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CREST23 Green Awards has a tip-off to businesses

1st November 2023


Surrey’s only green business awards resounded to a prediction that businesses face a pre-condition to operate based on their social-environmental impacts within the next decade as it celebrated the sustainability achievements of the winning 2023 businesses.

The CREST23 Award winners were revealed at the CREST23 Business Convention at the WWF’s Living Planet Centre on Thursday 26th October and included Sustainability Hero for 2023 Ben McCallan, Chair of a community hub for environment action groups, Zero Carbon Guildford.

Ben achieved national recognition for his team when they were congratulated in the House of Commons earlier this year for a UK Community Project Award.

The awards were made after attendees had heard from Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti, Founding Director of the Institute for Sustainability at the University of Surrey, who said: “Businesses will have to look at the balance sheet not just when it comes to profit but also when it comes to social impact, environmental impact and that should be a pre-condition for you to operate.

“Within the next decade, those will be a precondition for all businesses to operate. Those that do not qualify will not be allowed to operate.” Adding that it was not the same as corporate social responsibility which was like “make up” where you tried to “save your face or clean your conscience by doing something voluntary.”

It was a community bus company, Waverley Hoppa, that scooped the Sustainability Impact category for businesses with a turnover of over £1million, which was an even sweeter success, having missed out on the CREST22 Smarter Transport last year to the winner McLaren Applied.

The award, sponsored by Holdsway, recognised its service for vulnerable or infirm members of the community as well as its commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

The Smarter Transport Award, sponsored by Surrey County Council, this year having gone to a prestigious blue-chip company in 2022 went to Solarcycle UK, a start-up which develops and installs off-grid solar charging stations for e-bikes and e-scooters.

The Sustainability Impact for businesses with under £1million turnover, sponsored by the University of Surrey’s Institute for Sustainability, was For Earth’s Sake, a Cranleigh eco-hub shop.

Meanwhile, Albury Organic Vineyard, considered one of the best sustainable English wines and one of a small handful of English vineyards to follow biodynamic principles, was awarded the Restoring Nature Award, sponsored by the WWF-UK and was a new category for 2023.

Transforming Food Award, sponsored by the Surrey Wildlife Trust, went to Food Float, a not-for-profit community interest company which offers a range of locally-sourced produce. The award for Circular Efficiency, sponsored by Carol Miller Media, went to Bee Friends a local bee farmer with thirty-three apiaries mainly in the Surrey Hills.

A further new category for 2023 was the Community Impact Award, sponsored by Surrey Hills Enterprises, and it was presented to Surrey Choices, which provides a range of support services dedicated to improving the independence, confidence and life skills of disabled people.