Business & Enterprise

CSR: Get Involved

Responsible Business Practice

Westminster is a city of unrivalled opportunity. A place where businesses and residents have the support they need to grow and share in the prosperity of the city. However, living costs are rising, air quality is challenging and affecting everyone who lives, works and visits here. We want businesses to put responsible business practices at the heart of what they do to ensure they meet changing expectations and thrive responsibly.

Responsible business or Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is about conducting your business with consideration for ethical, environmental and community goals to ensure a positive impact on your employees, customers and clients, the environment and your local neighbourhood and community.

We are working collaboratively with businesses and partners to support, recognise and reward responsible business initiatives. We ask businesses to focus their efforts on three priority areas.


1. Westminster’s priorities

Westminster City Council recognises the important role the local business community plays in supporting the vision for a City for All and our Enterprise and Employment Programmes. We have a wide range of priorities, but through discussion with businesses and the local voluntary and community groups, the Council is asking businesses to focus their corporate social responsibility work into three areas:

  • Creating Opportunity –providing opportunities to Westminster residents to help them towards work, examples include advertising locally first, providing supported employment, working interviews or work experience. Tackling unemployment is a council priority because we know it creates and improves life chances.
  • Building Great Neighbourhoods – making positive impact locally, examples include using your business’ skills to support a local charity or voluntary sector organisation, to providing more affordable housing options.
  • A World Class Environment – Westminster suffers with some of the worst air quality in the country. The Council is asking everyone to play their role in reducing pollution, examples include, only using electric or hybrid vehicles or taking part in a supply or waste consolidation service.


2. Recognition – Become a Westminster Lion


Responsible business practice is something to be proud about, particularly when it improves the lives of our residents and communities. The council would like to recognise all businesses who operate ethically and work towards our three priorities of creating opportunity, building great neighbourhoods, and providing a world-class environment. The Westminster Lion accreditation recognises businesses that are making a positive impact in Westminster through responsible business practice and making efforts to deliver the council’s priorities.

Those organisations that have been successful in their application to become accredited as a Westminster Lion have all been informed. Westminster City Council has proudly accredited the following 31 businesses and organisations for the 2018/19 period:

Accredited Businesses
 Goring Hotel  Baker Street Partnership  HOLBA
 Capita PLC  Land Securities  The Creative Society
 Blackstone  The Portman Estate  Willmott Dixon
 University of Westminster  Laing O’Rorke  Supreme Court of the UK
 Derwent London  Odelay Films  John Lewis
 Community Fibre  Capital Arches Group  Simone de Gale
 The Paddington Partnership  Balfour Beatty  Royal Automobile Club
 Grosvenor  Edwardian Hotels  Cycle Confident
 David Miller Architects  The House of St Barnabas  Veolia
 Shaftesbury  Westminster Property Association  Sir Robert McAlpine
 Central Hall Westminster

 3. Reward – Westminster Lion Awards

To celebrate outstanding commitments to responsible business practice and to making a positive impact in Westminster, each year the council will host an awards ceremony, marking the achievements of businesses and organisations of all sizes in being responsible partners in Westminster.

The council will present the responsible business leaders with a bespoke Lion Award across a number of categories, including the council’s three priorities. Those that, in their application to be accredited, demonstrated the most impressive track record in being responsible business have been shortlisted for a Westminster Lion award.

 Opportunities Award   Great Neighbourhoods Award
 Winner:  Capital Arches Group   Winner: Grosvenor Britain and Ireland
 Shortlisted:  Shortlisted:
 David Miller Architects  University of Wwestminster
 Land Securities  John Lewis
 Laing O’Rourke
 Environment Award  Small Business Award
Winner: Willmott Dixon Winner: Odelay Films
 Shortlisted:  Shortlisted:
The Portman Estate Community Fibre
Veolia Simone de Gale Architects
Impact Award Excellence Award
Winner: Baker Street Quarter Partnership Winner: David Miller Architects
Shortlisted: Shortlisted:
Grosvenor The Paddington Partnership
Veolia John Lewis

4. Collaborate – The Business Impact Forum

The Business Impact Forum 2018 is a free event bring together local businesses to learn about how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can impact and reputation.

This year 30 organisations, large and small came to hear about the number of ways they can collaborate with the council to improve their CSR efforts, wherever they are on the responsible business journey.

To find out more, download the programme here.

5. Support

Let us help you support these priorities

We have identified tangible ways local businesses can make a real difference to our residents and communities, through enhancing existing CSR schemes and providing you with information to get you started. To ease the challenge of navigating the council’s services please direct your initial enquires to the Business Unit.

Please email


Heart of the City Programme

Join our free programme to get support to kick-start or develop your responsible business activities.

We have partnered with Heart of the City to offer 30 places on their Foundation programme for Westminster-based SMEs wanting to develop their CSR activities. Heart of the City is the country’s largest responsible business network for small companies and has supported hundreds of London firms to do business better.

Joining the free one-year programme will provide businesses in Westminster with the tools and knowledge they need to develop responsible business initiatives through access to a calendar of events, workshops, online resources and access to their network of supporters.

Applications for the 2019 Foundation Programme will be open from September 2018.

To find out more and register your interest in joining next year’s programme contact us on or visit


Contact the Westminster Business Unit to get information and advice on affordable workspace, business support, employment and training, business rates, licensing, and more.

The easiest way to get in contact with us is via our web form, which can be found here.


Our business e-newsletter is sent out monthly and keeps you up-to-date with:

  • Special offers and discounts for businesses
  • Advice for SMEs and start-ups
  • Events and training opportunities
  • Ways to help support the community and develop your CSR policy
  • Commercial services available to businesses


To read previous editions of the business e-newsletter, please click here