Keytree and Plan Zheroes was presented with the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award for Innovation 2017 at a gala event hosted at Mansion House in London. The Award recognises the years of hard work it takes to create and develop a platform to coordinate the recovery and delivery of unwanted food to those who need it most.
Now celebrating its 30th year, the awards recognise responsible businesses of all sizes and sectors which go above and beyond their regular work to address social issues across London and the UK. This year has seen a huge variety of winners, from SME’s to multinationals, sports clubs to law firms and financial services organisations to recruitment agencies – the 2017 winners also included:
- Lord Mayor’s Award – Arsenal FC for Arsenal in the Community
- Community Partnership Award – Bromley by Bow Centre
- Regional Impact Award – PwC for PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club
- Inclusive Employment Award – Mayer Brown for its Refugee Employment Academy
- Accelerator Award – UBS for its Community Affairs programme in Hackney and East London
- Heart of the City Award – Impact Creative Recruitment for Future Proofing Talent Through Diversity
Cross sector collaboration in action
Keytree was inspired to work with Plan Zheroes after witnessing the huge amount of food thrown away by local restaurants and cafés outside its central London offices. The creation of the Plan Zheroes digital platform provides a simple way for companies to donate their surplus food to charities instead of sending it to landfill and has now reached over 700 business, charities and volunteers.
Primarily London based, around two tonnes of food per month – the equivalent of 4,000 meals, is distributed to Londoners in need. Every month, 40 new users join the scheme, including restaurant chain Nando’s, large-scale contract caterer Compass, and a string of independent cafés and bakeries.
Keytree CEO Dan McNamara commented: “We are honoured to have been awarded this prestigious prize, but more importantly we are thrilled we can use our expertise at Keytree to support such a worthwhile charity. The team at Plan Zheroes work relentlessly to make sure people who are less fortunate in London do not go hungry, and it is a truly humbling experience to work with them. If this award helps raise the profile of what they do and their efforts, then we could not be happier.”
The annual Awards are run by the City of London Corporation and Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley, Lord Mayor of the City of London, who presented the awards said: “I applaud all the valuable and innovative work Keytree is doing across London which is truly making a difference to our communities, as well as benefitting those employees involved. We want to encourage more businesses to follow the example set by our winners, and see what they achieve by going that extra mile to benefit society.”
Laura Hopper, CEO at Plan Zheroes reminded us why we do the work. She said: “Thanks so much to everyone at Keytree who has contributed to building this wonderful tool that enables charities and community groups to access great quality food. Keytree is an excellent example of how companies can use their skills and expertise for social good, and we are truly grateful for your support.”
It was the inaugural year for the Innovation Award, and it recognises companies that have developed new ways to benefit London’s communities – be it by utilising their unique position to address an often overlooked social problem or by finding new ways to benefit society on a long-standing issue.
“Keytree is an excellent example of how companies can use their skills and expertise for social good, and we are truly grateful for your support.”
Laura Hopper, CEO – Plan Zheroes
The Dragon Awards started in 1987, when the City of London was charged with a lack of care, and for not becoming involved in the problems of inner cities existing on its doorstep. The Awards were designed to show not only how much work has already been done, but also to encourage more companies and financial institutions to become involved in their local communities. Both of these factors still form an integral part of the Dragon Awards’ brief today.