Our Northern Ireland partner, Henderson Group has been honoured twice in Business in the Community’s new look Responsible Business Awards for 2020.

Both the Wholesale and Technology companies have been named Responsible Business Champions at the annual awards event which seeks to honour businesses in Northern Ireland ‘…demonstrating strong, inclusive leadership, who continuously innovate to tackle pressing social issues and repair and rebuild our planet’.

Henderson Group, which employs over 4,000 staff, was named a Responsible Business Champion in the Wellbeing at Work category for their Well Aware strategy, while Henderson Technology took the same honour for the Responsible Digital Innovation Award for its partnership with Gander, the mobile app which helps stores clear more ‘reduced to clear’ food products to lower food waste.

The Group’s Well Aware programme, which was re-launched with a new strategy in 2018, has resulted in a decline in absence rates recorded from Jan ’18 – Dec ’19, an excellent staff retention rate and a more engaged workforce which has resulted in increased Group sales of over 9%.

Meanwhile, the Gander app has been supplied to 350 SPAR, EUROSPAR and ViVO branded stores free of charge, with over 41,000 user downloads of the app and on average, stores are reporting a 5% reduction in food waste.

“As a Group, our employee wellbeing is critical to our success, and as a family run business, we make the welfare of our teams a priority throughout the year,” said Sam Davidson, Group human resources director. “The Well Aware team’s hard work since relaunching in 2018 has been proven effective in increasing employee satisfaction and staff retention and I’m delighted they have been honoured by Business in the Community.”

Darren Nickels, retail technology operations director at Henderson Technology, said: “Working with Gander to implement the app’s use with our stores here in Northern Ireland has been a hugely successful example of showing the effect of technology and innovation to better the world around us. Driving down food waste is a Group-wide priority, and Gander is cost-effective as well as providing a tangible solution for retailers and shoppers alike. We’ve seen great results and look forward to it continuing.”

Kieran Harding, managing director, Business in the Community, said: “Congratulations to Henderson Wholesale and Henderson Technology.

“There is no doubt that 2020 has been a very different year to the one we expected; however, throughout the pandemic so far I am continually heartened by the determination of companies across Northern Ireland to be even more responsible through their activities as they take care of their people, the environment and their communities.

“We have moved to recognising our Responsible Business Champions for 2020 rather than highlighting one Award winner in each category. We feel this is the right thing to do in a year where a celebration event does not seem quite so fitting, but recognition of responsible business is still absolutely vital.”