Obtaining a Sustainable Business Award

Rachel Lark - November 22, 2023

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Organizations must reward companies embracing sustainable development. It is necessary for making progress toward global goals and decarbonization. Humanity must make sustainability enticing to make the planet livable, which is why sustainable business awards exist. There are numerous worldwide with varying tenure, criteria, and priorities. Many have industry professionals as judges, so you can see the greatest minds that will analyze sustainable development.

Let’s explore what accolades corporations can snag if they commit to helping the planet in response to the climate crisis. These organizations encourage enterprises to brag about their eco-friendly achievements.

The Sustainability Awards

Despite the generic name, the award is exclusive to businesses in the Cleaning and Hygiene industries. The award has seen so much growth since growing interest in these sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic that they had to have a gap year between awards. It is open to large and small companies. Organizational departments are also allowed. Other than this, they do not post specific criteria except for an option to express interest. These are the awards they give:

  • Carbon Reducer
  • Social Value Impact
  • Renewable Energy
  • Best Sustainability Marketing and Communication Initiative
  • Team Sustainability
  • Individual Sustainability 

Excellence in Economic Development Awards

These awards are more diverse, expanding to the realms of bettering urban, suburban, and rural communities through positive development. Brackets are depending on the size of your organization. Some categories include neighborhood development, economic equity and inclusion, and resiliency, recovery, and mitigation.

Global Initiatives

This recognition aims to highlight companies making the world safer by catalyzing inspirational dialog in sustainable corporate spaces. The organization makes a point to note corporations who enter will enhance their brand because of the endorsement. They have 12 categories, some including:

  • Water management
  • Community
  • Workforce
  • Supply chain management
  • Stakeholder engagement and materiality
  • Adherence to United Nations sustainable development goals

World’s Most Ethical Companies

This award system asks a fundamental question — are you one of the world’s most ethical companies? Submit to this award to find out. They have a rating system called their Ethics Quotient, where submissions come with a 243-question test. With almost 20 countries and over 45 industries, many strive for this high honor. They value these eco-social categories in their process:

  • Third-party management, 5%
  • Governance, 20%
  • Culture of ethics, 20%
  • Environmental and social impact, 20%
  • Ethics and compliance, 35%

Energy Globe Awards

The award goes to projects worldwide in five categories — earth, fire, water, air, and youth. Though the applicants do not have to be businesses, they can be. The earth category represents ideas like reforestation and land preservation. Fire looks at projects like energy efficiency and accessibility. Water looks at ocean cleaning and eliminating water scarcity. Air focuses on new fuels and decreasing air pollution. 

Finally, youth encompasses education and inspiring the next generation to fight for the planet.

Business Intelligence Group

The BIG offers more awards, including ones related to artificial intelligence. But, their sustainability awards rely on nominations instead of outright submissions. They want nominations for companies that make sustainability a primary focus of their operations. They have a few categories for best sustainable leadership and initiatives, among others.

Green World Awards

This is one of the most competitive sustainable business awards because it considers the world. Companies worldwide compete, and recent winners include organizations from Germany, Taiwan, Portugal, and China. They have waste management, carbon reduction, and environmental policy awards, among other categories. 

Green Apple Environment Awards

The Green Champions of the Green Apple Awards go to organizations, communities, or people. They judge entrants based on how well they:

  • Perform operations with the environment in mind.
  • Publicize wise use of resources.
  • Encourage healthy eco-competitiveness.
  • Support the UN development goals. 

Reuters Responsible Business Awards

This award also relies on nominations instead of submissions. They have some of the most innovative categories in their roster, including companies best moving toward a circular transition, the world’s champion on biodiversity, and encouraging purpose-driven communications. The Reuters awards are an insight into how diverse environmental impacts can be, especially on a corporate level.

Sustainable Business Network

The SBN is only for entrants in Aotearoa, New Zealand. If you are a business in that area, there are nine award categories to compete for. They have similar creative categories to Reuters, focusing on communication and circularity. However, they also acknowledge climate action leaders within New Zealand and those who are the best at transforming the nation with and without collaboration.

Zero Project

Every year, the Zero Project announces awards based on themes. For 2024, the theme is inclusive education, information and communication technologies, and scalable solutions. Businesses and educators can submit for this award. They seem broader in topic than other organizations, but they accentuate the eco-social side of sustainability required for well-rounded discourse and progress.

Sustainable Future Awards

They have 29 awards for businesses looking to the future of climate healing. Instead of having 29 separate categories, they have overarching umbrellas with sub-categories. For example, they have awards for energy excellence and innovation, with particular accolades for solar, marine, and micro-generation efforts, among others. They want companies that embrace these principles:

  • Excellent management and governance
  • Taking action
  • Dedicating service
  • Prioritizing learning
  • Engaging in development

Duty of Care Awards

The International SOS Foundation has several categories relating to sustainability, including ESG care and inclusion and diversity. If you have sustainability innovations, you could apply for their “Innovation” category, though not all of their awards directly relate to climate-related subjects.

Every organization that offers ESG awards are fascinating, as ESG guidelines and recommendations change constantly — so keep your eyes peeled on the space for how the world adapts.

Earn a Sustainable Business Award

Whether you are a CEO or an employee, set goals to achieve the standards of at least one sustainable business award. The more organizations appear to recognize businesses for their commitment, the more likely every corporation will shift to greener models. 

Receiving an award spreads climate optimism necessary for changing the world on a larger scale. The benefits exceed more than fulfillment, including brand loyalty and setting new standards for your sector. Adopting award criteria will impact profitability, productivity, and positivity in every corner of the business.

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About the author

Rachel Lark

Rachel serves as the Assistant Editor of A true foodie and activist at heart, she loves covering topics ranging from veganism to off grid living.