Award Winners 2023

For our 12th year in 2023 we received some excellent entries across all our categories. Read about the winners below.

Green Hero: Jason Alexander

Jason Alexander raises awareness about littering, recycling and waste in general across Suffolk and far beyond, and founded Rubbish Walks. In the last year or so, he has completed a 24 hour Litterthon, been involved with over 340 litter picks and beach cleans, filling 900 bags with Rubbish Walk volunteers. He has also partnered with Ipswich Borough Council, Ipswich Town FC and Suffolk Libraries.

Jason received over one-third of all 2,259 votes cast by members of the public.

Waste Reduction and Recycling: Still Good Food

Still Good Food rescues surplus food and redistribute it to the public through their shops in Bury St Edmunds and Great Barton.

What the judges said: “They are making a significant impact on food waste reduction and helping people source good food in times of rising living costs. We also liked the work they are doing with gleaning from farms as well as their school outreach work.”

Green Community: Bury Bike Train

The Bury Bike Train is a way for children to ride their own bikes to and from school in a group, supported by adult cyclists.

What the judges said: “This is an exciting and active new initiative, involving families across the generations, reducing traffic, and encouraging alternative transports. They present the whole biking package to involve health, wellbeing, air quality and reducing fossil fuels which promote biking-for-life habits and lessons for the future.”

Green School (Secondary): Sybil Andrews Academy

Based in Bury St Edmunds, the school runs many environmental projects, including a Gardening Club, growing flowers for local residents, and organising trips with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

What the judges said: “The children show an outstanding approach towards embedding sustainability into the school across all aspects of the curriculum and community life. They have ambitious plans and engage with other local primary schools, businesses and the community.”

Green School (Primary): Birchwood Primary School

Based in Martlesham, the school has held the Eco School’s Green Flag for the eight years running, is a DEFRA egg production unit, has their own school of horticulture, Birchwood Bee hive and rare breeds flock.

What the judges said: “The children have a fantastic amount of activities in place, many of which involve the local community and reach into family life. The wide range of activities embeds a strong sense of sustainability across the school and local community – it’s clearly a real aspect of the school’s culture and core values.”

Green Business: University of Suffolk

By 2030, the University will be recognised for the major contribution it makes to the health and wellbeing of the people in the region and acknowledged for lasting social and sustainable economic transformation.

What the judges said: “This is an organisation that has really got to grips with its Net Zero ambition. They demonstrate a consistent vision for environmental excellence and a broad range of environmental improvements, and have achieved a 76% reduction in carbon emissions since 2009/10. They take a really comprehensive approach that includes renewable energy and efficiency measures, but also green roofs, EV salary sacrifice and a full life cycle approach to procurement.”

Green Tourism: Ivy Grange Farm Barn

Ivy Grange Farm Barn is a newly renovated 17th century grain store and milking parlour, set in the heart of the Suffolk countryside close to the fabulous beaches of Southwold and Walberswick. It offers a luxurious holiday experience, with a sprinkling of adventure all within a sustainable wrapper.

What the judges said: “They are strong in all areas of sustainability, having made significant actions on reducing emissions, biodiversity and visitor engagement in the last 18 months. They innovatively engagement with their guests to explore different aspects of sustainability during their stay, and have a practical implementation plan for the next steps in their journey.”

Biodiversity and Landscape: Long Melford Biodiversity Group

The group examines ways in which the village could be made more environmentally friendly, and how more land, both public and private, could be dedicated to nature. They also actively seek deliverable opportunities to mitigate and adapt to climate change, including moving to a low carbon economy.

What the judges said: “They have impressed with the reach and impact that they have achieved, considering how recently the group formed. They have created a variety of habitats and undertake much maintenance work, involving a wide range of members of the community. We are excited to see the impact they will have on their community, their landscape and local wildlife moving forwards.”

Green Small Business: Depden Care Farm

Depden Care Farm offers therapeutic placements to adults with learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries and those recovering their mental health.

What the judges said: “They ticked every possible box to win this award. It is run with the ethos of an organic farm but with incredible benefits for both the education and community aspects. The Care Farm also helps with biodiversity by growing unusual strains of vegetables and a wide range of trees in the orchard. They also have a well thought out and ambitious strategic plan to move forward over the next few years.”