Announcing The Yorkshire Post Environment Awards 2015

Dorothy Thompson with her Green Champion award at the 2014 event. Picture by Simon Hulme

Dorothy Thompson with her Green Champion award at the 2014 event. Picture by Simon Hulme

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THE Yorkshire Post is searching for the region’s most eco-friendly businesses and individuals, with the launch of its glittering 2015 Environment Awards.

Entries are invited from across the huge range of companies, schools, community groups and individuals who are committed to improving the local​, ​​regional or national ​environment.

The winners will reflect the extraordinary lengths many go to, be it through steps to reducing their carbon footprint, to more complex and innovative ideas which protect and enhance the county’s environment. ENTER ONLINE NOW

And they will follow in the footsteps of some accomplished environmental crusaders. Last year’s successes included Drax chief ​executive Dorothy Thompson, who was named Green Champion for her leadership of an ambitious biomass conversion project, and Doncaster-based ReFood UK, which won the Best Environmental Business Award.

Yorkshire Post Business Editor Bernard Ginns said the success of the awards is testament to the huge amount of work which many people put in to making Yorkshire green.

“So many go the extra mile to help protect and enhance the environment, and it all plays its part in making Yorkshire such a spectacular, natural and beautiful place.

“Many of the people and businesses which do so much for the environment are not given enough recognition for the work they do. It is very important to celebrate the often unsung efforts of volunteers, community groups, schools and businesses in helping to preserve and enhance the fabric of God’s Own County.”

Entrants can compete in nine categories, which cover Environmental Business of the Year, Innovation, Community Award, Climate Change, Young People’s Award, Built Environment, Countryside Award, Manufacturer of Best Green Product, and the much coveted Green Champion Award for the individual most dedicated to making a difference.

Sponsors have already been confirmed for two categories, with GDF SUEZ Energy UK and Drax signed up.

GDF SUEZ Energy UK is sponsoring the Innovation category, and Guus Weiss, its Head of UK Retail, said: “As a responsible energy company we are very focussed on the environment so we are pleased to be supporting the Yorkshire Post Environment Awards and celebrating successful environmental projects in our region.”

The Climate Change category is sponsored by Drax.

Andy Koss, ​chief ​executive of Drax Power, said: “These awards help shine a light on the thinking, ingenuity and real success of people, businesses and organisations in making a meaningful impact on the challenges of environmental protection and conservation to benefit Yorkshire today and in the future.

“Drax is now delivering significant reductions in carbon through generating reliable renewable power, and is keen to promote the achievements of others across the region in tackling climate change.”

The awards offer a unique chance of recognition for the crucial work done to look after the county’s environment. As well as receiving a trophy, each winner will also be featured in a special supplement in the Yorkshire Post.

You have three weeks in which to submit your entries for this year’s awards, with the deadline set for July 10.

Judging will be done by a special panel and chaired by ​The Yorkshire Post, and a shortlist will be drawn up for each category.

The winners will be announced at a special awards dinner and presentation at the Queens Hotel in Leeds on July 30​.

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WATCH VIDEO OF THE 2014 ENVIRONMENT AWARDS

THE CATEGORIES

• Environmental Business of the Year

This best-practice award is for exceptional improvements in business performance specifically achieved through good environmental management. It is open to all business sectors. Applicants must demonstrate a world-class track record on environmental and carbon-reduction policy. The winner will be able to point to a clear commitment to reducing environmental impact as part of a statement of corporate social responsibility. It must be able to show delivery on its green promises.

• Innovation sponsored by GDF SUEZ Energy UK

This award will honour excellence in the development and deployment of new and existing environmental technologies, processes and techniques.

• Community Award

Scores of groups across the region are working to make their community greener. We want to know their story - the best, most creative and idea-led schemes. This is open to small or large projects.

• Climate Change sponsored by Drax

This award will reflect innovative, imaginative and strategic thinking in tackling or adapting to climate change. The judges are looking for projects and initiatives that either now or in the future have/will have practical merit. They will also consider books, papers or other written/research work that articulates climate change problems and offers solutions to them. The award can either be presented to an individual, group or a business.

• Young People’s Award

For the school or college that promotes environmental issues, with ecological issues high on its agenda and practical measures to reduce its environmental impact through recycling.

• Built Environment

This award recognises developers, clients, architects and other building professionals who break new ground in integrating environmental considerations into built projects.

• Countryside Award

This award recognises work on preserving and protecting the countryside - whether on a large or small scale. It is open to both individuals and groups who can demonstrate a sustainable initiative.

• Manufacturer of Best Green Product

This award recognises companies which are improving the environment and sit at the forefront of technological advancement in striving to make industrial processes greener.

• Green Champion sponsored by the Yorkshire Post

This award is for an individual who does most to promote environmental measures and conservation and leads the green agenda. It may be a volunteer or someone who changed the culture of a workplace or community by persuading others to think green.

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WATCH VIDEO OF THE 2014 ENVIRONMENT AWARDS HERE.

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