Minister for the Economy recognises Heron Bros and Lidl NI as leaders in responsible business practice

Two Northern Ireland companies have been awarded the prestigious CORE: The Responsible Business Standard – accreditation in recognition of their commitment to doing business in a way that is better for employees, the planet and the communities where they operate.

CORE: The Standard for Responsible Business, is a framework developed by Business in the Community – the responsible business network – that maps the corporate responsibility of an organisation.

Accredited companies go through an external verification process that recognises best practice in a number of areas including: Health and Wellbeing; Biodiversity; Diversity and Inclusion; Resource Efficiency; Community Engagement; and Responsible Leadership.

This year, construction company Heron Bros became CORE Gold accredited for the second time and are the only construction company to have reaccredited at the highest level. Retailer Lidl Northern Ireland successfully accredited for the first time, at Silver level.

Currently, 30 organisations in Northern Ireland currently hold CORE accreditation.

Diane Dodds, MLA and Minister for the Department of the Economy met with Noel Mullan, Commercial Director, Heron Bros, and Angela Connan, CSR Manager for Lidl Northern Ireland, to congratulate both organisations on their success.

Minister Dodds said: “Both Heron Bros and Lidl Northern Ireland have demonstrated that they are committed to responsible business and inclusive leadership, innovating to tackle pressing social issues, and using their business acumen and resources to support their communities, and repair and rebuild our planet.

“2020 has been a very challenging year for business, which makes it even more important that we recognise these two organisations as leaders in corporate responsibility practice, and thank them for going beyond profit, to drive responsible activity within all that they do.”

Heron Bros is a construction and property company which works across all sectors to deliver education, leisure and stadia, commercial retail and office space, industrial, health, pharmaceutical, community and regeneration projects.

Noel Mullan, Commercial Director, Heron Bros said: “Corporate responsibility is at the core of everything Heron Bros does. We continually seek ways to improve our practices and the CORE framework has given us the tools to collate, refine and develop all CR activity happening across our organisation.

“We’re proud to have reaccredited at Gold level, it’s an important recognition of Heron Bros commitment to responsible procurement, resource efficiency, our people, partners and communities.”

Lidl NI has 39 stores in Northern Ireland and employs over 900 people. Its philosophy is centred on outstanding operational efficiency and strategic partnering, which generates savings that are passed directly back to its customers without any compromise on quality.

Angela Connan, CSR Manager, Lidl NI said: “Lidl NI is delighted to have achieved Silver level CORE accreditation. CORE has provided a way for us to not only demonstrate our commitment to being a responsible business to our stakeholders and customers, but it also provides a baseline that allows us to continually improve our practices and supports our business to grow in a responsible and sustainable way.”

To find out more about CORE: The Standard for Responsible Business, and Northern Ireland’s CORE accredited organisations, visit