Arsenal FC TfL and Vanquis Bank among organisations shortlisted for prestigious responsible business awards

Here’s what you need to know

A premier league football club, a London based design and technology consultancy, and the capital’s transport operator are just some of the organisations shortlisted for this year’s Lord Mayor’sDragon Awards, which is one of the UK’s oldest and most distinguished responsible business gongs. 

The City of London Corporation, which runs the Awards, has announced the shortlist for the 30th anniversary Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards. There will be 18 businesses of all sizes and sectors making the cut and demonstrating their contribution to society.

Shortlisted applicants include Arsenal football club, which has been chosen for its community programme in Islington, Camden and Hackney, where coaches work with over 5,000 people across 150 venues each week. Through a range of sport, education, employment, health and social inclusion activities, the programme offers support and a sense of belonging and connection to those that need it most.

Design and technology consultancy firm Keytree has been shortlisted for its programme with charity Plan Zheroes-the Zero Food Waste Heroes for designing a mobile platform which provides an easy way for companies to donate their surplus food to charities instead of sending it to landfill.  The platform has now reached over 700 users, primarily London based, with around 2 tonnes of food per month- the equivalent of 4,000 meals, being distributed to people in need.

Legal services provider Mayer Brown has been put forward to the next round for its Refugee Employment Academy, a partnership project with charity Breaking Barriers. The initiative, aimed at refugees, offers paid work placements, employability skills workshops, language classes, a mentoring programme and support and advice for refugees.  

Previous winners and finalists have benefited through their involvement with the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards, citing a boost in employee engagement and new business.

This year, to celebrate the 30th year of the Awards, two new categories were added - one of which recognises London business supporting communities across the UK and another that celebrates innovation in responsible business.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Andrew Parmley said: “The firms shortlisted for the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards 2017 have gone above and beyond to support their communities.  They are making a real and measurable difference to vulnerable people and those in need.”

“The immense, invaluable contribution of business in tackling social issues often goes unnoticed.  In today’s challenging economic climate, we need their intervention more than ever.  These Awards celebrate the leaders of responsible business – inspiring and encouraging others to step up.”

The winners will be announced at The Mansion House in September where they will receive a prestigious ‘Dragon’ from Dr Andrew Parmley, Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Since they were founded in 1987, the Awards have attracted high quality applications from a variety of organisations across London- from SMEs to big City firms.

Firms shortlisted for last year’s Awards supported nearly 500,000 Londoners, creating over 14,500 jobs and investing over £10m in their local communities and local enterprises.

They mobilised 21,528 business volunteers who contributed over 110,000 hours to community groups, schools and disadvantaged Londoners.

The awards form one part of the City of London corporation’s commitment to working in partnership with business, charities and neighbouring boroughs to contribute to a more responsible, inclusive and competitive London.

As part of this drive, the corporation funds Heart of the City, a charity which supports London’s companies in running their own Responsible Business programmes.

The Corporation’s City of London Business Traineeship programme which helps state school students from the City’s neighbouring boroughs to develop the skills needed for a successful career.

Its charitable arm, City Bridge Trust, gives £20m every year to charitable and community organisations across London.

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