Social business awarded for its Impact on Society

A unique business using commercial success to create social impact has been honoured with another national award.

Recycling Lives was commended at the British Institute for Facilities Management (BIFM) annual awards – celebrated in London on October 9 – winning the Impact on Society category.

The organisation’s submission to the awards highlighted how its waste and facilities management operations support the delivery of social impact, offering its clients tangible CSR via their contracts.

The awards judges said: “This outstanding scheme is put into practice by a truly exceptional team of people…who understand the need to be commercially successful in order to give back to the community.

“It is a sustainable and scalable concept that demonstrates that as a business they are ambitious and entrepreneurial, and have a track record for committing to long term programmes.”

The organisation – headquartered in Preston and with sites nationwide – creates social impact through programmes for job creation, offender rehabilitation, food redistribution and tackling homelessness.

In 2015/16, it created social value worth £4.1m through two programmes alone, by significantly reducing reoffending through its HMP Academies and supporting charities and tackling food poverty through its Food Redistribution Centre.

Recycling Lives also won in the National Recycling Awards earlier this year, when the team at the Food Redistribution Centre – a food charity redistributing surplus goods from food suppliers to charities and community groups – was named Team of the Year.

The business has enjoyed significant growth in recent years, trebling its run rate and opening new sites across Greater Manchester, Cumbria and the Midlands. This has also supported the expansion of its charitable programmes, opening new HMP Academies for offender rehabilitation and expanding its food charity into Cumbria.

Senior commercial manager Anthony Sharkey said: “We are so pleased to have won. Our unique business model demonstrates that an organisation does not have to choose between good business and doing good – we achieve both, and this is down to the buy-in of our clients as well as our exceptional team.”

Other winners at the BIFM Awards included Carillion plc, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.

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