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P.E.A. Awards 2015

The shortlist has been announced for green heroes across the UK – and beyond!
pea 2015 comp wide Picture from MyGreenPod Sustainable News

Following hours of debate, discussion and deliberation, this year’s shortlist for the P.E.A. (People. Environment. Achievement.) Awards has been decided.

Entries and nominations were submitted from across the UK and the globe, from small ethical start-ups and community-spirited individuals as well as ‘green’ celebrities and established eco-entrepreneurs.

This year’s shortlist covers environmental trailblazers from up and down the UK, from Aberdeenshire through the Midlands and all the way down to Cornwall and Brighton.

Unlike other environmental and ethical awards ceremonies, the P.E.A. Awards, now in its fifth year, honours individuals who are taking matters into their own hands and flying the flag for sustainability. The awards recognise green heroes rather than the corporate missions of the brands or companies they work for.

The awards ceremony

The winners, who the judges agree are the pioneering individuals most deserving of recognition for their environmental achievements, will be honoured at a green carpet event in Brighton on 03 October 2015.

Tickets for this glam awards ceremony and leading networking event, which includes a three-course dinner, Bison Crafthouse Beer, Juniper Organic gin and a live set from the Stereo MCs, are available here.

A free daytime event will be held to mark the first anniversary of the designation of the UNESCO Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere Region. Big Nature in the Biosphere will transform the foyer of the Brighton Centre into a celebration of local biodiversity. The daytime event will precede the green carpet event that celebrates trailblazers for sustainability.

The shortlist

Britain’s Greenest Family

Sponsored by Yeo Valley

Mr and Mrs Green (Sidmouth, Devon) – Nominated for being ‘the original eco warriors’, Tony and Jackie Green, now in their 70s, continue to inspire generations with their enthusiasm for all things green.

Penney Poyzer (Nottingham) – In 1998, Penney Poyzer and her husband, Gil Schalom, embarked on what was to be a 17-year journey towards living a green urban life. Since then, their home has won many awards and the couple has been recognised as the founders of the green energy retrofit movement.

Jacqueline Saggers (Royston, Hertfordshire) – After growing up on a battery chicken farm that had been in the family since 1600, Jacqueline’s husband Simon was inspired to do things differently. The family has embarked on the life-long task of establishing an organic smallholding.


Ms Fiona Byrne, teacher, St Luke’s Solar School (Brighton) – Over two years, St. Luke’s crowdfunded £13,700 from the local community to buy solar panels. The primary school now has a 9.7kwp solar rig on its canteen roof, and is committed to using the panels to teach students about renewable energy and the environment.

Señor Andres Hammerman, co-owner, Black Sheep Inn (Ecuador) – This sustainable tourism destination is built with local renewable resources such as homemade adobe bricks, clay tiles and straw (for the roof), eucalyptus beams and local rock and labour. It has features designed to recycle everything from rain to rubbish.


Sponsored by Interface

Mrs Lorna Milton, Élan Hair Design (Inverurie, Aberdeenshire) – Is this the UK’s most eco-friendly hair salon? Following a £250,000 refurb including LEDs lights, solar panels, a switch to renewable energy, a carbon management plan and recycling programme, the salon has cut costs and boosted profits.

Khandiz Towill and Alice Wilby, co-founders of Novel Beings (London) – Novel Beings is the first artist agency that exclusively represents ‘conscious’ creatives in the fashion, beauty and advertising industries. It provides professional creatives with extensive experience in fashion, beauty and food.

Mrs Tracy Umney, director of Re-wrapped (London) – Tracy spent years searching for recycled wrapping paper – on the high street and online – before deciding to take matters into her own hands. She has since launched recycled wrapping paper in 23 designs through her company Re-wrapped.


Shared Interest Society team (Newcastle) – With 9,000 UK members, each investing anything from £100 to £100,000, Shared Interest Society provides a total of £33m in share capital to support fair trade businesses across the globe.

Señor Andres Hammerman, co-owner, Black Sheep Inn (Ecuador) – Black Sheep Inn is a 100% community-run eco-resort. Its owners have built a village recycling centre, donated dozens of computers to community members, trained guides and sponsored multiple workshops in family planning, nutrition, knitting, animal care and first aid.

Mrs Lin Swords & Lydia Keys, project leaders, Blooming Marvels (Stanford Le Hope) – Last year, Lin and Lydia were appalled that, due to council budget cuts, there would be no Christmas tree for the Town of Stanford Le Hope Essex. They have been fighting to improve their community ever since – from reinstating hanging baskets to developing allotments.

Miss Emma Whitlock, Fylde Beach Care Officer, LOVEmyBEACH (Wigan) – In Fylde LOVEmyBEACH works with seven committed groups who remove litter from their favourite beaches. The campaign’s challenge is to work together to keep our local beaches and bathing waters clean.


Sponsored by Mitsubishi Ecodan

Ms Fiona Byrne, teacher, St Luke’s Solar School (Brighton) – Much of their fundraising efforts for St. Luke’s solar roof were led by the school’s students. The school’s eco-council – made up of students from all years – was determined to get solar panels, so it took charge of fundraising events such as book swaps, cake sales and a World Cup-themed sponsored day.

Mr Warren Carter, Moulsecoomb Forest Garden Project, project manager, Queensdown Woods (Brighton) – The woods that back onto this project have become an essential part of its outdoor classroom. The open college uses the woods to help teach some of Brighton’s most troubled youngsters, who can now earn themselves up to GCSE-equivalent qualifications.

Mr Rob Sandercock and Dr Dan Danahar, Dorothy Stringer School (Brighton) – This school has tackled the major themes of what it means to be sustainable and is always on the lookout for ways to improve and educate the present and next generation.

Emma Whitlock, Fylde Beach Care Officer, LOVEmyBEACH (Wigan) – LOVEmyBEACH wanted to promote an understanding, from a young age, of how to look after the beach and share good behaviour. It worked with schools to develop an education pack, linked to the curriculum, to do just that. The activities are fun and interactive and aimed at Key Stages 1 and 2.


Sponsored by Good Energy

Mr Will Cottrell, chairman, Brighton Energy Co-op (Brighton) – Will Cottrell founded Brighton Energy Coop in summer 2010 after being inspired by community windfarms in Denmark and community solar projects in Germany. In the last four years Brighton Energy has raised £680,000 investment to fund 544kwp of solar PV in the Brighton area, and was able to pay back a £50K loan three years early.

Dr Giovanna Speciale, founding member, South East London Community Energy (London) – Solar panels are installed on the roofs of community organisations such as schools, social centres and churches, free of charge. The solar panels then reduce the cost of partners’ electricity bills, so savings can be spent on things they really need.

Bio-Bus team (Bristol) – Household food waste and sewage is processed by anaerobic digestion at the sewage works. The biogas that is produced is upgraded to enriched biomethane that supplies homes, provides heat and powers vehicles.


Nina Emett, founding Director of FotoDocument, One Planet City (Brighton) – This not-for-profit arts education organisation makes positive social and environmental initiatives visible through the powerful medium of world-class documentary photography installed in high-profile public spaces.

Ms Kresse Wesling, co-founder and director, Elvis and Kresse (Kent) – Elvis and Kresse turn waste materials into useful, beautiful bags, belts, wallets and rugs. They started with decommissioned fire hoses, some 30 years old, and the final product is all about honouring the hoses for the lives they’ve saved.

Chas Warlow (Richmond, Surrey) – Since 2009 Chas has been director of Ham United Group (HUG), a local Community Interest Company aiming to improve the environment and enhance the quality of life for the community. Chas been instrumental in getting a community-owned hydropower scheme off the ground; planning permission for the project – which will power 600 homes – came through the other day.

Mr Matt Harvey, poet, Element in the Room (Totnes, Devon) – Matt’s way with words has taken him from Totnes to Wimbledon Tennis Championships via Saturday Live, the Edinburgh festival and the Work section of the Guardian. The Element in the Room is a book of poems inspired by energy – renewable energy in particular – and a book of pictures inspired by poems about renewable energy.


Shared Interest Society team (Newcastle) – In 2014, Shared Interest Society lent money to 133 producer groups with 9,135 permanent employees, representing 182,280 individuals – including 69,460 women. Overall it made £48m in payments – an increase of £1.2m on last year, and 160% of the value of its share capital.

Mr Bruce Davis, Ms Louise Wilson, Mr Karl Harder, co-founders and directors, Abundance (London) – Any project funded on Abundance has an environmental benefit, in that it either improves energy efficiency, generates clean energy, or both. All projects also generate a return for society, and capital is quickly recycled into new projects.

Mr Alex Germanis, CEO, Pure Leapfrog (London) – To date the fund has provided 22 loans and loaned out £1,074,028. All of the projects supported deliver environmental impacts through the reduction of carbon emissions as well as providing social and financial benefits to communities.


Charlie Burrell, Knepp Castle (Shipley, West Sussex) – Knepp Castle Estate, near Shipley, West Sussex comprises 3,500 acres, almost all of which is now given over to re-wilding. With its heavy clay and small fields the land was never suited to intensive agriculture so, in 2003, owner Charlie Burrell made the bold step of turning the entire estate over to a pioneering conservation project.

Great British Oceans Coalition team (London) – Working together, The Pew Trusts, RSPB, Marine Conservation Society, The Blue Marine Foundation and Zoological Society of London recently celebrated the government’s commitment to create the world’s largest marine reserve around the Pitcairn Islands. Just under a million square km of the South Pacific will forever remain pristine ocean.

Mr Philip Thompson, The Living Garden (Brighton) – Philip started ‘gardening for wildlife’
from the day he moved into his house 15 years ago. Now, as many as 6 species of butterfly and a number of moth species actually breed in Philip’s garden as a direct result of the presence of their larval host plants, which have been planted or introduced by Philip.

Dr Martin Warren, chief executive, Butterfly Conservation (Dorset) – Butterfly Conservation is targeting efforts in 73 key landscapes, working with hundreds of landowners and partner organisations to manage habitats to enhance existing populations, restore former habitats and reconnect populations.


Cool Earth team (Cornwall) – Cool Earth is a charity that works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction. 90% of funds go directly to its projects; for every £1 spent on fundraising the charity raises £11.48.

Great British Oceans Coalition team (London) – This coalition comprises seven like-minded NGOs that champion the creation of the world’s first generation of large fully protected Marine Parks in UK overseas territories.

10:10 team (London) – From its work with Balcombe, the UK’s poster child for fracking, to its award-winning solar schools initiative, 10:10 is now working alongside voluntary sector buildings in Manchester, schools in Chile and mosques in London.


Sponsored by

Mr Keith Harrison, managing director, Newlife Paints (Rustington, West Sussex) – Each year, 50 million litres of paint go to waste. After some years of development, Newlife Paints now produces a decorative paint range of some 28 colours, which contain at least 90% recycled paint.

Tracy Umney, director, Re-wrapped (London) – Tracy spent years searching online and in gift shops for recycled wrapping paper, and eventually set up her own design-led recycled wrapping paper company. In 2011 the company had three designs, and now it’s working with designers who have created 23 options.

Kate Holbrook, founder, Turtle Doves (Shrewsbury) – Turtle Doves uses post-consumer textile waste to create practical and luxurious clothing accessories, including fingerless gloves, scarves, snoods, hats, headbands, wraps, throws and even beautiful baby booties, hats and mitts.

Ms Kresse Wesling, co-founder and director, Elvis and Kresse (Kent) – Elvis and Kresse turn waste materials into useful, beautiful bags, belts, wallets and rugs. They started with decommissioned fire hoses, some 30 years old, and the final product is all about honouring the hoses for the lives they’ve saved.

Howard Carter, CEO, incognito (London) – Made from only natural ingredients, incognito insect repellent is an excellent alternative to toxic and polluting chemicals like deet. Clinical trials have demonstrated the strength of its active ingredient, eucalyptus maculata citriodora. No natural repellent can demonstrate equivalent levels of efficacy.


Sponsored by Simply

Miss Roshni Assomull, co-founder, Bella Kinesis (London) – For each item sold by this ethical women’s sportswear brand, the company funds one month’s business education for a woman in rural India through a partnership with the Mann Deshi Foundation.The sportswear, designed to suit women of all body shapes, is made in the UK with premium-performance fabric from Italy.

Dr Jennifer Georgeson, founder and CEO, So Just Shop (London) – The So Just Shop Marketplace allows women-led artisan groups to sell high-quality clothing and accessories directly to international consumers. By selling directly the artisans they receive 80% of the profits, while by selling to retailers they often receive less than 30%.


Great British Oceans Coalition team (London) – This coalition is an example of how a group of teams can achieve more together when they unite as one. Seven like-minded NGOs championed the creation of the world’s first generation of large fully protected Marine Parks in UK overseas territories.

Mr Lewis Knight, Bioregional, project manager, Bicester Eco-Town (Bicester, Oxfordshire) – This project’s aim was to develop Bicester as a sustainable and healthy town through a range of low-carbon initiatives designed to benefit all 30,000 citizens. With North West Bicester as the catalyst, Eco-Bicester has worked to embed sustainable development throughout the fabric of the whole town.

Ms Fiona Byrne, teacher, St Luke’s Solar School (Brighton) – With a small driving team, including volunteers, parent Stella Pentecost and teacher Fiona Byrne, St. Luke’s mobilised the whole community to chip in for solar panels. Support came from local people, businesses and organisations such as the Brighton Lions.


Sponsored by Bison Beer

Mr Lewis Knight, Bioregional, project manager, Bicester Eco-Town (Bicester, Oxfordshire) – With North West Bicester as the catalyst, Eco-Bicester has worked to embed sustainable development throughout the fabric of the whole town. It’s designed to be easily replicable and can be used by all local authorities, particularly in places where new developments are proposed.

Brighton – Brighton is part of an international family of ‘Biosphere Reserves’ spanning over one hundred countries, recognised by the United Nations body UNESCO as international sites of excellence of how to meet our needs and improve our environment. It also became the world’s first designated One Planet City when the city’s Sustainability Action Plan officially received independent accreditation from BioRegional for its plans to enable residents to live well within a fairer share of the Earth’s resources.

Bristol – The European Green Capital 2015, Bristol has scored successes in areas including energy, waste, food and travel. It’s willing to take risks and look at new ideas, and was named the ‘city with the sense of fun’ when it was selected as European Green Capital 2015.


Bio-Bus team (Bristol) – The Bio-Bus, developed by UK-based company GENeco, is the first bus in the UK to be powered by gas derived from food, sewage and commercial liquid wastes. The bus can travel over 300km on a full tank of gas – produced by the annual food and sewage waste of just five passengers.

Martin Harris, managing director, Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company (Brighton) – Martin is investing £24 million in initiatives that include upgrading older buses so they’re cleaner than Brighton council’s Low Emission Zone stipulates. He’s also buying state of the art buses that are eight times cleaner than Euro 5 buses. He’s fitted his fleet with telematics that tell him who’s driving inefficiently; those who don’t change their driving habits are sent back to training school.

H.M. Revenue & Customs team (London) – Between 2010 and 2015, HMRC took almost 16,000 fewer domestic flights and saw a 14% shift in travel from road to rail. It also achieved a reduction of 35% in greenhouse gas emissions from offices and business travel – equivalent to 70,000 passenger journeys from London to New York.

Return Loads LLP team (Essex) – Return Loads has helped companies ranging from owner drivers all the way through to international companies to increase efficiency and cut down on their carbon footprint by finding backloads for return journeys. Non-UK companies can benefit from the freight exchange by finding the ‘in-between’ loads before they head back out of the UK.


Sponsored by VisitBrighton

Señor Andres Hammerman, co-owner, Black Sheep Inn (Ecuador) – This eco-resort has a firm spot on the sustainable tourism map, in part because of its dry composting toilets, grey-water treatment, eco-building techniques, organic gardens, rainwater catchments, native tree planting and full-scale recycling – but mostly because of its community projects.

Siobhan Thomasson, general manager, Holiday Inn Winchester (Winchester) – This hotel’s carbon footprint is 3% lower than it was for the same period in 2014 – and 33% below the UK benchmark. Its water consumption is on par with the same period in 2014 but still 8% below the benchmark, and the hotel’s energy consumption has reduced by 6%.

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