Dairy Crest has come out on top in a survey of business commitment to corporate responsibility.

The UK’s sole dairy plc was the only business to receive a four-and-a-half star rating on the Business in the Community (BITC) corporate responsibility index.

The charity’s survey scores businesses on how they work in local communities, manage their environmental impact, act responsibly in the marketplace and look after their staff. Fifty-eight companies took part publicly this year.

Since 2007 Dairy Crest has cut its water use by 17% and its total carbon dioxide emissions by 24%, while its total energy use has fallen 6% from 2009.

See also Dairy Crest CEO Mark Allen in profile

It has introduced flexible working hours, job sharing, sabbaticals and free health checks for its staff.

On the community side, Dairy Crest has run employment events for young people at its Davidstow and Nuneaton sites and supported a campaign to keep pubs as community hubs, while chief executive Mark Allen is chair of the Prince’s Rural Action Programme.

BITC chief executive said Dairy Crest has shown a “clear commitment to an integrated approach to being a responsible business”.