for the project Youth2Work. Responding to the problem of youth unemployment Youth2Work provides free access to training for unemployed youth aged 16-26. Following these courses the objective is to ensure the youth secure full time employment. The programme aims to engage 10,000 youths in three years. After two years 5,000 youth have been trained with over 22% in full time jobs and over 80% either in further internships or have returned to full time education. This year the programme plans to run 260 courses and reach an additional 5,100 youths. Currently 2,800 students are on courses.

Excellence in CSR by an SME Award

DHR Communiation for Working with and for The Liberties. Located in the Liberties, DHR has built a CSR programme aimed at using their employees’ skills to enhance the local community. By concentrating on what they do best, DHR provides PR support to a number of local groups and facilitate employees to participate on boards and provide strategic counsel to community organisations. DHR draws on their experience in media relations, political communications and stakeholder engagement – and their knowledge of Dublin 8 – to promote a better image of The Liberties and work with local people to ensure the community achieves its full potential.