It’s fantastic to see that so many people will be attending the eighth annual Sustainability Leaders Awards this week; coming together at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden to celebrate those who are really setting the standard when it comes to doing business better.

As the editor of edie, it falls on me to give the opening address at Wednesday evening’s Awards. There will, of course, be some far more interesting and important people than me who will be gracing the stage (and I’m aware that Alistair McGowan will be following me so I promise I will be quick). But I did just want to give a few brief words ahead of the big night…

As some of you probably already know – I am relatively new to this industry. But it hasn’t taken long for me to realise that this one of the most important, inspiring and exciting sectors in the world. The green economy has never been in better health. Green businesses have marched into the mainstream and sustainability professionals – edie’s readers –are at the cutting edge of business innovation, which is precisely why the Sustainability Leaders Awards is such a fitting event.

So, what exactly do we mean by ‘leadership’? Well, to quote John Maxwell – a revered author on the subject – a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. This year’s finalists have put all of those qualities into practice and on Wednesday night, we are celebrating ALL of you.

Thank you

I did also want to give a few quick thanks. Firstly, to the sponsors of the Awards: Accent Market Research; Air Products; and Sound Commercial. Their support makes the Sustainability Leaders Awards possible so a big thanks to them.

Secondly, thanks to our judges. As ever, the calibre of the panel ensured absolute rigour in determining the winners and the time and effort they expend is incredibly appreciated.

This year’s judges were:-

  • Michael Ray from the Carbon Trust
  • Dr Peter Bonfield from BRE
  • Dr Sally Uren from Forum for the Future
  • Professor Tom Stephenson from Cranfield
  • Paul Scott of
  • Philip Sellwood from the Energy Saving Trust
  • Ed Gillespie from Futera
  • Peter Jones of Ecolateral
  • Adam Read  from Ricardo-AEA
  • Joss Tantram from Terrafinity
  • And Anya Ledwith from ESH Con.


I also wanted to thank the whole edie team for their hard work throughout the year and for putting on the event.

And finally – most importantly – a huge thanks to all of you. Edie’s readers are among the most passionate and inspiring people I have ever met. Being a part of this industry is a pleasure and a privilege and without the great work you’re all doing we would have no reason to be hosting the Sustainability Leaders Awards.

Case studies

Here at edie, we want to ensure as much best practice is shared as possible. However, it’s not possible to give full details of all the shortlisted initiatives, people and projects in the space of one evening, so we’d like to send you the full coverage from the event, including case studies of all the winners. So, keep an eye on our Downloads section from the morning after the awards (20 November) and a full report will be available. 

Please do tweet all about the Awards using #Susleaders. And for those of you attending – I truly hope you enjoy the meal, enjoy Alistair McGowan’s performance and are ready to celebrate 2014’s Sustainability Leaders!

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