Sustainable business invited to apply for "corporate knighthoods"

Businesses working in sustainable development are being invited to apply for a royal award recognising their good work.

Organisations from all sectors can apply for a Queen's Award for Enterprise - dubbed a corporate knighthood - which recognises outstanding achievement in international trade, innovations and sustainable development.

For the first time applications can be made online and organisers are hoping to attract more entries than ever.

Stephen Brice, secretary to The Queen's Awards Office, said: "Over the last five years, more than 600 companies have won Queen's Awards, but I'm convinced there are many more worthy firms out there who stand a good chance of winning this prestigious corporate accolade.

"The Queen's Awards are all about celebrating the best examples of British-based businesses, large and small, from every sector.

"They also bring substantial benefits to winners in terms of reputation and recognition."

Any business with two or more employees can apply for an award in one or more of the three categories and if their achievements are deemed outstanding for their sector they stand every chance of winning one.

There is no limit to the number of awards that can be won each year. This year 119 awards were announced on the Queen's birthday, April 21.

The winners, who can use the Queen's Award emblem for five years, attended a special reception at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday (July 18).

The award is said to provide publicity for the firm and a boost to staff morale.

A survey of last year's winners revealed 70 percent believed it added commercial value to the company.

Nominations are also being sought for The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion - an award for individuals, who have played an outstanding role in promoting the growth of enterprise or entrepreneurial skills and attitudes in others.

Applications and nominations for the 2008 awards must be received by midnight of October 31, 2007. For more information visit

David Gibbs


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