The call goes out for ethical business leaders


The Independent is to sponsor a ground-breaking award scheme for businesses that have consistently shown the highest standards of corporate governance, social responsibility and employee engagement.

The Peer Awards for Excellence 2012 will reward individuals at businesses with a track record for innovation in each of these categories, each vital focuses for organisations with a desire to succeed in the 21st century marketplace. The idea, at a time when the reputation of some commercial organisations has never been lower, is to celebrate the best efforts of those businesses who are working to be good corporate citizens during a time of unprecedented economic headwinds.

"People at all levels of business are facing big challenges, today as much as ever," said Stephen Citron, the director of the awards. "The Peer Awards celebrate some inspirational people overcoming these in innovative ways, individuals who are prepared to share their insights with others."

The awards build on a successful initiative run during 2011, for which the winners were announced last week. The overall winner was Georgina Havers, principal training specialist at PPD, for her work on online training and web conferencing. The runner-up was Tara Mulqueen, duty manager and Member at The People's Supermarket, with an entry about their community cooperative, an alternative commercially viable food buying network strongly connected with its local farming community.

Other category winners and runners-up included Royal Carribbean, Lakehouse, PZ Cussons, PKF, Spurgeon Training and Legal & General, while the finalists included the BBC, IPC Media, Thomas Eggar, Thomson Reuters and the Universities of Bolton and of Middlesex. This year's awards will concentrate on three themes: corporate governance, people and performance, and social responsibility. The shortlist will be announced in the spring of next year, with each of the nominees invited to speak at the Peer Awards Conference in June, before the final winners are unveiled. Their entries will also be showcased with a short video online, with everyone at the conference invited to offer their views on who should win. "The awards represent a departure from traditional awards because they are not only about the winning," Mr Citron added. "The Peer Awards focus more on sharing and celebrating the outstanding inspirational ideas that underpin the entries. The awards conference will also give a great platform for people to present their innovative work...and for others to learn from their experience."

For more on the Peer Awards – and to download a short entry form – visit Choose the category that best describes where your work is most innovative. If successful, you will be invited to present your entry to the shortlisting panel and if shortlisted will be invited to speak at conference next June.