What makes a sustainable business leader? Meet Crystal Doors CEO Richard Hagan

(L-R) Chris Packham, Richard Hagan and edie's events producer Jade Burnett

Since 2015, door manufacturer Crystal Doors’ chief executive Richard Hagan has been striving to reduce its environmental footprint with the ultimate target of carbon neutrality.

Through taking advice from experts and conducting personal research, Richard singlehandedly put together an ambitious strategy confidently backed with £1.5m of investment for the SME’s factory. He has been a vocal advocate for businesses as a force for social and environmental good.

Click here for more information on the edie Awards 2023. 

During lockdown, Richard considered closing the factory before phoning all hospital contractors to offer support, and within hours had secured 8,000 overbed top orders for the Nightingale hospitals, manufacturing 24/7. This approach saw the business awarded the National Heroes Award by the British Chamber.

Richard isolated at home and used the time to work 100% on networking to engage and accelerate Crystal Doors’ sustainability actions and support for others, creating a whole new section on the website to share Crystal Doors’ story.

Richard now has 18 external appointments, including as an Enterprise Advisor a member of, Make UK’s national climate working group, a member of IoD’s climate working group, an ambassador for the Climate & Ecology Bill, a Chambers of Commerce guest speaker and author of monthly climate opinion columns in Manufacturing and Engineering Magazine (MEM) and KBB Review (industry magazine).

His passion is in transparency and showing others why and how all his changes are positive and successful, despite starting as a beginner, so everyone can do it. During the pandemic, Richard spent 10 hours+ seven days a week engaging online and signing up for every CSR event, organisation and volunteering to help others. Locally, he supported the launch of websites for ‘Rochdale in Bloom’ and Sanctuary Trust and supported a local college to offer 140+ students virtual work experience focused on sustainability. Nationally, he engaged with ambitious climate campaigns, becoming an Ambassador for the Climate & Ecology Bill, submitted Crystal Doors for B Corp certification, and became a member of IEMA.

In February, he closed the door on all new suppliers unable to demonstrate strong sustainability credentials and began educating existing suppliers to offer a roadmap for their organisations. He was also invited to advise Foot Asylum (headquartered in Rochdale), providing over 100 hours voluntarily, and also supported the owner of QBS Technology to set out a more sustainable vision.

All the while, Richard’s sound commercial and financial understanding and engagement with all Crystal Doors departments have ensured the company proves delivers its ambitious sustainability ambitions while still growing the business.

He continues to engage with all parts of society, from students to the chief executives of global brands, sharing his passion and success. He also believes in leading by example. In 2021, he moved home to invest in solar panels and be able to walk to work, achieving a target to live within a four-tonne personal carbon footprint with a vegan diet and zero flights.

At Crystal Doors, the firm has achieved a 75% reduction in energy use vs business as usual over five years. Changes included improvements to energy efficiency and the installation of onsite solar. These achievements among others saw the business named as edie’s SME of the year in 2021.

edie’s judges said: “Richard is a true climate leader with a personal commitment to make a positive difference, which runs through his company. Having championed change across the business and wider industry, Richard is everything this awards scheme is about – sustainability leadership, in action!”

Are you our next winner?

Now in its 16th year, the world’s largest sustainable business awards scheme – formerly known as the Sustainability Leaders Awards – continues to champion bold and brilliant climate leadership. From the most ambitious net-zero carbon programmes through to cutting-edge green innovations; from impactful climate partnerships and social sustainability initiatives to the heroes on the ground who are driving positive change.

The edie Awards are hosted during our flagship Business Leadership Month, offering a unique opportunity to have your sustainability achievements recognised and admired by thousands of businesses and climate experts. Winning an edie Award empowers teams, inspires stakeholders and accelerates sustainable business growth.

Entries for the awards are NOW OPEN and the deadline for entries is 14 October. The winners will then be revealed at a ceremony in London on 30 March 2023. Click here for full details and to enter. 


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