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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

REWARDING ETHICAL BUSINESS The National CSR Awards recognise companies that make a difference. Ian Trevett spoke to Karen Sutton, the driving force behind these welcome awards.

Marks & Spencer won a CSR Award in 2015 for their Plan A initiative, which has led their sustainable activities for nearly 10 years.

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fter impressing on a two-week work experience placement with a photography company, Karen Sutton found herself trackside, photographing the action and the big names on the Formula One circuit. Not only was she one of the youngest photographers on the circuit, she was also a rare female representative. “There was just myself and one other woman among 90 or so men, so we had to prove ourselves!” Working with teams such as McLaren, Tyrell, Williams and Jordan and several of their key sponsors, it was a petrol head’s dream. Luckily, Karen was already a motor racing enthusiast. “I was brought up on those great battles between Mansell and Senna.” So when Karen decided to go it alone and set up Limelight Design & Marketing, it was almost inevitable that she chose a spot in the heart of the Brooklands Business Park, overlooking the banking on the famous Brooklands track.

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Karen with villager children in Piura, Peru when visiting a water purification project that she supported with her Rotary Club, Shepperton Aurora.

Recognising the potential to encourage and foster business relationships and to truly ‘keep business local’ within the area, she established the business community initiative Business@Brooklands (of which she is still Founder and Chairman) and the associated Brooklands CSR Forum, designed to recognise opportunities within the community and unite local businesses to work together towards their individual goals and CSR Policies. “The local businesses all loved the idea of the CSR forum,” says Karen, “and it became a place where people could share ideas and best practices. I find that businesses, in general, do want to be involved in their local communities and look after the environments they work in. “It wasn’t long before one of the members suggested that we recognise organisations in the local area for their efforts, but me being me, the concept very quickly grew from a local idea to a National one and that’s when the

National CSR Awards initiative was launched. We used our experience as a marketing agency to generate a national awareness. “Actually, the marketing of the awards was one of the best-received projects we have done. When you say you are doing anything to do with CSR, it is amazing how receptive people are to take your calls. It isn’t always that way! Everyone, even multi-nationals, wants to talk about CSR, and the idea of the awards had a very positive response. In fact, we didn’t get a single negative comment. “The awards are unique. They bring together education, energy, community, sustainability and staff welfare. There are many awards out there which celebrate one of these, but combining them all is unique.”

To find out more, visit the website: www.nationalCSRawards.co.uk

Profile for Platinum Business

PLATINUM BUSINESS MAGAZINE - ISSUE 20 - SURREY EDITION  

The widest-read business publication in the South East. Covering International Trade, Legal Issues, Accountancy, Wealth Management, Business...

PLATINUM BUSINESS MAGAZINE - ISSUE 20 - SURREY EDITION  

The widest-read business publication in the South East. Covering International Trade, Legal Issues, Accountancy, Wealth Management, Business...