Wessex Water scoops second Queen's award for sustainability
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Wessex Water Services, a Cornish fashion label and a Leeds-based mattress manufacturer have been named as winners of the Queen's Award for Enterprise in recognition of their sustainability efforts
Of the 152 enterprise awards presented to UK organisations this year, nine have been awarded for sustainable development – one more than in 2012.
Winners in the sustainability category are those with products, services or management approaches that have demonstrably achieved “major benefits” for the environment, society and the economy over several years.
The 2013 award winners include Wessex Water Services, which was recognised for “embedding sustainability throughout its management and operations”. It was the first utilities company in the UK to develop water catchment management agreements with farmers outside its own landholdings, significantly reducing water contamination from pesticides. In addition, the Bath-based firm, which also won a Queen’s award for sustainable development in 2008, was praised for providing business customers with advise on how to improve water efficiency, and for developing a sustainable procurement policy and a climate change adaptation plan.
Other winners in the sustainability category this year included clothing line Seasalt; mattress manufacturer Harrison Spinks; printing firm Pureprint Group; and Vegware, a company that makes compostable cutlery, napkins and tableware for the catering sector.
Judges described Falmouth firm Seasalt as a “model for ethical standards” in the clothing sector, after it became the first UK fashion brand to meet the Soil Association’s standards for organic cotton as well as for achieving BREEAM certification for its warehouses and offices.
Meanwhile, Vegware was recognised for cutting landfill waste from hospitality firms and promoting sustainable development across the sector. The Edinburgh packaging company was commended for educating its customers in environmental impacts through “eco-audits”, which detail how much carbon and virgin materials can be saved, and potential ways to divert waste from landfill.
Business and energy minister, Michael Fallon praised the winners: “The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are one of the most internationally-recognised and sought after awards that a UK business can achieve. They give companies prestige, an edge overseas and a well deserved boost.
“The Queen's Awards highlight our strong entrepreneurial streak and the excellent businesses we have up and down the country.”
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