Winners 2020

The IEMA Sustainability Impact Awards 2020 winners were announced on Friday 18 September. Please see below:

   

 Winner: Advance London – London Waste and Recycling Board

Judges’ comments: “The winning team exemplifies a culture of service to sustainability. Built on a solid strategy, this team has created a space for SMEs and large organisations to come together in a productive ecosystem, designed to nurture and build a circular economy for London. The judges recognised that the ethos of this team very much reflects the circular economy culture they are endeavouring to create at scale.”

London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) aims to make London a low carbon, circular city through recycling and reducing waste. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have great potential to drive this transition, and The Advance London team, consisting of Natalia Agathou, Jean Billant, Anna Szeler and Sarah Beaton, assists SMEs to circularity and helps them overcome hurdles like access to finance and knowledge.

Since Nov 2018, the team have welcomed 87 new SMEs to the programme and held 27 workshops and events. The team have also created a network of more than 900 stakeholders from corporates to investors. It is piloting the implementation of impact bonds as a funding vehicle for London-based circular SMEs and also a full-scale packaging takeback scheme.

So far, it has supported the launch of 26 new circular products, services and transitions to circular operations. This has contributed to the creation of 41 new jobs. The impact has gone beyond environmental gains, for example with support to a food sharing app to enable communities to share food items and support to SMEs during the lockdown period.

The team have also raised LWARB’s profile internationally, through cases studies by organisations such as the Ellen McArthur Foundation and the European Investment Bank.

Winner: Environmental and Planning Services - Wessex Water

Judges’ comments: “The winner of this category demonstrated a very thoughtful approach to sustainability leadership by describing very clearly how the team collaborate and engage with their stakeholders. The judges were particularly impressed by the way this team had promoted innovative measures, particularly challenging in this team’s very heavily regulated environment.”

Wessex Water, owned by YTL, has 2.8 million customers across the south west of England, covering Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, most of Wiltshire and parts of Gloucestershire and Hampshire. The region has a particularly high environmental quality: nearly 50% is protected for its landscape, and there are more than 500 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and four World Heritage Sites.

The Environment and Planning Services team (E&PS) sits within the in-house Engineering and Sustainable Development Division and is a team of environmental, planning, ISO14001 and ecological specialists.

Nearly 500 capital schemes are environmentally screened each year. The work often requires long or anti-social hours, with intensive programmes and team building walks and events are encouraged. The team assessed 480 projects in the past 12 months. Nearly 150 of these were complex schemes, requiring bespoke construction environmental and third-party management plans. The team achieved a 100% success rate in planning applications.

Collaboration is key, both with internal colleagues and consultees: for example, works have led to Natural England commenting that this ‘was great partnership working’ and in 2019, they were nominated for the Dorset Archaeological Award. Professional development is central to its success and the team has developed its own supported route to obtaining environmental professional membership with IEMA.

The team’s culture also encourages innovation. Its latest member is a great crested newt detection dog!

Winner: Bird Aware Solent – Bird Aware

Judges’ Comments: “The judges rated this winning entry highly for its effective planning and strategic vision in protecting local nature reserves, while also engaging with policymakers, local government, and housing developments.

Bird Aware Solent demonstrated a clear commitment to positive social engagement, communication, and training campaigns with a diverse group of stakeholders. This has encouraged behavioural change in the way these stakeholders view and use these natural resources. There was a clear and coherent focus on public information, scientific monitoring, and the management of resources. It has since joined with other similar mitigation partnerships to help create a national collective voice with the protection of the natural environment at the heart of its strategy. It’s vision and ambition make it a worthy winner.”

Bird Aware Solent is a partnership providing recreational mitigation measures to ensure housebuilding does not impact upon the 125,000 internationally important birds that spend the winter in the three Solent Special Protection Areas (SPAs).

Covering 254 km of coastline, the partnership consists of fourteen local planning authorities, one county council and four nature conservation bodies including Natural England. It was formed after research concluded there was a significant and increasing level of disturbance to birds in the Solent.

A team of rangers engage with coastal users explaining small behaviour changes to allow the birds the space they need. To date, rangers have engaged with over 35,000 people. Bird Aware Solent is also improving green infrastructure at five alternative recreational greenspaces.

Disturbance monitoring now shows that people are more 'Bird Aware'. There is a large increase in visitors engaging with the ranger team. The scheme has also been well received by developers, with 3,591 residential units making a developer contribution to the Partnership.

Winner: Breaking the Plastic Habit – Canary Wharf Group

Judges’ Comments: “The Breaking the Plastic Habit campaign from Canary Wharf Group was excellent in engaging a wide range of stakeholders – internally and externally – in action to eliminate single use plastic. The results were impressive and enabled CWG to become the first commercial centre and the first district in London to achieve Plastic Free Communities status from Surfers Against Sewage.”

In 2018, real estate company Canary Wharf Group (CWG) launched Breaking The Plastic Habit, a programme designed to influence estate-wide behaviour at Canary Wharf through a variety of events, campaigns and initiatives.

Research undertaken by CWG had revealed that removal and reduction of single-use plastic (SUP) was the primary sustainability concern of workers and visitors at Canary Wharf. A combination of digital communications, marketing, events and innovations were combined to form an initial 12-month programme.

Some 42 tenants removed three items of SUP, and a plastic-free commitment was written into CWG policy, meaning single-use plastic removed from all CWG offices and events.

Retailers were engaged with forums, a digital toolkit created and over 1,000 visits made to promote involvement. A ‘flagship partner’ package was offered to key tenants. To engage the public and local community, the HELPFUL app was launched to incentivise consumers to re-use and recycle, of which there were 20,000 downloads.

Public events were held, seven refill stations were installed eliminating 200,000 single-use bottles, and a deposit return scheme was implemented, recycling 1,500 plastic bottles monthly. A plastic-free food court was launched as well as coffee cup recycling bins.

The programme resulted in the elimination of over two million items of SUP, with more than five million single-use items captured and recycled.

Winner: Growing Space – Arcadia Charitable Trust

Judges' comments:

“The judges felt that the Growing Space charity has a vision that is simple yet highly effective. The impact of their work may be quietly understated but can be inspirational, and lead to far greater benefits for all those involved, and at whatever stage in life. Their campaign to include the local community, and in particular schools, is very much in keeping with the current movement of children and young people engaging with nature and their environment. It demonstrates a clear understanding that many urban, inner city children have no access to dig, plant and grow their own food. The aim is for them to develop an understanding and appreciation of their natural environment. There is a clear sense of purpose in what they are doing and a desire to grow and extend to other communities. A very worthy winner.”

Growing Space is a not-for-profit project of Arcadia Charitable Trust. It aims to transform underused urban church land into edible teaching gardens in service to surrounding schools and communities. Participants come to understand the importance of looking after the soil and ecosystems and are encouraged in healthy eating habits as they enjoy sampling the fruit, herbs and vegetables. 

Growing Space gardens are installed in two separate locations: Christ Church Kensington and St. Helen's North Kensington. School children access the Growing Space on a weekly basis, planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables and engaging in forest school activities. 

Local residents also access the gardens for quiet meditation, volunteer gardening sessions and gardening workshops. Several other churches in London have now expressed interest in the project.

Winner: Flightpath net zero – IAG (International Airlines Group)

Judges’ comments: “This entry demonstrates breadth vision and leadership in a ‘hard-to-decarbonise’ sector, represents a world-first for the airline industry, is backed by strategic repositioning of sustainability within IAG’s business, and is underpinned by a quantified, published pathway to net zero.” 

International Airlines Group (IAG) is the parent company of British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, and carried 118 million passengers with emissions of 31 million tonnes CO2e in 2019.

Inspired by the IPCC 1.5° Special Report, in October 2019 IAG launched Flightpath net zero, a Group-wide strategy to reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. This was a world-first, and IAG is the only airline to have mapped and quantified a pathway to net zero: promoting carbon pricing, improving operational efficiency, investing in lower carbon aircraft, innovating in sustainable fuels and offsetting and removing residual carbon.

Climate became embedded in IAG’s strategy and business model, with annual bonuses of IAG’s 60 most senior executives formally linked to the new carbon targets and engagement with stakeholders. By 2025, the company expects that 3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions will be avoided through new aircraft and efficiency to meet its target of 80 grams CO2 per passenger kilometre.

IAG has also introduced British Airways’ carbon neutral domestic flights, its waste-to-jet fuel plant and exploration research on carbon capture and storage.

This net zero strategy showed leadership in the industry, prompting responsive action by other major airlines and in February 2020, IAG was instrumental in securing the joint commitment of the entire UK aviation industry. IAG is now negotiating with regulators to co-develop green finance policy and investment solutions.

Winner: Network Rail Decarbonisation Programme WS1 - Mott MacDonald

Judges’ comments: “This study identified over 100,000 separate areas suitable for developing renewable energy, comprising 6 million hectares of land and roof space and then matching to consumption points. It also utilised free ordnance survey data to develop a GIS map which enables Network Rail to quickly evaluate RE opportunities – a good legacy and replicable globally for other national rail organisations.”

Network Rail owns and manages the infrastructure of most of the railway network in Great Britain and is one of GB’s largest energy users and landowners. In 2019, it launched its Decarbonisation Programme with an ambition to deliver a low-cost and low-carbon railway.

The first stage of this was to develop and implement a renewable energy strategy, buying 100% renewable electricity for its non-traction portfolio (504GWh annually), saving 248,196 tCO2e within five years and ultimately generating their own electricity, feeding non-traction assets and the 4TWh traction system within 10 years.

Mott MacDonald worked with Network Rail’s Decarbonisation Programme Team to complete a Renewable Energy Integration Feasibility Study to determine the opportunity to use Network Rail land and assets to generate renewable energy on a large scale.

A non-bias approach, utilising computer modelling ensured that no potential opportunity was overlooked. The resulting GIS mapping system provides an extremely quick and simple way to review opportunities for Network Rail and the supporting report highlights a large number of potential projects. These elements form vital information for development of Network Rail’s renewable energy and storage strategy which has the potential to transform the energy delivery for Britain’s rail network.

The completion of this project contributes towards several SDGs and the

collaborative approach has given the knowledge the company needs to develop future plans for a much cleaner, greener railway.

Winner: One and Five Bank Street – Canary Wharf Group

Judges’ comments: “Judges were impressed that the Canary Wharf Group clearly went above and beyond, with lifecycle assessment, the use of leading edge tools, and achieving a BREEAM Outstanding rating. There was impressive carbon reduction, a wide range of wildlife that benefited, and the health and wellbeing of users was considered as well as the environment.”

Canary Wharf Group (CWG) is a private real estate company that develops, manages and owns interests in office space, retail and build to rent units. CWG has purchased 100% renewable electricity for the estate since 2012 and zero waste going to landfill from the managed estate since 2009.

1 & 5 Bank Street is a 65,000 m2, 27-storey building located in Canary Wharf, which embodies CWG’s sustainability commitment. CWG achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating at design stage for shell and core of the building. It also achieved BREEAM Outstanding for the SocGen fit out by working closely with the client. A green wall provides space for 20 species to help support local invertebrate and bird life, as well as providing a positive wellbeing benefit to local community.

The project went beyond BREEAM energy efficiency requirements to achieve actual carbon reductions in operation. CWG has also set a commitment for tenants to switch to renewable electricity. The building is fitted with photovoltaic solar panels, expected to generate more than 19,117 kWh per year and overall demonstrates a 27% reduction in energy demand over a typical office building.

The project is also designed for adaptable functionality, with the ability to shift from office to residential or other uses throughout its lifespan.

 

Highly commended:The Bacton and Walcott Coastal Management Scheme – Haskoning DHV UK, North Norfolk District Council and Team Van Oord

Judges comments: “They considered the options and economic consequences and came up with a UK first ‘sandscaping’ on time and under budget. It meets urgent present needs, without negative impacts elsewhere, while buying time to adapt to coastal change. It has also enhanced particular habitats for birds that are undergoing severe decline in their UK breeding population.”

Winner: HydroloGIS: Optimising Nature-based Solutions – Viridian Logic

Judges’ comments: “The judges felt HydroloGIS was a highly innovative modelling system that had made great progress in the planning and improvement in natural catchment management – a usually challenging area. What impressed us most was the potential of the product to provide real benefits to a great many stakeholders, including policymakers, local communities, and agricultural and other land-based actors. There was an emphasis on efficient data usage, which was quick and inexpensive, to attract stakeholder engagement and maximise ROI.  This means that it has the potential to be replicable, and create benefits across a range of sectors and disciplines making it a highly valuable innovation.”

Viridian Logic is a micro company launched in 2016 by an environmental engineer and astrophysicist. HydroloGIS is its high-tech modelling system that identifies the best nature-based solutions (NbS), and the most effective places to create them to solve water problems. It is unique in combining GIS and hydrology into a single system.

The model has run successfully in UK, Caribbean and France, over areas totalling 9769sqkm. It identifies how the landscape is currently functioning to prevent flooding, diffuse pollution and erosion, and ranks and prioritises NbS to further reduce these problems. It goes further than other systems in identifying groundwater problems; risk-ranks fields; improves water supply; integrates biodiversity improvements; and reduces sewer impacts.

In one of its projects, flooding will reduce by 100% for 1 in 50 year return, and around 50% for 1 in 500 year. Its clear ranking of solutions it provides means that institutional investors will be more encouraged to invest in natural capital.

The system is protecting communities from climate impacts (such as flooding) and improving water quality: all using natural processes and improving biodiversity.

Winner: Ignition DG

Judges’ comments: “The winner of this category has gone further by including not only environmental, but economic and social aspects within their business model.

Ignition DG carries out their core functions in ways designed to deliver circularity, as well as promoting positive impact. By demonstrating that change is possible in the events and exhibitions sector they are inspiring behaviour change within their own organisation, as well as throughout their sector and customer base.”

Ignition is a UK & US based, women-owned SME specialising in the design and management of events around the world. The CEO is dedicated to a sustainability ethos, having set up the company in opposition to the industry’s ‘build and burn’ wasteful practices.

It was first in the industry to achieve standard ISO 20121 – Sustainable Events Management, and has also achieved ISO 14001 – Environmental Management and ISO 9001 – Quality Management. Ignition has been granted The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: Sustainable Development 2020.

It sets approximately 20 annual objectives, covering emission reduction, community action, company growth and re-usable solutions. Examples of its emission reductions include a 25% overall decrease from 2018-2019, off-setting all tracked unavoidable emissions in 2019 through charitable giving and achieving net carbon zero for scope 1 and part of scope 2 of the GHG Protocol.

The company raised £3,347 for charity in 2019 and was awarded ‘Best Employer’ at the EN Elite awards in 2019. Ignition has also experienced significant growth year-on-year. Clients choose the company as a result of its sustainable ethos values and are committed to the re-use and re-purpose of exhibition kit as part of their CSR policies. Sustainability has led to a reduction of internal costs, passed on to clients.

Highly Commended: Schneider Electric and Useful Simple Trust

Judges’ Comments: "Both these companies demonstrated a very high level of commitment not only within their own business but are driving positive change within their value chain and customer base."

Winner: Arup and Health Care Without Harm

Judges’ comments: “Arup and Health Care Without Harm delivered a world-first; a quantification of the footprint of global healthcare systems, allowing for comparison between nations and identification of action areas for mitigation. This has given the collaboration universal application with significant potential to drive impactful change.”

Arup is an independent firm of built environment specialists and consultants, and Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) is an international NGO that seeks to transform the health sector worldwide to be ecologically sustainable.

The climate-smart healthcare series was an initiative introduced by HCWH, and supported by Arup, seeking to define the healthcare sector’s climate footprint and outline actions it can take to align with the Paris Agreement.

This project delivered a quantification of the global scope 1, 2, and 3 footprint of the global healthcare system, allowing for comparison between nations and identification of action areas for mitigation. It found the health sector makes a huge contribution to the climate crisis, equivalent to 4.4% of global net emissions. If it were a country it would be the world’s fifth-largest emitter.

The collaboration took input from and fed back to global practitioners, both in Arup’s community of health facility designers and operators and HCWH’s global community of health care providers, policy makers and practitioners.

The result was a green paper detailing the study findings, highlighting actions to mitigate emissions and show leadership. The paper sets out a research agenda, within which is a call for a decarbonisation and resilience routemap to 2050.

Further funding has been secured to develop the project further. This will establish a new paradigm for climate smart health care delivery. This work is to be presented by HCWH and Arup alongside the WHO at the COP26 climate talks.

Highly commended: Digital Steering Group - WSP, Mott MacDonald, Arcadis, Atkins, ERM, Arup, AECOM, Royal HaskoningDHV, Quod, Sweco, Stantec, Jacobs, Capita, Waterman, Barton Willmore

Judges’ comments: “A great collaboration between 13 consultancies to deliver an improvement in best practice and consistency for sector.”

Winner: Techbuyer

Judges’ comments: “The winning entry in this category is a company that has placed the principles of circular economy and sustainability at its core. Techbuyer has demonstrated a commitment to sustainability and innovation in the way it has developed solutions in a sector with touches almost all of us on a daily basis. With a business model based on recycling and re-use of IT equipment in what is overwhelmingly a 'disposable' industry generating huge volumes of waste, this company has recognised the potential for scalability and created a working circular economy at its heart.”

Techbuyer is a global specialist in buying, refurbishing and selling enterprise IT equipment. The core business is an example of product life extension as more than 99% of incoming product is destined for reuse and the remaining less than 1% is shipped to partner recyclers.

Techbuyer's sustainability department represents the company on international circular economy research projects and chairs a knowledge transfer project with UEL to develop an energy optimisation tool for IT hardware in data centres. It also oversees work towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and supports advocacy on circular economy worldwide.

Techbuyer is an associate partner of the Circular Economy in the Data Centre Industry project, a collaboration between industry and academics that will generate advice to the EU on how to promote circular approaches in data centres. As an active member of the Remanufacturing Industries Council in the US, Techbuyer supported the application to have remanufacturing codes added to the Federal list.

The business has grown around 20% a year on year in turnover and for Techbuyer, circular economy practice and business success are one and the same thing. Circular Economy principles extend to every area of the business worldwide.

Winner: Our Approach to Biodiversity Net Gain – SSEN Transmission

Judges’ comments: “This category showed a broad range of impressive applications demonstrating biodiversity net gain at both national and international levels. SSEN Transmission showed a good use of best tools available and capitalised on the best advice. The entry showed good detail on measurable results and significant net gain results of more than 34%.”

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission (SSEN Transmission) power over a quarter of the UK land mass across some of its most challenging terrain, such as the Highlands and the North Sea.

As part of its sustainability strategy, SSEN Transmission committed to deliver ‘biodiversity no net loss’ on projects from 2020, and ‘biodiversity net gain’ on projects from 2025. It succeeded in leading industry and public sector in Scotland by developing an approach that embeds biodiversity considerations into every stage of their project life-cycle, enhancing biodiversity for the benefit of both wildlife and local communities.

There was a great breadth of stakeholder engagement in building long term biodiversity plans, with its approach informed by and building upon the latest good practice guidance and principles and identifying adaptations required to the DEFRA Biodiversity 2.0 Metric used in England to meet the needs of Scotland, such as identifying irreplaceable blanket bog and ancient Scots Pine.

The approach was trialled on substation construction projects, realising demonstrable environmental benefit, including turning a 23% predicted loss in biodiversity units into a 34% net gain in one case, and a 3% predicted net gain into a 47% net gain in another.

This has now influenced SSEN Plc Group environmental strategy and in turn has raised the profile of biodiversity net gain in Scotland, reinforcing the concept and take up of net gain.

Winner: Crystal Doors

Judges’ comments: “Crystal Doors ensures that employees, suppliers, customers and the local community are all engaged in its ambitious net zero strategy. Strong and committed climate leadership from the managing director cascades through the organisation – driving enhanced efficiency and productivity and investments in new technology. This positive action has achieved impressive results – and great to see from an SME manufacturing organisation.”

Crystal Doors manufactures bespoke vinyl wrapped doors and accessories for kitchen, bedroom and bathroom retailers. Leadership from the MD has meant the company has had yearly carbon footprint assessments and made significant energy savings each year since 2015.

A 980kw biomass burner was installed, which in 2019 produced 980,000kw for the factory, process control and office. Each year, more ambitious projects have been undertaken in areas such as solar panel installation and lighting. This has enabled Crystal Doors to achieve an A+ rating Efficiency Performance Certificate.

In 2019, Crystal Doors asked its suppliers when they will be carbon neutral and what actions they are taking to achieve this. In April 2020, it even approached its customers to ask how they are reducing carbon emissions. The company has stopped painting doors to reduce solvents and uses a vinyl made out of recycled plastic bottles.

Recruiting employees who live within three miles is now also company policy. Personal carbon footprint assessments have been carried out by all employees, and directors lead by example, both becoming vegetarian since last October, and foregoing any personal or business aeroplane travel.

Having invested 50% of its yearly turnover at £1.5m over the past five years, the innovation and commitment shown by Crystal Doors has achieved admirable reductions in carbon emissions.

Winner: Adaptation Scotland’s Adaptation Capability Framework – Sniffer

Judges' comments: "The Adaptation Capability Framework from SNIFFER is excellent in helping to drive action to enhance climate resilience across the public sector.  The judges highlighted the collaborative and partnership approach used to develop the framework and the recognition that organisations are at different stages of the adaptation journey."

Adaptation Capability Framework (ACF) is the basis of Adaptation Scotland’s new guidance for the public sector. The resource, developed by Sniffer in collaboration with major infrastructure operators, local authorities and national public bodies represents a shift away from typical risk-based guidance and adopts an holistic approach to adaptation that matures over time.

The ACF was created following 18 months of research and development and was launched in May 2019. It has been endorsed by senior leaders and is being used across the public sector and results show significant progress. For example, by Forestry Land Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, and Aberdeenshire Council.

The ACF was showcased at COP25 and is being used to inform similar guidance in the United States, Canada and Australia. It has been presented to more than 100 senior leaders and decision makers including chief executives, directors and political leaders. It has been widely supported and adopted as the preferred approach for taking forward action to adapt. The ACF has also attracted significant interest from UK and international partners including the Government of Ireland and Government of New Zealand.

While the focus is on the public sector in Scotland due to the context in which is was created, there is great potential for transferability. The Framework and the process used to create it supports IEMA’s mission to nurture collaboration, innovate and work across silos of science and practice to produce appropriate tools.

Winner: Embedding Sustainability in Procurement - Bank of England

Judges' comments: "The judges were pleased to see the Bank of England’s values brought to the fore in supplier specifications and work with existing suppliers to improve outcomes in relation to sustainability, human rights, business ethics, diversity, inclusion and wellbeing.  Also of note was the use of internal carbon pricing in major procurement projects."

Bank of England’s suppliers provide a vast range of goods and services, from technology services and consultancy, to catering, cleaning, construction services and printing England's banknotes.

The Bank embeds principles of sustainability throughout each stage of its procurement process. It favours suppliers with a demonstrable commitment to sustainability and works with them to continuously improve. Particular emphasis is placed on the areas related to the UN's sustainable development goals.

A Supplier Code of Practice was launched which is widely communicated across the Bank. All new suppliers receive a copy when engaging in a tender process and an online 'triage tool' informs all internal buyers of the relevant policy requirements they need to consider.

Sustainability requirements are therefore consolidated into specifications early in the procurement process and only suppliers who can meet them are selected. There is also criteria in the standard tender template on equal opportunities and diversity, environment and health and safety.

The head of procurement has been a powerful advocate of the Supplier Code and provides leadership to ensure its principles are embedded in the procurement processes.

Bank of England is an active member of Hellios, a community of financial institutions working together to agree supplier management standards. It has led a working group to refresh Hellios’ approach to environmental requirements.

Winner: Green Impact Advisory – Green Investment Group

Judges’ comments: “A large established investment business with a focus on renewable energy, which has undoubtedly achieved significant demonstrable results on a global scale.”

Green Investment Group (GIG) is a specialist developer, sponsor and investor, originating from the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) launched by the UK Government in 2012. GIG’s ‘Green Purposes’ were originally agreed by cross-party consensus in the UK Parliament and constitutionally enshrined within GIB through an Act of Parliament upon its creation. Delivering ‘green impact’ has been a requirement of GIG’s decision-making process since its origination.

As the world’s first green bank, GIG has expanded GIB’s green and profitable business model since its acquisition by Macquarie in 2017. GIG is now Macquarie’s global platform for principal green investment, having transitioned from the world’s first green bank to one of the largest developers of renewable energy projects in 2020.

As of 2019, GIG is active in over 25 markets, supporting more than £20 billion of green energy projects across 25 global markets, generating 493 TWh of renewable energy and avoiding 181 million tonnes CO2e of greenhouse gas emissions.

GIG and BloombergNEF’s launch of the GIG Carbon Score on the bnef.com platform now allows BNEF subscribers to access the forecast greenhouse gas emissions avoided by over 40,000 wind and solar energy generation assets across the globe, this amounts to 60% of consented projects globally.

GIA team members have provided support to IEMA’s efforts to improve its members’ understanding of sustainable finance and through their contribution to the development of sustainable finance standards are also facilitating a transformative shift of the finance sector to sustainable investment.

Winner: Reconomy Social Value Programme (RSVP) - Reconomy

Judges’ Comments: “Reconomy won this award because they take people from hard to reach backgrounds and help them into meaningful work in the waste and recycling sector – this forms an important part of the Reconomy Social Value Programme. 

Reconomy isn’t compelled to do this – it does so as part of building valuable community relationships, helping people to live independent lives through training, enhancing employability and giving them work opportunities. The measurable outcomes show that Reconomy is delivering significant social value.”

Reconomy is a waste management company that works with businesses of all sizes in all sectors across the UK. It works in partnership with its 25,000 customers and suppliers to invest in and build community relationships.

The Reconomy Social Value Programme (RSVP) is its flagship programme supporting its objective to be the leading sustainable business in the waste and recycling sector and enabling the company to contribute to society.

To help it achieve its social value targets, Reconomy has partnered with organisations such as: The National House Project, Hope for Justice, the Armed Forces Covenant, The Care Leavers Covenant, RMF FreshStart, New Futures Network and The Supply Chain Sustainability School.

The focus of RSVP is ‘bridging gaps’ by supporting care leavers to live independent lives through training and work opportunities in the waste and customer industries, and ‘breaking barriers’, establishing ‘Reconomy FreshStart’ to deliver socially inclusive training and recruitment, changing the lives of vulnerable people (including ex-military and ex-offenders).

In 2019, Reconomy placed 20+ people from hard-to-reach backgrounds into work, using 88% of its total spend with SMEs and +£2million spent with social enterprises, and organised 108 days volunteering in our local community, achieving more than £1.1m of social value.

Winner: Kerrie Craig, Environmental Consultant, Royal HaskoningDHV

Judges’ comments: “Kerrie’s technical and professional abilities are more than matched by her passion and enthusiasm for the environmental sector. She has a clear grasp of what it takes to be a leader, advocating communication, collaboration and listening as the key skills required. She is confident in her approach in tackling the issues that she is in control of, while also having a strong sense of seeing the ‘bigger picture’, and the positive opportunities that can arise in a crisis.

Her coaching and mentoring work, her ability to engage with a wide range of stakeholders, and her calm and confident manner, make her a natural leader. The judges felt that winning this award would provide her with a bigger platform on which to inspire and influence others, and that she would be a powerful ambassador for the industry.”

In March 2017, Kerrie joined Royal HaskoningDHV as a Graduate Environmental Consultant. She has worked across multiple projects, including five nationally significant infrastructure projects in various roles. Kerrie has progressed from internal project support to EIA Coordinator, Assistant Project Management to now undertaking Project Management roles.

Despite being so early into her career, Kerrie is confident speaking to clients, managing contracts and deliverables to a high standard, knowing how to meet deadlines and manage expectations. Working on East Anglia TWO and ONE North offshore windfarms, Kerrie engaged with stakeholders and members of the public, often at challenging events with local opposition to the projects.

Kerrie was selected to be part of the Climate 2050 Group Young Leaders Development Programme for 2018-2019 and won the Royal HaskoningDHV Brand Ambassador Unity Award, voted for by her colleagues.

Highly commended: Tom Gold, Senior Environmental Consultant, WSP

Judges' comments: “Tom’s work developing digital EIA tools and guidance was highly impressive. His drive and passion were evident as he talked about the many ways in which digital technology has a vital role to play in meeting some of the challenges we face today. The judges felt he was deserving of being Highly Commended for the innovation and expertise he has shown.”

Winner: Rowan Byrne, Technical Principal Marine Ecology & Marine Plastics Leader, Mott MacDonald

Judges’ comments: “Rowan’s passion and drive for sustainability is infectious. His sustainability leadership shines through everything he does – whether it’s mentoring young professionals, in his role as sustainability leader in Mott MacDonald’s Environment Division or tackling marine plastic waste in his local community.

He has the ability to bring people together and engage then in developing practical solutions. Rowan also has the ability to link detailed technical work to the big picture.”

Rowan is based in Cambridge and has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology since 2014. He has worked in the NGO sector, as an academic with many published papers to his name, and in the private sector for 25 years. Rowan’s leadership has been recognised through a variety of awards, and also within Mott MacDonald itself, winning the Technical Excellence Award, and Environmentalist of the Year.

Rowan is an advocate for reduction of plastics in waterways and oceans and has single-handedly driven the Mott MacDonald marine plastics initiative. He has run three substantial marine plastics projects, and co-designed the free Mott MacDonald plastics audit tool.

Working with Anglian Water, Rowan raised £18,000 to fund a research project at a local Wastewater Treatment Works in Newmarket, Suffolk to evaluate its role in the screening and emission of microplastics to the environment.

He was also responsible for installing two Seabins which, in six months removed more than six tonnes of plastic from Howth Harbour in Dublin, Ireland.

Rowan actively seeks out mentoring opportunities with junior team members and is focused on working collaboratively with colleagues and clients at all levels, encouraging them to consider the environmental change they can affect.

Highly commended: Samantha Rowe, Chief Executive Officer, Ignition DG

Winner: Harry Sealy FIEMA CEnv, Environmental and Sustainability Manager, Jacobs.

Judges’ comments: IEMA is privileged to have the support of so many wonderful volunteers who contribute their time and expertise to help their fellow members. Harry was able to pip the other nominees to the post with a winning combination of events, advocacy, expertise, support and inspiration for members in the Middle Eastern & North Africa region. Congratulations Harry and a special thank you to all of IEMA’s outstanding volunteers."

Harry Sealy is a chartered environmental professional with 20 years’ experience managing the environmental permitting and compliance of large-scale multi-billion dollar, linear infrastructure projects. He is the founding chairperson of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) branch, which was the first IEMA branch outside the UK, introducing IEMA to environmental practitioners in the Middle East and beyond.

Harry has demonstrated great energy in combining his managerial position with volunteering roles promoting sustainability and circular economy during Qatar’s rapid development. He also pioneered the introduction of CEEQUAL to Qatar, leading to the first two CEEQUAL certificates to ever be awarded to a project in the Middle East.

Harry has promoted IEMA’s vision in the Middle East, voluntarily engaging with different sectors and influencing local environmental practice. With the support of his Local Steering Group (LSG), he has showcased Qatari expertise and has represented lEMA in a wide range of activities including many national conferences and seminars, judging awards and joining networking events, panels, and organising webinars. Harry also headed an initiative to engage with schools and universities to advance integration of sustainability on curricula.

His ethical practice and positive attitude inspire many environmental practitioners. He has helped many personally to become chartered IEMA members, and successfully nominated three members for Fellowship of IEMA.

Harry works to raise the profile of IEMA in the Middle East and beyond across all sectors. He has established a presence in Oman and is working with local volunteers to set up new hubs in other countries in the region.