Environmental innovators who lead the race

THE eagerly awaited shortlist for the second Yorkshire Post Environment Awards is revealed today – with dozens of innovative businesses and community groups in the running.

Our judging panel say whittling down the number of applicants was incredibly difficult this year and the standard of entries was exceptional across the region.

The winners of the 10 award categories will be announced at a prestigious ceremony in Leeds on Thursday, March 4.

Yorkshire Post editor Peter Charlton said: "With 89 entries, this year's awards received even more entries than our inaugural programme last year.

"In addition, the quality of entries this year was even better, which tells us that there is some impressive and innovative environmental work being done by our schools, businesses and individuals.

"Judging this diverse array of quality entries was an extremely challenging but very enjoyable process and we look forward to sharing the findings at the ceremony in March."

Competition is fierce for the titles of Best Environmental Business and Innovation.

CO2Sense Yorkshire, a branch of Yorkshire Forward, is sponsoring the Best Environmental Business award, which is contested by tea makers Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate, plastic stationary manufacturers Duraweld, and start-up company Taylors Environmental Services, created in May 2009 to divert waste from landfill to recycling.

The nominees for the Innovation award, sponsored by Science City York for the second year running, include bus company First West/East and South Yorkshire, which has installed technology to tell drivers how to cut their CO2 emissions as they drive.

Also in the running is GWE Biogas, who are building an Anaerobic Digestion plant to process food waste, and Partners in Innovation, who help young people learn about the environment.

Three firms are in the running for the title of Manufacturer of the Best Green Product, sponsored by Wetherby-based document solutions company STS.

The shortlisted companies are Acorn Briquettes, who were also nominated for the award last year, Ecomix and Econoplas.

The Young People's Award, sponsored by Asda, is a new award to recognise the achievements of the next generation.

The nominees include Ganton Special School, which was flooded in 2007 and refurbished with an eco-friendly theme.

Up against them are the just a.s.k. project which encourages young people to develop their own allotment, and the 5th Spen Valley Scouts.

Three projects are in contention for the Community award, sponsored by Yorkshire Water for the second year in a row, including one of last year's nominees, Settle Hydro – Yorkshire's first community-owned hydroelectricity scheme.

The other nominees are the Bishop Wilton Village Hall and Playing Association, who are replacing the 125-year-old hall and sports pavilion with eco-friendly versions, and Leeds University Union for its Green Streets project, where students help their peers when moving house to ensure unwanted items are recycled.

Three nominees are vying for the Climate Change award – United Bank of Carbon, nominated last year, Groundwork, and Doncaster charity BTCV.

There are two Built Environment award categories – one for projects costing less than 1m, the other for more expensive schemes .

Among the shortlisted entrants for schemes under 1m is Harmsworth, Townley & Co, who turned The Melting Pot building from a draughty 100-year-old house into a green landmark.

The other nominee is David and Sandra Taylor, for constructing the Tenters building in Netherton below ground to conserve energy.

Entrants in the Projects Over 1m category, sponsored by accountants Grant Thornton, are Safety Central's new building in the former Bramley Fire Station, the Regional Agricultural Centre in Harrogate, and the Morrisons supermarket in Halifax.

The Countryside award shortlist, sponsored by Northern Gas Networks, includes the Studfold Explore Discover and Learn Trail, Heaton Woods Trust and Ragged Robin Conservation Group.

The identity of the Yorkshire Post Green Champion will be revealed at the awards evening.

Book tickets to the awards by calling Jayne Lownsbrough, secretary to the Yorkshire Post Editor, on 0113 238 8432.

The shortlist

Best Environmental Business, sponsored by CO2Sense Yorkshire:

Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate; Duraweld; Taylors Environmental Services.

Manufacturer of the Best Green Product, sponsored by office equipment technology supplier STS:

Acorn Briquettes; Ecomix; Econoplas.

Innovation, sponsored by Science City York:

First West/North Yorkshire and South Yorkshire; GWE Biogas; Partners in Innovation.

Community Award, sponsored by Yorkshire Water:

Bishop Wilton Village Hall and Playing Association; Leeds University Union; Settle Hydro.

Young People's Award, sponsored by Asda:

5th Spen Valley Scouts; Ganton Special School; The just a.s.k. project.

Climate Change:

BTCV; Groundwork; United Bank of Carbon.

Built Environment: Projects over 1m, sponsored by Grant Thornton:

Morrisons, Halifax; Regional Agricultural Centre, Great Yorkshire Showground; Safety Central, Bramley.

Built Environment: Projects under 1m:

The Melting Pot, Todmorden; Tenters, Netherton.

Countryside Award, sponsored by Northern Gas Networks:

Studfold Explore Discover and Learn Trail; Heaton Woods Trust; Ragged Robin Conservation Group.

The winner of the Green Champion award, which is sponsored by the Yorkshire Post, will be announced on the evening of the awards.