The Yorkshire Post Environment Awards: Final shortlist

A SHORTLIST of green champions has been selected by The Yorkshire Post for their efforts to protect the environment while providing a vital boost to the region’s economic prosperity.

Judging of the Environment Awards: Jonathan Straight, John Ruddick and Tony Galloni. Picture by Simon Hulme

A judging panel made up of experts from the fields of energy, retail and recycling met in Leeds yesterday to debate the entries for The Yorkshire Post Environment Awards.

The standard of submission was high, which made judging a difficult task, but after some deliberation the panel decided the following shortlist:

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• Built environment: Citu, Green Directions, JCT600.

• Community, sponsored by Banks Property: Airedale Computer Recycling, Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows and Synergize

• Countryside: Carr House Farm, Wold Top Brewery

• Innovation, sponsored by GDF Suez Energy UK: Co2nscience, Leeds University Union, Transdek

• Green product: Xeros

• Best environmental business, sponsored by Northern Gas Networks: ReFood UK, Forest Fuels, Yorkshire Energy Services.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Leeds on June 16 featuring the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker.

The judging panel comprised Karen Fisher, environment policy and sustainability manager of headline sponsor Northern Gas Networks, Tony Galloni, head of marketing and products at GDF Suez Energy UK, Sarah Belmont, corporate sustainability manager at Asda, and John Ruddick, property development manager at Banks Group.

Recycling entrepreneur Jonathan Straight, the current Yorkshire Post Green Champion and the founder and CEO of Straight plc, and Professor Lynne Frostick, the inaugaral winner of the individual award and an eminent geographer, also provided valuable insight and expertise into the judging process.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Straight said: “We found there has been a very high quality of entries this time around and it has been really difficult to judge, but we have had a good debate and we have now picked some good winners.”

Ms Fisher of Northern Gas Networks added: “We have seen some innovative ideas and we are very proud to be working with these people to support sustainable ideas that are coming forward. There has been some great submissions this year and some strong runners-up as well.”

The Yorkshire Post launched the awards in 2009. Since then, the event has become established as the leading celebration of environmental endeavour in Yorkshire.

The ceremony attracts senior politicians as keynote speakers with luminaries including past secretaries of state Ed Miliband, Hilary Benn, Caroline Spelman and Ed Davey.

This year’s guest is Greg Barker, who is responsible for Government policy on issues related to climate change.

His busy brief includes energy efficiency and demand reduction, fuel poverty, carbon budgets, renewable heat incentive, feed-in tariffs, planning reform, the Green Investment Bank and green jobs and skills.

Mr Barker said: “These awards are the perfect platform to celebrate the achievements of individuals, community groups and local businesses from right across Yorkshire.

“They recognise and reward the tremendous efforts many people have put into protecting and improving their local environment.

“As well as rewarding the people that have taken part, this event is an opportunity to encourage other people to get involved in projects which benefit the areas in which they live and work – and next year it could be them being nominated for an award.”

Tickets are now on sale for the event, which takes place at The Queens hotel in Leeds on the evening of June 16. Email the Editor’s Secretary Jayne Lownsbrough via [email protected] to buy a ticket.