Six innovative organisations have been crowned winners at the Green Business Innovator (GBI) 2011 Awards which took place on Thursday 7 July 2011 at Middlesex University, London. The winners demonstrated excellence in environmental practice across the private, public and voluntary sectors.
Award winners were selected across six categories including Carbon Reduction Initiative, Waste Management Initiative, Lean Manufacturing, Green Voluntary and Community Sector Organisation, Green Public Sector Organisation and Green Business in the Service Sector.
Winners included Zinfinity, a jewellery design company that specialises in using materials destined to be landfill, including drink cans and plastic spoons, to create bespoke stylish jewellery. The company collected the Lean Manufacturing award after producing a collection that incorporated 98 percent recycled materials and another collection which produced zero waste.
The awards were organised by environmental business experts at Middlesex University, who are currently managing the EcoVate Project, which provides free tailor-made environmental support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in London, and is part-financed by the European Union. Through EcoVate SMEs can receive advice on issues including waste, water, energy, transport, and supply chain linkages. Since the beginning of the project in April 2009 more than 350 businesses have been supported by EcoVate to become more sustainable, achieve cost savings and comply with changes in legislation.
Ankit Kapasi, from Middlesex University, said: “The huge success of the first ever GBI awards in June 2010 encouraged us to expand our scopes and boundaries this year. The standard and number of entries this year was very high, which was particularly great to see in the current challenging climate. All the organisations that entered have been working very hard to make themselves more sustainable and I want to congratulate the winners for leading the way in environmental practice.”
Winner of the Green Business in the Service Sector Award, Urban Planters West London, which rents, sells and maintains tropical plants in commercial environments, influenced its franchisor to gain the environmental accreditation ISO14001 and then encouraged the whole business group to increase its focus on its environmental impact. The company shares this priority with its customers by also assisting them to become more environmentally aware businesses.
Liz Cabble, Director at Urban Planters London West, said: “I can't believe we won such a competitive category. We are really delighted and had a great evening at the awards ceremony. We look forward to pressing on further with our environmental efforts as this is great motivation to improve further.”
The judging panel was made up of representatives from the Environment Agency, London Borough of Camden, Waste Watch, Enterprise Enfield, AEA Consulting and Middlesex University. Nuno Costa, a Sustainable Development Specialist from IKEA, also spoke at the awards ceremony. Nuno was particularly impressed with the GBI 2011 trophies, that had been designed and hand-made with more than 99 percent recycled materials, and offered the trophy designer the use of IKEA's 'waste streams' to develop other products.
O’Donovan Waste Disposal, a family run waste management and skip hire company, was crowned winner of the Carbon Reduction Initiative category after recycling on average 97 percent of all the waste collected from its clients each month, reducing its staff commute carbon footprint by 34 percent in 2009-2010 and training all its 90 staff in an NVQ in Waste Management.
Pic: Winners and runners-up pick up their prizes
A full list of the winners and runners up can be found below:
Carbon Reduction Initiative
Winner: O’Donovan Waste Disposal Ltd
Runner up: John Thompson & Partners
Waste Management Initiative
Winner: The Window
Runner up: AA Security
Runner up: Green Oils
Green Business in the Service Sector
Winner:Urban Planters West London
Runner up: Wiles GreenWorld
Green Public Sector Organisation
Winner: London South Bank University (LSBU)
Runner up: North London Strategic Alliance (NLSA)
Green Voluntary & Community Sector Organisation
Winner: London Community Resource Network (LCRN)
Runner up: Hackney City Farm
London based companies can visit www.mdx.ac.uk/ecovate to check if they are eligible for free environmental support.