COMPANIES, schools, community groups and individuals who have a commitment to protecting our environment were celebrated at an awards dinner at The Queens Hotel in Leeds last night.
Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green Party, was the keynote speaker at The Yorkshire Post’s Environment Awards, which celebrated the exploits of those who are doing their bit to combat global warming, protect wildlife and ensure our communities are truly sustainable.
The winners were chosen following deliberations involving an expert judging panel, which included Julian Walker-Palin, the managing director of Etante, the sustainability consultancy, Dr Rebecca Heaton, the head of sustainability at Drax, and senior figures at GDF Suez Energy UK. The judging process was chaired by Greg Wright, The Yorkshire Post’s deputy business editor.
This year’s awards attracted three major sponsors. The Innovation category was sponsored by GDF SUEZ Energy UK, a global leader in the energy market.
Drax sponsored the Climate Change category. This month will see Drax - the largest power station in the UK -save its 20 millionth tonne of carbon since it started burning sustainable biomass in place of coal 10 years ago.
The Built Environment category was sponsored by EES Renewables, which is based in Harrogate, and is a national renewable energy service company.
The winners included Paul Ellis, the chief executive of the Silsden-based Ecology Building Society, who received the Green Champion award, which is sponsored by The Yorkshire Post.
Natalie Bennett said: “The ‘surprise’ success of Jeremy Corbyn has been much less of a surprise outside the Westminster bubble. It was no surprise at all to the 1,000 people who turned out on a rain-drenched day in Swansea last month at an anti-austerity march or those who turned out in the constituency of Peter Lilley for Hitchin’s first-ever anti-austerity rally.
“It was no surprise at all to the Generation Rent campaigners who’ve built a whole campaign in months that’s doing a great job of highlighting just how much we’re making our young pay for the greed and fraud of the bankers, and the featherbedding of private landlords. It was no surprise at all to the signatories rushing in recent days to oppose the government’s dreadful decision on subverting a European ban on bee-threatening chemicals and to sign a fast-growing petition opposing fracking.”
She added: “Commentators trapped in the Westminster bubble, many politicians who somehow – despite the SNP landslide in Scotland and the 1.1 million Green Party votes – think politics will continue as before, are surprised by the Corbyn phenomenon. I think historians will come to regard it as unsurprising.”
ALL THE WINNERS
Young People’s Award
Middleton on the Wolds CE Primary School
Commended - Dixons City School; Cockburn School
Environmental Business Of The Year:
Commended - YES; Park Lodge
Commended - St Chad’s Green team
St Chad’s Green Team
Commended - Heeley City Farm; Jennifer Oxley; WISE (Women in Social Engagement); Cross Green
Commended - Group Rhodes
Commended - Bright Building; Green Building Store; University of Leeds
Best Green Product
Commended - YES