We set the stage for a celebration of region’s green champions

COMPANIES, schools, community groups and individuals who have a passionate commitment to protecting our environment will be celebrated at a glittering awards dinner later this month.

Greg Wright and Rebecca Heaton during a judging session for The Yorkshire Post Environment Awards. Picture by Tony Johnson

Today, we reveal the shortlist for The Yorkshire Post’s Environment Awards, which celebrates the exploits of those who are doing their bit to combat global warming, protect wildlife and ensure our communities are truly sustainable.

The shortlist has been compiled 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.

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The winners will be announced at an awards evening at the Queens Hotel in Leeds, on July 30, when Green Party leader Natalie Bennett will be the keynote speaker.

The Yorkshire Post Environment Awards are supported by Drax and GDF Suez

The shortlisted entries include a wide range of businesses, groups and individuals.

They range from a firm that is working to wipe out Japanese knotweed in the UK, to a young volunteer who is protecting our natural environment through his work with a swan and wildlife rescue centre.

Also on the shortlist is a project to promote low carbon homes in Sheffield, and a scheme to create a wildlife friendly church yard. Some of the contenders have a global perspective.

One shortlisted entrant is helping to empower women in Uganda by sending out action packs.

“We were inspired and amazed by the sheer range of activities being carried out in Yorkshire to protect the environment, and promote sustainable policies’’ said Mr Wright. “All the shortlisted entrants can feel very proud. It was a tough task pruning through so many top quality submissions. However, after lengthy deliberations, we feel that collectively we’ve managed to find Yorkshire’s real environmental champions.”

This year’s awards have attracted three major sponsors. The Innovation category is sponsored by GDF SUEZ Energy UK. GDF SUEZ Energy UK says its environmental responsibility is crucial - both in the UK and overseas.

Head of marketing Tony Galloni said: “As a global leader in the energy market it is very important that we have a corporate strategy for the environment. We have an environmental and social responsibility.”

Drax is sponsoring 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. And it expects to take just two-and-a-half more years to reach the 50m tonne mark.

Drax Power Ltd’s chief executive, Andy Koss, said: “This latest milestone data underscores the low carbon credentials of sustainable biomass. In a relatively short period of time Drax has delivered major carbon savings, while continuing to provide reliable, secure and good value renewable power.”

It is a huge achievement for the North Yorkshire site, and confirms the status of Drax as a company which places the environment high on its list of priorities. Last year, its group chief executive Dorothy Thompson was named Green Champion at the Environment Awards.

The Built Environment category is sponsored by EES Renewables, which is based in Harrogate, and is a national renewable energy service company. On the night of the awards, The Yorkshire Post will be presenting a special trophy to the winner of our Green Champion award.

To book tickets for the awards dinner email [email protected]


Young peoples award

Cockburn School

Middleton on the Wolds CE Primary School

Dixons City School

Environmental business of the year



Park Lodge

Countryside Award

Dan Sidley

St Chad’s Green team

Community award

Heeley City Farm

Jennifer Oxley

WISE - Women in Social Engagement

Cross Green

St Chad’s Green Team

Innovation award

Group Rhodes

Ebsford Environmental

Group Rhodes

Built environment

Green Building Store


Bright Building

University of Leeds

Climate change


Leeds University