Risen from the ashes and the decay of the West Pier, the BAi360 on Brighton and Hove Seafront was the backdrop for new wave of environmental inspiration. On Friday 07 October, inspiration of a different kind – powered by character, ingenuity, spirit and raw determination to do something better, make something better, to leave something better for our planet – happened. The 2016 P.E.A. Awards.
‘Our award categories represent the pillars required by a functional society. When they’re done well, we won’t just survive – we’ll thrive. We used four criteria: Innovation, Inspiration, Success and Scalability.’
Founder of the P.E.A. Awards
The first Arts, Fashion, Film, Music Award went to performance artist and political ecologist Nessie Reid who, supported by environmental arts organisation Cape Farewell, lived with two cows for five days in a temporary ‘Milking Parlour’ in Bristol, to explore the current state of farming and its environmental impact. The second winner was Jo Godden’s RubyMoon swim and activewear, which is certified to produce 42% fewer carbon emissions per piece than high-street equivalents; a real game-changing product.
Chris Hardy’s Upcycle and Eco Rangers team show that it is possible ‘to build a more sustainable society by creating behavioural change, one person at a time.’ The team’s use of festivals to influence thousands of people’s behaviour, and encourage individuals to contribute to a more sustainable society won the Best of the South West Award, recognising the amazing number of great sustainable businesses in the region.
Britain’s Greenest Family recognises families that have truly embraced green living. Justin and Chanel Cornelius, 918 Coffee Company, ‘have addressed the coffee eco-system as a family business, and come up with the complete ‘end-of-life’ coffee solution!’ The family business designed and built a roaster powered by the energy in used coffee grounds, turning a waste product into an asset.
In the Business category, the returnloads.net team cut the number of empty miles travelled by UK hauliers last year by over 251 million, by matching loads to hauliers on return journeys, ‘providing proof you can tweak a traditional business model and make it a success.’
The Big Church Switch campaign is calling on churches and individual Christians to switch their electricity supply from fossil fuels to renewables. ‘The Energy award-winner for obvious reasons: the more people start buying 100% renewable energy, the quicker we can create more demand for the supply. Simple.’
The Food Award had two winners. Snact buy fruit that’s too big, small, ugly or too abundant directly from British farmers at fair prices and make it into a delicious and healthy snack. The Suma Wholefoods team promotes the benefits of a healthy vegetarian lifestyle and gives short-dated and damaged stock to local food banks or pay-as-you-feel kitchens.
Last year ClientEarth won a major case against the UK government over its failure to comply with EU limits for nitrogen dioxide in the air. Now it has won the P.E.A. Health Award for ‘fighting for our right to breathe clean air at a time when more people are dying from air pollution – per year – than smoking and heart disease.’
MCB Seafoods won one of two Pioneer Awards for its ‘Retrawl’ scheme, which collects and recycles old fishing gear – free of charge – into swimming costumes, sunglasses, nylon socks and skateboards. The second winner, Enviromate, allows tradesmen to list and search for surplus material that can be reused, reducing the depletion of natural resources and waste to landfill.
Bright Green Homes won the Homes Award for reducing the energy consumption in domestic and small business properties by as much as 90%. ‘This is a great example of local tradesmen taking on the remit of making it easier for homeowners to go green.’
The Money Award went to the Shared Interest Society team. The investments of its 11,000 members are loaned to farmers and handcraft producers who buy seeds, fertilisers and raw materials. ‘This inclusive and engaging business model shares both risk and reward around a large number of people.’
In the Regional category, the award went to a business offering super-sustainable services in its own region. Green Mop is a professional green cleaning service for businesses of all sizes across Brighton and Hove, helping to minimise their impact on the environment.
The Resources Award went to Brighton & Hove Wood Recycling Project team, the UK’s first wood recycling initiative. This not-for-profit social enterprise saves around 600 tonnes of timber from the waste stream each year.
Circuitree won the Technology Award for its manufacture and installation of solar and battery storage solutions. The company specialises in ‘saltwater batteries’ – the only batteries to achieve ‘cradle to cradle’ certification. ‘Quite simply, battery storage is the future.’
The Transport Award went to The Big Lemon’s buses and coaches, which run on biodiesel made from waste cooking oil collected from local restaurants, chip shops and hotels. ‘This community bus travel company shows others how to get from A to B environmentally.’
And finally, the Travel Award went to Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant in Wark, for showing you can enjoy sustainable tourism without sacrificing luxury, comfort or good food. ‘It’s sustainably operated to the level that they even know the carbon footprint of each of its rooms!.’
Click here to find out more about the P.E.A. Awards, and to nominate your green heroes for 2017’s event.
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