Both UK companies have demonstrated “outstanding” commitment and achievement in sustainable development in their respective fields.

The annual Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the UK’s highest official accolades for business success, and are awarded in with the aim of promoting excellence and driving economic growth. A total of 176 award winners were announced today on Her Majesty the Queen’s 91st birthday, across groups such as Innovation and International Trade, with 11 recipients in the Sustainable Development category.

Business Secretary Greg Clark – who named the winners – said: “The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise highlights everything that’s great about UK business today.

“We have some of the best entrepreneurs and innovative minds in the world who are at the heart of small start-ups providing excellent customer service to larger businesses developing global solutions. Over one million new businesses have been created since 2010, all playing a vital role in creating jobs and driving growth across the UK.”

Responsible business

Carillion was recognised for sector leadership through its sustainability strategy, which aims to contribute £40m to profitability by 2020. Detailed analysis of its internal and external relationships has enabled Carillion to demonstrate a strong case for sustainability, integrated within its core strategy.

Earlier this month, Carillion became the latest partner of the UK Green Building Council’s (UK-GBC) Innovation Lab, which aims to solve systemic challenges in the built environment through collaborative and sustainable innovation.

Carillion’s chief sustainability officer David Picton said: “Whilst it’s a great honour to have won the Queen’s Award, it’s exceptional to have won it for sustainability. In tough, competitive markets, Carillion people commit to responsible business as a core value, building trust and ethics, protecting the environment and changing lives through inspiring community engagements.

“Gaining the Queen’s Award recognises the value of investing in sustainability – it does matter, it does make a difference and does build a better long-term business for those who invest in us.”

The Queen’s Award recognised Betty & Taylors’ work to build a sustainable tea and coffee supply chain. The Yorkshire firm’s approach to sourcing focuses on collaborating with key suppliers to identify and address sustainability challenges, and establishing long-term contracts that provide suppliers with certainty.

A ten-year project in Kenya, for instance, will see Betty & Taylors plant one million trees with 4,000 tea smallholders, providing them with additional income streams, while delivering environmental protection.

“We have worked incredibly hard over the last few years with all our key growers to develop and roll out an innovative new approach to sustainable sourcing,” Betty & Taylors’ supply director Keith Writer said.

“We have a reputation for quality and a deep commitment for doing things properly, be they in Yorkshire or globally through our value chain and networks. This award is a great honour and achievement that serves to inspire and drive us to do even more in developing a thriving sustainable future for all our tea and coffee growers.”

‘Absolute honour’

Among the other winners in the Sustainable Development category include property developer City Legacy, which received the accolade for its sustainable housing initiative in Glasgow’s East End at the Commonwealth Games Athlete’s Village, and Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, winning the award for its pioneering business model which has improved the lives of over 11,000 people in developing countries.

Belu Water, meanwhile, gained recognition for its pledge to invest profits in alleviating water poverty. Belu is the only UK bottled water company to be 100% carbon neutral to the independent British Standard PAS2060 across its entire business, and all products. The recommendations committee praised Belu’s innovation to reduce the carbon impact of products to a minimum.

From 2010 to 2016, Belu reduced its carbon footprint by 45% per litre, helped through the manufacturing of its 500ml RPET bottles, which are now 2.5g lighter and use 15% less raw materials.

Belu’s chief executive Karen Lynch said: “It’s an absolute honour to be one of just 11 British companies to receive this award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.  As a small and proudly British social enterprise, it’s amazing to receive this recognition for our mission-led business model and our achievements.”

A full list of the 171 winners of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are available here.

George Ogleby

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