Responsible business gongs recognise COVID-19 impact

London’s top responsible business awards are back after a coronavirus-prompted hiatus – with a focus on how companies across the capital have responded to the pandemic.

The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards are held every year by the City of London Corporation to celebrate businesses in London and beyond which go the extra mile to make a positive impact on society.

Nominations opened on September 22nd, the date the awards ceremony was originally due to be held before it was postponed to spring next year due to COVID-19.

This year’s awards include a new category recognising companies which have found creative or innovative ways to respond to social issues prompted by the crisis. 

They are open to businesses of all sizes and sectors which build strong community relationships, tackle disadvantage or inequality, promote inclusion or boost skills.

Lord Mayor William Russell said:

“It’s hard to overstate the impact COVID-19 has had on businesses across London, but the response to this unprecedented crisis from businesses and voluntary organisations has been magnificent to see.

“The Dragon Awards are about shining a light on companies across London and beyond which work with communities and the voluntary sector to have a positive impact on people and places.

“I look forward to seeing many examples of how firms have adapted existing responsible business programmes or launched new ones to tackle issues caused by, or exacerbated by the pandemic.”

This year, the awards are being organised for the first time by Heart of the City, the City Corporation-funded charity which supports hundreds of small and medium-sized enterprises with their responsible business programmes.

Sir Harvey McGrath, Heart of the City Chairman, said: 

“Every day we see the social impact made by the businesses we work with, from supporting local charities to increasing the diversity of their workforce to developing more ethical products or services.

“We look forward to recognising the efforts businesses have made during the pandemic, whether it’s supporting the mental wellbeing of staff during lockdown or helping to support local communities battling COVID-19.”

The Dragon Awards are part of the City Corporation’s commitment to working in partnership with businesses, charities and neighbouring boroughs to create a more responsible, inclusive and competitive London

Nominations can be made online at until Tuesday, 1 December with judging to take place in February and March. The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, 29 April, with the format to be confirmed, dependent on what coronavirus protective measures are in place at the time.

Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards Categories

– The Lord Mayor’s Award for Innovation during COVID-19

Celebrates businesses that have developed creative ways to benefit London communities during the pandemic and have been responsive to social issues that have emerged or worsened during the crisis, such as inequality, homelessness, physical and mental wellbeing or food security.

– Inclusive employment award

Celebrates businesses that remove barriers to employment and progression for disadvantaged, under-represented or minority groups, creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

– Boosting social impact award

For businesses which use their resources, expertise and influence to support small businesses, social enterprises or charities in London to start up, grow or become more sustainable and impactful.

– Regional Impact Award

Celebrates businesses with a London presence that are using their influence and resources to strengthen regional communities and have an impact beyond the capital.

– Heart of the City Award

Celebrates businesses that have begun to have a social impact in London within the last three years and have demonstrated a strategic commitment to tackling social issues and put the foundations in place to deliver sustainable impact into the future.

– Community Partners Award

Celebrates community organisations working in partnership with businesses to achieve excellence in social impact and recognises good practice and innovation in building and maintaining effective cross-sector partnerships that benefit London. The community organisation should apply on behalf of the business.

– The Lord Mayor’s Special Award for Sustainable Investment

Aimed at promoting development of sustainable and green finance, the award is open to companies whose investment activities or advice has delivered competitive financial returns while also having a positive impact on society or the environment.