Mannok has been shortlisted for two Responsible Business Awards in the 2022 Business in the Community NI awards in the Climate Change and Educational Partnerships categories. The awards are widely recognised as the most prestigious and respected awards championing responsible business in Northern Ireland, which is evident in the calibre of finalists in each category.
Commenting on the announcement that the company has been shortlisted in both categories at this year’s awards, Mannok Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Lunney, commented,
“We’re extremely pleased to be included among the very impressive businesses shortlisted for both awards this year. Both categories are reflective of the three foundational pillars of our recently published Mannok 2030 Vision, which are People, Planet and Partners. We have worked very hard to develop a strategy which centres around these pillars and ensures we will continue to focus our efforts on priorities which will benefit all three and ensure the long-term sustainability of our business.
We have invested significant resources in both our Educational Partnerships and our Sustainability in Action Programme, and it is very rewarding for all the teams involved, and our numerous partners, to be announced as finalists in the relevant categories.”
The Educational Partnership Award is awarded to the organisation that best demonstrates how its actions have helped raise the aspirations and achievements of young people (aged 4-19) through a solid business education partnership. Caroline McCaffrey, Mannok Human Resources Manager, explained why the company has been shortlisted for this particular award, saying,
“We’re very proud of our Mannok Futures Programme, which is a very comprehensive framework for career long learning and development, and includes a significant number of partnerships with the region’s educational institutions. This particular award focuses on our work with the young people in this region, through our partnerships with multiple schools, colleges and universities. It is an area we have worked incredibly hard to develop to address issues such as brain drain and really showcase the calibre of opportunities available for young people here on their doorstep. We’ve built very strong, mutually beneficial relationships with our partners which, most importantly, bring significant benefits to those post primary students who will be the future workforce and industry leaders of this area.”
The company’s flagship schools’ partnerships have played an important part in earning a place on the shortlist alongside the Lyric Theatre, Price Waterhouse Cooper and ABP Food Group. Mannok now has a total of three well established schools’ partnerships in the region, with plans to bring the number to five by 2025. The partnerships’ framework has been previously recognised with awards success when Mannok established its first partnership with St. Michael’s College, Enniskillen, back in 2016. Since then, new partnerships with St. Aidan’s, Derrylin and Mount Lourdes, Enniskillen have proven that the best practice framework can successfully be adapted and transferred.
In addition to the schools’ partnerships, the Mannok Futures Programme includes successful partnerships with numerous higher level educational institutions, including South West College, Ulster University and Queen’s University.
The Climate Action Award is a new category at this year’s awards and will be awarded to the organisation that best demonstrates a significant commitment and contribution to climate action in Northern Ireland.
Mannok joins the impressive shortlist for this award alongside Hughes Insurance, Habinteg Housing Association (Ulster), McLaughlin & Harvey, JP Corry, Translink, SONI, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and Shoosmiths LLP. It is the company’s Sustainability in Action Programme, which incorporates a varied and comprehensive range of sustainability initiatives, which earned its place on the shortlist, as the company’s Sustainability Manager, Paul Monaghan, explains,
“Our Sustainability in Action Programme includes a huge range of activities centred around the Planet pillar of our 2030 Vision. Our priorities outlined in our strategy include decarbonisation, waste reduction, biodiversity and resource efficiency, so each of the initiatives directly contribute to our ambitious targets. We’re very proud to be shortlisted for this category, and as well as the many employees who deserve recognition, a great deal of credit must also go to our partners who have helped us achieve significant progress in our climate action efforts.”
The wide range of initiatives which form Mannok’s Sustainability in Action Programme include the development of the company’s Mannok 2030 Vision, its sustainability strategy which outlines environmental targets focused on decarbonisation, biodiversity and resource efficiency.
On the decarbonisation front, Mannok has significantly advanced its extensive decarbonisation programme, including the introduction of new zero emissions electric vehicles in its first moves to decarbonise its large fleet, and a number of internationally collaborative research and development projects to develop innovative cement decarbonisation solutions, some of which are at a very advanced stage.
A number of achievements in the biodiversity space include the introduction of a new Biodiversity Policy; the development of Natural Assets Action Plans in partnership with Ulster Wildlife to preserve, restore and enhance circa 2,000 acres of Mannok-owned land and double its carbon sequestration rate;
the very popular and innovative Kestrel Cam project; the achievement of Silver accreditation in Business in the Community NI’s Business and Biodiversity Charter; and the company’s fun and interactive Kick the Carbon tree planting initiative, which earned Mannok Best Sustainability Initiative at UK Construction Week in 2021.
The judges for Business in the Community NI’s Responsible Business Awards look at a number of criteria in the rigorous judging process, including leadership and strategy, activities and processes, stakeholder engagement, measurement and reporting, innovation and transferability, and benefits to both the business and the community. Winners will be announced at gala event to be held at ICC in Belfast in September.
John Healy, The Prince’s Responsible Business Ambassador Northern Ireland, explained the significance of the awards, saying,
“These Responsible Business Awards are really important. The judging and the criteria are really difficult and that makes it all the more exciting for companies who put themselves forward; it makes it all the more of an achievement whenever people get shortlisted for these awards. That in itself is an achievement because we know that the Responsible Business Awards are the premier awards to compete for. We get the opportunity to look in and see what other companies are doing and then to build networks and be able to go and have conversations and see how we can bring some of that into our businesses as well. So they are super awards to be part of, it’s a great opportunity to celebrate success for the businesses which are shortlisted.”