I was greeted by a beautifully sunny London on Tuesday as I made my way to the Royal Victoria Docks for the next round of National CSR Awards judging. The awards reward and encourage the development of ethical and responsible business practices, and aim to recognise any organisation that prioritises Social Responsibility and CSR, and I am thrilled to be a judge.
As I was early I had time to sneak into a lovely little coffee shop for a cup of Fairtrade coffee to set me up for the day. Full of Fairtrade goodness, I made my way to The Crystal, the world’s most sustainable events space and the venue for the day.
To start proceedings we were asked to tell everybody who our biggest CSR hero of 2016 has been. I chose Tim’s Uncle, David Turner, a research Chemist who has dedicated his life to researching ball lightening and is close to a point where he hopes to carry out an experiment which might just lead to a more sustainable energy source. Although... he is a little worried that the experiment he is soon to perform will almost certainly burn his house down! I visited him last year and he is an amazing and inspiring man. I really hope his experiment works.
After hearing about many inspirational heroes, it was time to get down to judging. We were split into three groups, one of which I was privileged to chair and I was keen to make sure that all our decisions were made on time. We were required to judge four categories and we kicked things off with the ‘Outstanding Individual Corporate Leadership’ category. Next we puzzled over the ‘Innovation for the Workplace Practice’ category. We also reviewed the ‘Overall Excellence in Social Responsibility’ category. The ‘Education Project Award’ was particularly difficult to judge as there were some truly inspirational entries. Across the board standard was mostly very high, and through assessing each category I gained a wonderful insight into the amazing projects that are going on in CSR across the country, and internationally too. Enthusiastic and fascinating CSR based discussion bubbled among the judges and it was thought-proving to hear lots of different views. There were some difficult decisions to be made but a sustainably sourced lunch was the perfect fuel for more afternoon deliberating.
I found judging very rewarding, both as a way of keeping really up to date and also to meet some other great CSR enthusiasts. I joined two of the judge’s for a cable car ride on the way home and we enjoyed some amazing views.
There was an upbeat atmosphere throughout the whole day and the brain work meant I slept like a log that night.
The CSR Conference and Awards Ceremony will be held on 12th May 2016. Use code CSR25 to receive 25% off your ticket.