Dublin, Wednesday, 24th April 2013 – Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) today announced that O2 and Carambola Kidz are the national winners in Ireland of the first European CSR Awards, supported by the European Commission. The awards give recognition to best practice in the field of CSR with regard to partnership, innovation and impact in Europe.
O2 won in the large company category for its Think Big programme which is run in partnership with Headstrong and aims to inspire young people around the country to promote positive mental health by doing projects in their local communities. In addition to funding, each Think Big project group gets support in the form of mentoring and training. To date nearly 300 Think Big projects have been approved for funding, with almost 5,000 young people participating. Think Big in Ireland is part of a wider European Think Big initiative by O2’s parent company Telefonica, the aim of which is to help create a more entrepreneurial Europe by backing young people and their ideas.
BITCI also announced that Carambola Kidz, a Limerick based supplier of bespoke healthy lunches to disadvantaged schools in Ireland, has won in the SME category for its partnership with Our Lady of Mercy Primary School in Sligo to install a fully functioning in-school library.
Both O2 and Carambola Kidz will represent Ireland at a celebration event in Brussels to be held in June along with the winning entries from 28 other European countries.
This is the first year of the pan-European CSR Awards, the overall aim of which is to give higher visibility to CSR excellence and raise global awareness on the positive impact that business can have on society. Business in the Community Ireland runs the awards scheme in Ireland as a national partner of CSR Europe.
“Both winning entries from Ireland epitomise a key goal of any CSR strategy; to align CSR activities with the overall business strategy. For O2, for example, Think Big has had an impact right across their business from an employee engagement perspective. For Carambola Kidz, their reputation is now preceding them and schools are approaching them about their business. Both projects show that the right CSR approach can not only have significant impact on society but also a measurable impact for the business.” said Tina Roche, CEO, Business in the Community Ireland.
“We are delighted to have won this award for our Think Big programme and our partnership with Headstrong. The success of the programme has been fantastic to date and we greatly appreciate the recognition that this award gives ‘Think Big’ on both a national and European level. ” said Tony Hanway, CEO of O2.
Colm O’ Brien, MD, Carambola Kidz, said, “Our entire work ethos is based on having a positive impact on every child and every school that we are privileged to serve, this is why we do, what we do. Taking on projects such as this one with Our Lady of Mercy School allows us to expand further on how we can have a positive impact on society and we are delighted to be replicating this project with St Thomas SNS in Jobstown, Tallaght. This award provides us with the inspiration and encouragement to maintain and nurture our core values. We are thrilled to accept the award on behalf of all the children that we serve. ”
All award entries had to be based on the theme of Partnerships, Innovation and Impact. The Irish judging panel included Sean Murphy, Deputy Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland, Heidi Lougheed, member of the EU presidency team, IBEC and Gerry Loughrey, Group Head of Corporate Responsibility, Irish Life. The overall European event will take place in Brussels on the 25th June 2013.