Social impact awards celebrated at launch event

The West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce showcased improvements and changes to its social impact initiative, Raising the Bar, at the 2019 launch. The launch of Raising the Bar last night (Tuesday 4 June) was a great success for recognising the outstanding social impact businesses have within their local communities and for demonstrating how their achievements can be rewarded through the Raising the Bar Awards. Sandy Needham, Chief Executive of the West & North Yorkshire Chamber, unveiled several changes to the initiative at the event, including a revamped benchmarking tool, which businesses can use to regularly monitor their social impact and benchmark their impact against other businesses. Amber Greenhalgh, Commercial Director for B&M Waste Services, gave an impassioned talk at the awards on what social impact means to B&M Waste and how they secured their Environment and Community award wins last November. Amber described how her team used the benchmarking tool to track their social impact in relation to their work in the local community and education, contributing towards their 2018 success. Amber said: “We’re very proud to have been recognised last year with not just one, but two Raising the Bar awards for our work in the community and in protecting the environment. Our previous submission showcased our efforts (as a carbon neutral waste management company) in assisting businesses to move up the waste hierarchy, minimising waste and recycling as much as possible. “We extend our encouragement to other local businesses to nominate themselves for this year’s awards, there are some truly fantastic efforts being made across Yorkshire which should be recognised and celebrated.” Commenting further on the new changes, Sandy Needham, Chief Executive of the West & North Yorkshire Chamber, said: “I hope businesses will use the measurement tool, get ideas from the case studies and top tips on the Raising the Bar website and encourage their suppliers, clients and colleagues to get involved. Having a great company culture and an interest in the wider community makes good sense for everyone and are aspects that really do help to recruit and retain the best people.” Drax Group will sponsor this year’s Environment award category for the Raising the Bar Awards ceremony in November. The Chamber is delighted that Drax will be supporting the awards, as they have a strong record of being environmentally sustainable. The launch was held at the new co-working and office space Avenue HQ Leeds, with the event space being generously provided by Barclays Eagle Labs. Raising the Bar is an initiative from the West & North Yorkshire Chamber that helps companies achieve their social responsibility aims. The Raising the Bar Awards has four award categories – community, economy, education and environment – and will open for entries this year on August 5th.

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