Today, Anglian is marking receiving a Queen’s Award for Sustainability for the second time. Chief Exec Peter Simpson, explains why now, even more than usual, the award is so meaningful.
Water is our business. We are the custodians of the essential natural resource, which supports our communities, powers our local economy and gives life to the wider environment. We have long understood our responsibility to protect it, putting wider social and environmental good at the heart of our business, and working to protect and prepare our region for the long term.
Championing a sustainable approach through our ‘Love Every Drop’ ethos is part of our DNA, built into the very core of how we do business. But with the responsibility of serving the driest and fastest growing region in the UK, comes the need to continually push ourselves further to meet the challenges ahead. Last year we became the first water company to change our Articles of Association - the legal underpinning of our business – and formally embed public purpose and environmental improvements in the way we do business every day.
Now, with the backdrop of COVID19, our simple purpose as key workers is clear; keeping taps running, toilets flushing and drains draining – providing the essential services our customers need, so they can use them without a second thought.
Last week we announced the launch of the Anglian Positive Difference Fund, alongside a whole package of measures to support our communities and our employees. We can clearly see it has never been more important for companies like ours to step up, so that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.
The £1million Fund will be distributed through a locally appointed partner, which has expertise in getting money quickly to areas in which it is most needed. Half will be fast tracked to community organisations on the front line – food banks and outreach programmes - fighting the battle against coronavirus, with a further fifty per cent released to meet emerging needs later in the year. Simply, it’s the right thing to do.
As Business in the Community’s Regional Ambassador for the East, and alongside establishing our own fund we have been working hard to help set-up a new network to bring together charities and community groups who have urgent needs during this crisis, with businesses who may be able to offer support.
Via their web site, you can see a virtual notice board which starts the matching process. It’s well supported by hundreds of BiTC staff and generous contributions from companies, but we are still looking for companies to make offers of support and to identify local needs in the current crisis.
Today we’re humbled and honoured that this approach, the way we do business, and the hard work of all our people has been recognised with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are one of the most prestigious business awards in the UK. They celebrate exciting and innovative businesses. This year, 220 UK businesses have been recognised for their contributions.
I’m proud we’ve received this award for a second time. Rightly at the moment, it’s marked by muted fanfare and quiet celebration. Nonetheless, this award is for everyone who works for us, within our business and throughout our supply chain. Every day they put customers, communities and the environment at the heart of their thinking. And now, the critical nature of their work has never been clearer.
We hope this boosts their spirits as they work tirelessly to keep the water flowing and our communities and environment safe.