In an uncertain time for business and society, it is encouraging to know that so many London-based firms remain dedicated to going the extra mile for their local communities.
Businesses are increasingly doing more to benefit society and have the greatest possible impact through their working practices.
I regularly meet companies that are championing responsible recruitment and ethical procurement, as well as boosting their charitable giving and workforce diversity.
And today, the 2019 Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards – London’s premier “responsible business” gongs which celebrates firms like these – open for applications.
We want to hear from businesses of all sizes and sectors about how they improve people’s lives and contribute towards a thriving society.
Over the last 32 years, Dragon Award applicants have reached over 11m people, mobilised 200,000 volunteers, and provided around a quarter of a billion pounds in donations and in-kind support.
For the first time, this year we have introduced a special Lord Mayor’s Award for Digital Leadership, which reflects my mayoral campaign: Shaping Tomorrow’s City Today. This award celebrates businesses investing in the UK’s digital future by nurturing and developing the skills that are crucial for both competitiveness and a digitally inclusive society.
I want to recognise and celebrate the good work of organisations that bring these skills to younger or less represented groups. Such firms are playing a leading role in providing routes into digital employment and developing the skills which are transforming their businesses.
It is now more important than ever that we bring communities together to build, develop and nurture the pipeline of innovative talent equipped with the skills fit for the future.
And as we focus on developing talent, we must ensure that everyone is included in our digital journey.
This kind of technological transformation offers us an opportunity to address inclusion, widen social mobility, and create new opportunities for everyone. We must grab this potential with both hands.
Businesses have a fundamentally important role to play in society, through job creation, tax contributions, and the provision of services, but also through operating in the interests of their employees, customers, and the wider public.
For business, it’s a win-win. Previous Dragon Award winners have landed new contracts, improved internal relationships and PR, and developed stronger reputations as a result of taking part in the scheme.
Over the last three decades, the Dragon Awards have demonstrated that firms in the UK and in London in particular are engaged in world-class responsible business.
But I know that we can go even further. By showcasing these role-model firms, we seek to inspire others to raise their game.
I am calling on businesses to come forward and show us what they are doing to benefit society.
Whether your organisation is leading community volunteering schemes or helping social enterprises to expand and flourish, we want to hear from you.