An ethical fashion brand, primary school and hotel were amongst the winners as Suffolk’s most environmentally minded people were celebrated.
13 winners were announced at the Creating the Greenest County awards ceremony, in categories ranging from Green Hero to Local Food and Drink. The carbon-neutral event was held at Snape Maltings on Wednesday 17 July.
Jason Alexander received two awards, his Rubbish Walks social enterprise received the Waste Reduction and Recycling award and he was named as the Green Hero winner. He said:
“I am absolutely thrilled and humbled to have won these awards. Just being shortlisted was amazing but to win is truly overwhelming. I meet and speak to green heroes from across the county and beyond virtually every day and continue to be inspired by their passion and determination to make a difference. To do the right thing. The best way we can achieve our goal of becoming the greenest county is to keep innovating. To keep inspiring each other, to keep collaborating with each other and to keep supporting each other. I have no doubt we will achieve our goal.”
With over 130 nominations for the awards, it is clear to see that many of Suffolk’s communities and businesses are serious about addressing their impact on the environment. Whether this is achieved by community litterpicks or businesses moving to electric vehicles, there is something that everyone can do to make a change.
Councillor Richard Rout, cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection at Suffolk County Council, opened the event and said:
“I would challenge anyone not to be inspired after attending a day like today. I think everyone here will be taking home at least one idea about how they can change their behaviour and support our ambitions for Creating the Greenest County in Suffolk.
“Since it’s launch in 2007, the Greenest County partnership has supported thousands of people and put millions of pounds into reducing carbon emissions and being more energy efficient in Suffolk. I’m focused on building on these successes and, as far as the Council is concerned, ensuring that becoming a carbon neutral authority by 2030 is embedded in everything we do.”
The Derek Moore Award, a special accolade, was presented to Dr Charles Beardall OBE as one of East Anglia’s most respected, longstanding conservationists. Through his work at Suffolk Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency, he has helped Suffolk’s environment, and its people, throughout his career.
Attendees were also treated to a keynote speech from Asher Minns, Executive Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia. He spoke about climate change and climate emergencies, the global carbon cycle, the impact on the East of England and being net zero carbon.
The awards were sponsored by Adnams, BEE Anglia, Barnes Construction, East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board, Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Limited, New Anglia LEP, Suffolk Waste Partnership, University of Suffolk and Vertas. They were held in partnership with BBC Radio Suffolk, Snape Maltings, Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Wildlife Trust.
A special Carbon Charter Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Suffolk Fresh, Lindsey Lodge Farm to mark the 500th Carbon Charter accreditation this year. The award recognised a business that exemplifies the aims of the Charter with not just an exemplary approach to protecting the environment, but also comprehensive and robust monitoring and management. Andrew Sturgeon from Suffolk Fresh said “We have been monitoring the impact of our farming activities on the natural environment for 10 years. Consequently, changes have been made to reduce our carbon footprint, improve habitats around the farm, reduce waste and become more efficient in our use of farm inputs. It is a constant and absolutely necessary challenge to improve.”
The Derek Moore Award was presented to Dr Charles Beardall OBE in recognition of outstanding service to Suffolk’s environment. The award commemorates a nature conservation icon, one of the most influential figures in the shaping of modern wildlife protection and appreciation. Suffolk-born Derek Moore rose to the top of – and fuelled – the UK’s environmental movement, directing Suffolk Wildlife Trust through its transformation into one of the most respected nature conservation bodies in Britain. He went on to head up the conservation department of what was to become known as the Wildlife Trusts, the umbrella organisation that unites all 47 UK wildlife trusts.
Enhancing Biodiversity and Landscape: E. J. Barker & Sons
Green Hero: Jason Alexander
Greenest Business: Ufford Park Woodbridge Hotel, Golf and Spa
Greenest Community: GreenSnape Community Group Snape
Greenest Product or Service: Where Does It Come From?
Greenest School: Birchwood Primary School
Greenest Small Business: Amarinth
Local Energy: The Schools’ Energy Co-operative
Local Food and Drink: The Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm
Sustainable Building: John and Sarah Barrett
Sustainable Travel: EV Driver Ltd
Valuing Water: OBee CIC
Waste Reduction and Recycling: Rubbish Walks CIC