Winners of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s second Corporate Green Awards were announced recently, at a gala dinner hosted by the BBC’s It’s Not Easy Being Green presenter Dick Strawbridge. About 200 local business leaders attended the ceremony held at the Four Pillars Cotswold Water Park Hotel.
These prestigious awards flag up environmental best practice in Wiltshire and Swindon businesses, under eight categories: Sustainable Manufacturing, Construction or Design; Environmental Land Management, Conservation or Food Production; The Green Office; Green Media, Marketing or Communications; Green Tourism; Climate Change Impact; Green Shoots; Outstanding Contribution.
The awards are sponsored by the Hills Group, with Wiltshire Council sponsoring the Climate Change Impact award. Entry was open to all local and national companies and organisations that have an operational base in the county.
“This event has built on everything that we achieved in our first Green Awards last year and it was brilliant to see more company nominations and attendees this year. It just goes to show the great effort made by these companies to reduce their impact on the environment,” says Iain Boyd, the Trust’s Corporate Relations Manager.
Sustainable Manufacturing, Construction or Design
The Devizes brewery Wadworth and Co won the award for Sustainable Manufacturing, Construction or Design for its construction of a new Copper House that is sympathetically housed in a Grade 2 listed building and conforms to modern standards in terms of food production and building regulations.
“We were impressed with the high environmental standards of this project, its clear purpose and positive impact on the environment,” says Iain.
Environmental Land Management, Conservation and Food Production
The winner of the Environmental Land Management, Conservation and Food Production Award is The Bisto. Based in Devizes. The Bisto is a company whose entire business philosophy considers the environment from ethically produced food to seasonal and local produce.
Iain says: “We were bowled over by the significant investment that this small company has made in the environment, both financially and philosophically.”
Highly Commended: The Waitrose Wiltshire Dairy Farmers (21 farms based in the north of the county), and from Great Hinton near Trowbridge the Black Sheep Countryside Management.
The winner of the Green Office category is Swindon-based Arval which has launched an environmental programme to manage and reduce the carbon footprint of its workforce of 830. It carried out employee surveys and a top-down communications programme. To further embed its commitment, its environmental performance is now inked to employee performance reviews, and company car policy limits car choice by their CO2 emissions.
“The company has shown great attitude and enthusiasm in the rigorous way it has implemented its initiatives,” says Iain.
Highly Commended: Intel’s Swindon office.
Green Media, Marketing or Communications
While there were no overall winners for the award for Green Media, Marketing or Communications, Salisbury-based Eco Print was Highly Commended as a firm whose strong desire to care for the environment caused it to convert to 100% eco-friendly printing.
“This company demonstrates clear thinking, good ideas and an adherence to principles,” says Iain.
The award for Green Tourism went to Rosemundy Cottage in Devizes, a small business that has implemented and invested in a wide range of green practices, and spent a great deal of time and energy on researching and analysing the performance of its green thinking in order to implement best practice.
Iain comments: “Rosemundy Cottage has shown a high standard and broad range in its initiatives to protect the environment.”
Climate Change Impact
The winner of the award for Climate Change Impact went to the UK’s leading greenest electricity supplier – Green Energy in Chippenham. This year the firm has developed and invested in the UK’s first renewable heat incentive to boost the uptake of solar thermal systems that will reduce gas consumption and carbon emissions.
“Green Energy now has more than 180 customers using this system, each of them set to reduce their heating bills and save half a tonne of CO2 per year. It is leading the way in renewal energy supply and the impact of this project stretches across the UK,” Iain says.
Highly commended: Green Standards from Swindon and Apetito from Trowbridge.
The award for the Green Shoots category is the Devizes-based housing association the Aster Group. The company set 2008/09 as its base year for continual environmental improvement and has now reported back on its first annual sustainability review. The environmental practices implemented by the company are being carried out in accordance with international best practice standards and include independent verification.
Iain says: “It is the first housing association in England to do this and is beyond anything that an small to medium enterprise could normally achieve. We were impressed by its clarity of thought, the spread and reach of its initiatives and its adherence to independent standards.”
Highly commended: Monahans from Trowbridge, Wadworth from Devizes and Knorr-Bremse from Melksham.
The final category is the Outstanding Contribution award, which went to Center Parcs – Longleat Forest (near Warminster).
Center Parcs has been a partner in the Wiltshire Biodiversity Action Plan for the last three years. In 1998 its parent company launched its own Action Plan and in 2003 produced specific targets covering habitats, species, education and supply chain for each site. These are assessed against targets and reported on annually.
“This company was the first organisation to be awarded the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark. We wanted to recognise the outstanding steps that Center Parcs makes to enhance and protect the natural environment on its site, steps which go way beyond its business remit,” says Iain.
The winners received a stylish plaque from Mirage Signs, while Dick Strawbridge was presented with a framed photo of Stonehenge.
“It was pleasing to receive so many positive comments about this year’s event and also commitments to attending next year’s dinner,” says Iain. The awards scheme is part of the Trust’s drive to promote a sustainable future for wildlife and people.
Next year’s Corporate Green Awards will be on Friday 15 October. Details of how to enter will be posted on the Trust’s website early next year www.wiltshirewildlife.org