Newspaper hunts for sustainability champions

23rd January 2013


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The Observer has opened nominations for its annual ethical awards and is looking for organisations that have cut CO2 by investing in renewables and for firms that have designed innovative, energy-efficient products

Now in their ninth year, the Observer ethical awards are presented to organisations and individuals in recognition of their efforts to champion sustainability.

This year the awards are looking for organisations that are working to tackle their environmental impacts and those that have developed products and services to help consumers to behave more sustainably, as well as recognising individual campaigners.

Categories include the big idea award, which presents a £2,000 prize to an individual or an organisation that is pushing the boundaries with an innovative ethical idea, product or service.

Meanwhile, the business initiative award looks to reward breakthrough sustainability projects that have either reduced a company’s carbon emissions through the installation of renewable technologies or helped to engage a firm’s supply chain in more ethical behaviour.

The 2013 product design award focuses on products and schemes that help consumers to reduce their energy consumption.

“Over eight years of these awards we have witnessed an explosion in sustainable thinking and practice. There are some breathtaking initiatives coming out of the UK and we’re expecting some world-class winners this year,” said Lucy Siegle, the awards’ founder and chair of the judging panel.

“I’d say to everyone from lone campaigners to companies small and large, let us know what you are doing. And if you know someone great who is too shy or modest to enter, do it for them!”

The awards also give Observer readers the chance to vote for the UK’s most ethical retailer. Last year the award was presented to furniture and bed manufacturer Warren Evans for its commitment to using responsibly sourced timber and local craft workers.

This year also sees the first award to recognise efforts to improve the environmental impacts of travel, with readers able to nominate companies that are pioneering sustainable travel options.

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