BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2019: And the winner is...

BusinessGreen staff
clock • 11 min read

All the winners and highly commended entries from the UK's most prestigious green business awards

Last night over 500 executives, politicians, investors, entrepreneurs, and campaigners from across the green economy gathered in London for the ninth annual BusinessGreen Leaders Awards.

The awards were more competitive than ever with over 350 entries across 24 categories providing our expert panel of judges with an unenviable task.

The quality of entrants was higher than ever before - a testament to the rapidly growing influence, importance, and maturity of a green economy that is absolutely critical to the UK's future health and prosperity. 

But in the end there could only be one winner in each category and here are organisations that took home the gongs on the night.


Manufacturer of the Year


In a hotly contested field, the judges were won over by Cranswick's sweeping Second Nature sustainability strategy and its work to tackle food waste, deploy renewables, slash plastic waste, and embrace green agricultural practices across the business and its supply chain.


Communications Agency of the Year

Barley Communications

In one of our most competitive categories, Barley Communications eventually edged it thanks to its visual, integrated, and extremely catchy green campaigns that consistently proved highly impactful through both traditional and social media. 

Highly Commended: Greenhouse PR

Highly Commended: Seahorse Environmental Communications


ESG Investor of the Year

Zouk Capital

With ever more investors embracing ESG practices, Zouk Capital stood out with the judges thanks to its long-standing and fully embedded ESG strategy, which has served to drive major investments in some of Europe's most exciting clean technology projects and companies.

Highly Commended: Church Commissioners for England

Highly Commended: Hermes Investment Management


Consultancy of the Year

Ecuity Consulting LLP

In another highly competitive category the judges gave Ecuity Consulting the nod thanks to its impressive track record and client base, its focus on innovative emerging technologies, and its willingness to wrestle with some of the thorniest decarbonisation challenges.

Highly Commended: Verco


Circular Economy Project of the Year

Minster Surfacing - Smarter, cleaner, greener road surfacing project

The judges were hugely impressed by Minster Surfacing's commitment to slashing environmental impacts and its pioneering techniques for recycling old roads to create new ones, which have been credited with slashing waste levels, boosting recycled content, and cutting emissions by almost a third.

Highly Commended: ALDStone - Tile re-use system

Highly Commended: Genuine Solutions UK Ltd - Mobile devices and accessories re-use system


Energy Efficiency Project of the Year

Willmott Dixon - Energy Synergy

In another competitive field, Willmott Dixon took home the prize thanks to its structured approach to tackling the energy efficiency performance gap, which has delivered a co-ordinated effort to ensure buildings deliver on their energy-saving promises that has frequently saved businesses up to 15 per cent on their energy use.

Highly Commended: GridBeyond Point - Intelligent energy technology platform


Environmental Awareness Campaign of the Year

Global Action Plan - Clean Air Day Campaign

The judges were hugely impressed by the focus, planning, execution, and effectiveness of Global Action Plan's Clear Air Day, which generated huge media interest, played a key role in driving awareness of air quality issues, and provides an invaluable resource that helps plug an information gap on this most important of issues.

Highly Commended: Hubbub - #WhatsInMyWash


Building Project of the Year

Baytree Dunstable (Unit A) - KAM Project Consultants Ltd

The judges were won over by a project that has been described as 'the world's most sustainable warehouse', boasting everything from solar panels and ultra-high energy efficiency credentials to an orchard and green gym equipment. Built to BREEAM Excellent and EPC A-rating standards the project has brought cutting edge green design and innovation to a sector where sustainability considerations are still too easily ignored.


Transport Project of the Year - Zero-emission last-mile delivery service

In one of our most competitive categories, edged it thanks to its ultra-clean delivery model and its transition from highly successful trials to scaling up its zero emission last mile delivery service in conjunction with leading retailers.

Highly Commended: The Climate Group - EV100

Highly Commended: Sustainable Shipping Initiative - Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative


Green Infrastructure Project of the Year

Pivot Power

The judges were hugely impressed by Pivot Power's ambitious project to scale up the deployment of network of energy storage reservoirs, grid connections, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Highly Commended: Limejump - Virtual Power Platform


Employee Engagement Campaign of the Year

Foreign and Commonwealth Office - #BeyondPlastic

In another competitive category the FCO won over the judges with the breadth and ambition of its #BeyondPlastic campaign, which has already secured impressive results cutting single-use plastic by 97 per cent as the department moves to halt the use of single use plastics altogether across its global operations by 2020.

Highly Commended: MATCHESFASHION.COM - Matches Mob

Highly Commended: Costain - Resource Efficiency Matrix


Digital Project of the Year

Octopus Agile - Renewable energy time-of-use tariff

The judges were won over by Octopus' pioneering use of real time energy data and smart meters to deliver its Agile service, providing the world's first renewables powered time-of-use energy tariff and helping customers to curb energy use, cut bills, and maximise emissions savings.

Highly Commended: GridBeyond Point - The intelligent energy technology platform


Waste-busting Project of the Year

Just Clear - Busting waste with reuse

Just Clear got the nod from the judges in another competitive category as the pioneering company built on its zero waste to landfill status with the introduction of a new re-use centre and expanded electric vehicle fleet.

Highly Commended: Canary Wharf Group - Breaking The Plastic Habit


CSR/Marketing/Advertising Campaign of the Year

Hubbub & Barley Communications - Community Fridge Network

In a hugely competitive category, Hubbub's work to promote and build its world-leading Community Fridge Network won over the judges, as the group combined tackling food waste with a campaign to unlock a raft of wider community benefits.

Highly Commended: Ecotricity - Vegan Power: 'The Dirty Secret' in our Sockets

Highly Commended: Octopus Electric Vehicles - Green Friday Giveaway


Renewable Energy Project of the Year

Ørsted - Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm

In a category that showcased the huge strength of the UK's burgeoning renewables sector, Ørsted took the judges' plaudits thanks to its community engagement, localised supply chain, media buzz, and exemplary project execution as it delivered the world's largest operational offshore wind farm.

Highly Commended: GRIDSERVE - York and Hull subsidy-free solar farms

Highly Commended: Vaillant with Derby Homes - aroTHERM on the balcony


Sustainability Team of the Year

National Trust - Hydro Team

National Trust's Hydro Team stood out in an extremely strong field, with the judges praising the team's technical expertise, hard work, and commitment, which have combined to drive forward both National Trust's renewables strategy and the wider hydro-electric sector.


Young Sustainability Executive of the Year

Sarah Middlemiss, Ecometrica Space Team

There were many inspiring entries in this category, but there could only be one winner and in the end Sarah Middlemiss won over the judges thanks to her critical role in leading the Forests 2020 initiative, bringing together international partners, multi-million pound budgets, and cutting edge space technologies to help protect the world's tropical forests.

Highly Commended: Heather Poore, Hubbub

Highly Commended: Rhona Turnbull, RBS


Sustainability Executive of the Year

Katharine Teague, AB Sugar

In yet another highly competitive category, Katherine Teague impressed the judges with the central role she played in the adoption of industry-leading sustainability targets by one of the world's largest global food companies, delivering a series of new green goals for AB Sugar and driving a raft of initiatives to help ensure the targets are met.

Highly Commended: Dr Eva Gkenakou, Multiplex Construction Europe

Highly Commended: Alex Hilton, Foreign & Commonwealth Office


Innovation of the Year

Centrica - Cornwall Local Energy Market

Centrica's pioneering Cornwall Local Energy Market got the nod from the judges, who praised the breadth, innovative technology provision, and integrated nature of a project that could yet revolutionise how increasingly low carbon energy grids operate across the UK.

Highly Commended: HV Systems - Zero Emission Commercial Vehicles

Highly Commended: Worn Again Technologies - Polymer recycling technology


Entrepreneur of the Year

Asher Bennett, Tevva Motors

In a shortlist that stands testament to the huge amount of green entrepreneurial talent in the UK, Asher Bennett got the judges' vote thanks to a breakout 2018 during which Tevva Motors secured investment, scaled up production of its range-extended electric trucks, promoted UK clean tech overseas, and stepped up R&D in a raft of zero emission innovations.

Highly Commended: Peter Davies, Verv

Highly Commended: Chris Forbes and Julie Chen, The Cheeky Panda Ltd


Small Business of the Year


In one of our most close run and competitive categories, DAME edged it with the judges thanks to its B Corp status, ambitious mission to eradicate single use plastic from bathrooms, and the successful launch of the world's first reusable tampon applicator.

Highly Commended: Churchill Gowns

Highly Commended: Green Building Store


Politician of the Year

Alan Whitehead, MP

This year's politician of the year is one of Parliament's longest-standing and most well-respected environmental advocates. Over the past two decades he has consistently championed environmental causes and the green economy, frequently working across party lines to deliver meaningful and effective policy progress.

On parliamentary committees, in his role as chair of the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group, as one of BusinessGreen's most popular columnists, and as shadow energy and climate change minister, Alan Whitehead has been a friend and ally of the green community. His thoughtful and conciliatory approach of to policy challenges is a welcome antidote to much of today's partisan division, as was his quietly authoritative reminder to his colleagues earlier this year that the climate emergency has to be solved 'on their watch'.

In the past year he has helped beef up Labour's green ambitions, pushed the government to deliver on its clean growth ambitions, and, as ever, offered a detailed and constructive critique of everything from energy efficiency policy to nuclear politics.


Leader of the Year

Dale Vince, Ecotricity

In another fiercely competitive category, Dale Vince stood out for both his track record as one of the UK's most high profile green entrepreneurs and a hugely impressive 2018 during which he secured a series of landmark business accounts for Ecotricity, achieved vegan status for the company's power and gas, launched a new vegan food business, and continued to drive the development of sustainable football club Forest Green Rovers.

Highly Commended: Erik Nygard, Limejump

Highly Commended: Neil Perry, Solarcentury


Company of the Year


In a category that served to highlight the burgeoning strength and expanding breadth of the green economy, Ørsted successfully defended its title securing plaudits from the judges for its record-breaking offshore wind deployment, cutting-edge energy storage projects, pioneering power purchase agreements, vocal lobbying for a zero carbon energy system, and continued commercial success. 

Highly Commended: Kingfisher

Highly Commended: Salix Finance


Lifetime Achievement Award

Lord Deben

For more than five decades our Lifetime Achievement Award winner has been one of the UK's most steadfast advocates for both the urgent need to protect our environment and the critical role business has to play in the development of a genuinely sustainable economy.

He was the UK's longest serving Environment Secretary - a title that is unlikely to be relinquished any time soon - and throughout his time as an MP, a Minister, and a peer he has consistently and eloquently championed the need for greener business models and rapid decarbonisation, often taking on his own colleagues as he strived to build a coalition for bolder climate action.

Indeed, as Environment Secretary he shaped the UK's initial response to climate change in the 1980s and 90s, in opposition he tabled one of the first Early Day Motions on climate change, before playing an integral role in the adoption of the UK's Climate Change Act, and once the world-leading legislation was secured he worked tirelessly to promote effective environmental legislation around the world.

For much of the past decade, Lord Deben has continued to play a critical role in British public life and the green economy through his chairing of the Committee on Climate Change. He has helped guide the organisation's hugely influential work and strived to make a compelling case for climate action.

With this year's report on the net zero transition Lord Deben and his team have provided a legacy-shaping piece of work that has comprehensively and convincingly made the case for the UK to lead the world in pursuit of a net zero economy, laying the foundations for this country's post-Brexit revival.

In recognition of his work over the past year and the decades that preceded it, our lifetime achievement award goes to Lord Deben.

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