FIRST Award for Responsible Capitalism 2011

7th December 2011

The Chancellor of the Exchequer presented the FIRST Responsible Capitalism awards at a special ceremony at Marlborough House, London, attended by over 300 prominent business leaders, Parliamentarians and Ambassadors. On presenting the Awards George Osborne commented “I attach great importance to the concept of Responsible Capitalism and congratulate FIRST on this important initiative. I am therefore delighted to present the FIRST Responsible Capitalism Awards for 2011.”

Michaël Bremans becomes the twelfth head of an international organisation to receive the award. The previous winners have been Lord Browne of Madingley, Group Chief Executive of BP (2000), Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Carlson Companies (2001), Sir Robert Wilson KCMG, Executive Chairman of Rio Tinto (2002) and now Chairman of the BG Group, Dr Daniel Vasella, Chairman and CEO of Novartis AG (2003), Mr Morris Tabaksblat KBE, former Chairman of Reid Elsevier and Mr Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Chairman of Ayala Corporation (joint winners 2004), Mr Alan Wood CBE, Chief Executive of Siemens plc (2005), Mr Rata Tata, Chairman of Tata Group (2006), Howard Schultz, Chief Executive of Starbucks Corporation (2007), Dr Mo Ibrahim, founder of Celtel International (2008), Andrew Witty, Chief Executive Officer of GlaxoSmithKline (2009) and Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership (2010).

When making the Award, the Judges are looking for a business leader who has consistently demonstrated social responsibility as an integral part of commercial success, examining in particular the manner in which their businesses interact both with the environment and the social communities in which they operate.

In making the Award to Michaël Bremans, Lord Woolf, Chairman of The FIRST Judging Panel said “Michaël Bremans has, through sensitive and positive leadership of Ecover International, demonstrated what can be achieved through innovation and research, based on sustainability.”

On receiving the Award for Responsible Capitalism, Michaël Bremans said, “I am deeply honoured and grateful to accept FIRST Magazine’s Responsible Capitalism Award on behalf of Ecover. When Ecover started more than 30 years ago, we would never have imagined being where we are today. From an artisan activity in the early eighties, Ecover has become a producer of sustainable household products and a leader in sustainable practices. Ecover is about our customers: As a company we deeply care about the needs of our customers. We are passionate about improving people’s lives by offering sustainable and healthy ways of living.”

The Special Dahrendorf Award for Social Enterprise was made to Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen for creating a very successful and pioneering company developing disease prevention solutions.

On receiving the Special Dahrendorf Award to Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen said, “I’d like to thank FIRST and the judges for choosing to honour smaller enterprises alongside the corporate giants. Responsible innovation comes from all corners, and we are proud to be a welterweight – just a few hundred employees – who pack a big punch. On behalf of my colleagues, I accept your generous award in recognition of that. Thank you.”

About the Awards
The Awards for Responsible Capitalism were initiated by FIRST in 2000 to honour business leaders who have excelled by achieving both commercial success and demonstrating social responsibility. Rupert Goodman, Chairman of FIRST said, “We at FIRST believe that commercial success can be assessed in terms of standard criteria, but that social responsibility involves a greater sense of the needs of the wider community as well as shareholders, a special interest in the well-being of groups in need, care for the areas in which the business operates, environmental initiatives, and support for the arts and culture.”

The Judging Panel is chaired by the Rt Hon Lord Woolf of Barnes, former Lord Chief Justice and includes Chief Emeka Anyaoku GVCO TC CFR (former Commonwealth Secretary General), Marilyn Carlson Nelson (Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Carlson Companies), Rt Hon Lord Howe of Aberavon CH QC (former Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Lord Plant of Highfield (Professor of Political Philosophy), Hon Philip Lader (Chairman of WPP Group), Sir Robert Wilson KCMG (Chairman of BG Group), Dr Daniel Vasella (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Novartis), Lord Cormack DL FSA, Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge (Chairman of Pirelli), Ratan Tata (Chairman of Tata Group), Howard Schultz (Chairman of Starbucks) and Philippa Foster Back OBE (Director of the Institute of Business Ethics).

FIRST is a multidisciplinary International Affairs organisation. It aims to enhance communications between leaders in industry, finance and government, worldwide and promote strategic dialogue. This is achieved via key channels; publishing, events, awards and cartographic services. FIRST is a winner of a PPA Award for Publishing Excellence and received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2010 in recognition of its growth in international markets.

Lord Hurd of Westwell, former Foreign Secretary, is Chairman of the FIRST Advisory Council.

For more information please contact:

Rupert Goodman, Chairman of FIRST
Tel: 020 7389 9640
Fax: 020 7389 9644
Mob: 07899 900156