Eco-friendly community groups, businesses, schools and other organisations have picked up awards for their work to boost the environment and make Stafford Borough more sustainable.
Stafford Borough Council’s 2016 Green Awards ceremony took place at the Gatehouse Theatre on 1 November. And a record number of entries – 39 – in the competition’s 20th year meant some tough decisions for the judges.
The winners were decided in three main categories – Business, Youth and Education, and Public Sector. A number of special prizes were also handed out and many entrants were commended for their projects.
The Business Green Award went to Stone Computers which has put a raft of environmental improvements in place over the last 12 months including reducing emissions from its vehicle fleet, big reductions in paper and packaging, and improvements to energy efficiency of products.
The Youth and Education Award went to Stafford Manor High School. Thanks to the hard work of students, their kitchen garden has been transformed. All through the winter months, Year 7 students cleared the ground, constructed raised beds and laid paths. In the summer term they were harvesting their first crops – potatoes, lettuce, beans and radishes.
The Public Sector Award went to Staffordshire County Council for the green infrastructure work at Redhill Business Park in Stafford. On completion, the 33-acre development had retained or enhanced 40 per cent of the site as green infrastructure. A new network of native trees and shrubs was planted, a large copse retained and new ponds created. Footpaths were created through the woodlands, seats carved from trees felled on site and 21 bat boxes installed on woodland edges.
Dozens of schools were also in the spotlight for their work in the council’s Eco Schools Network. Top prize went to King Edward VI High School in Stafford, which used their Eco-Grant to transform an unused long jump track into a thriving vegetable garden.
Special awards were also handed out in these categories:-
* Wildlife: Perkins Engines Ltd
* Green Purse: Stafford and Rural Homes
* Sustainable Energy Champion: Stafford Bowling Club
* Best Newcomer: Surplus Kitchen
* Innovative Transport: Stafford Sustrans Volunteer Rangers
* Aspiring initiatives: University Hospitals of the North Midlands NHS Trust
* Sustainable Tourism Shield – Stafford Borough Council – Motte/Museum
* Lets Recycle – Lymestone Brewery.
A full list of award winners and commendations – as well as details of all the projects – are available at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/green-awards
The Green Awards are open to all groups operating in the Borough and play a key role in the Council’s agenda on issues surrounding carbon reduction and sustainable development. Since they began in 1996, around 700 initiatives and schemes have been submitted.
Councillor Frank Finlay, Cabinet member for Environment and Health, said:
“It is wonderful to see so many schemes making such an impact on helping the environment and making the Borough more sustainable. This is vitally important work and we are delighted to put it in the spotlight at the Green Awards each year.
“These awards reward forward-thinking groups and businesses for their initiatives. Many of the projects are not just about being environmentally friendly, they also save money, something that every smart business or organisation will want to embrace.”
Pictures by Paul Milgate-Scarrott