BUSINESSES across the East of England are being urged to enter the Business in the Community Regional Awards to demonstrate leadership, innovation and the impact of their responsible business. The Regional Awards 2010 are open to businesses operating or based in the East of England that integrate responsible business practice into their mainstream operations, resulting in a positive impact in the marketplace, environment, community and workplace. Mike Brophy, regional director for Business in the Community, said: "Entries to the awards are always high, and I am often staggered by the pride that shows through in each of the submissions. They also show us who the leaders are, and whose approach to responsible business is making a real difference, both to people and the planet. "It is also apparent that that there are a huge number of smaller firms doing great things but not necessarily getting the recognition they deserve. I would like to see more entries from all businesses in 2010 and I look forward to celebrating with the winners in June 2010." The BITC award categories are: Individual Employee Volunteer Award for the individual employee whose volunteering activities have achieved the greatest impact on communities in the region. Business Volunteering Team Award for the business team whose volunteering activities have achieved the greatest impact on communities in the region. Carbon Positive Award, open to companies that actively and consistently strive to reduce their carbon footprint and their impact on the environment. Anglian Water Most Innovative New Programme Award, focusing on innovation and ideas, open to companies whose programmes are currently in the planning stage or in early development that will become the successful community impact programmes of the future in the East of England. Norse Commercial Services Employability Award, open to companies that have worked successfully with disadvantaged groups, and those from deprived areas, and helped them into sustained employment. Pro Bono Company of the Year Award, open to professional firms based or operating in the East of England that have provided pro bono support to voluntary or community organisations during 2009. It is designed to recognise a regional company whose outstanding contribution has had a significant impact on the local community and society and sets an example to other companies. The Right Step Award, open to companies that have adopted the most innovative approach to working with the criminal justice system to help reduce re-offending in the East of England region. Health Work and Well-Being Award will be presented to the company that has demonstrated its commitment to improving the health and well-being of its employees. EEDA Positive Work Life Award: with a focus on the over 50s age group, this award is open to organisations that have clearly embraced the concept of age diversity in their workforce. NBTN Sustainable Travel Award, open to companies that can demonstrate their commitment to improving their workplace travel planning which has resulted in the business reducing their CO2 emissions, reduced costs and benefited staff. Work Inspiration Award for a company whose work experience programme for young people gives them an inspiring first experience of the world of work. Best Business in the Community (large company) will be presented to the large company that has had the biggest positive impact on communities inside the region. Best Business in the Community (small company) will be presented to the small company that has had the biggest positive impact on communities inside the region. Marks & Spencer Sieff Award for individuals based in the community who have successfully collaborated with business to benefit society. The Prince's Ambassador Award for individuals whose leadership and commitment to responsible business has resulted in changes and improvements inside their own company and who have also inspired other organisations to take action. The awards will be presented at a Gala Dinner sponsored by London Stansted at Hengrave Hall on Tuesday June 8 next year. INFORMATION: Full details of the categories and application forms are available on the website http:\/\/www.bitc.org.uk\/east. The closing date for the regional awards is March 31.