Global innovation and collaboration were the big winners at last night’s 2degrees Champions Awards, as it showcased the companies and individuals pushing the boundaries of sustainable business. The awards – the only ones entirely voted for by industry peers – rewarded flooring that converts footsteps into renewable electricity, a house built almost entirely from waste products and Sky’s Rainforest Rescue campaign with WWF.
The annual award ceremony which was hosted at Wembley Stadium was attended by 400 people. There were a total of 240 entries, a 140% increase from last year, and 7,473 votes were cast to decide the final 14 winners.
The University of Brighton’s celebrated “Waste House” won both the Building or Property Project award and the Waste & Resource Management award. It proves it is possible to build a house almost entirely from waste products, such as recycled bricks, timber off-cuts destined for skips, ply sheets and even old toothbrushes, video cassettes and DVDs. By collaborating with local construction companies, factories, the council and schools, the Waste House is also an investment in educating the next generation of designers and builders to think and build sustainably.
Pavegen won the Energy & Carbon Management (Long-Term Payback) award, for its innovative flooring tile that converts the kinetic energy from people’s footsteps into renewable electricity. When stepped on, the Pavegen surface flexes a near imperceptible 5mm, generating up to 8 watts of power over the duration of the footstep, enough to power local applications such as street lighting, advertising displays, and communication networks. Installed successfully at sites around the world, including the 2013 Paris Marathon and London 2012 Olympics, the Pavegen flooring tiles are designed to encourage communities to engage with a tangible and people-powered solution, and help them recognise the opportunities for an innovative off-grid energy technology.
The External Communications Campaign award was given to Sky for its Rainforest Rescue campaign. As a broadcaster in more than 11million homes, Sky is using its reach to inspire people to be more forest-friendly so they can make a difference to climate change and deforestation. It is an integrated partnership with the WWF UK, WWF Brazil and government of the state of Acre in Brazil, delivered over four years. Sky’s research shows that 40 per cent of its customers are now more aware of the issue of deforestation and now understand why it is important.
The Solution of the Year Award was collected by Vegware for its range of completely compostable packaging, while Pukka Herbs won the Supply Chain Management award for encouraging its supply chain to adopt the FairWild Standard.
The 2degrees Champions Award winners have impacted the globe with their innovations. The Sustainability Champion of the Year, Eldad Umenjoh, has successfully changed the attitude of palm oil farmers in Cameroon, and the Social Value award was given to Carbon Solutions Global for its project which teaches local farmers in Hungary the importance of using environmentally sound fertilizer.
HRH The Prince of Wales was voted 2degrees Personality of the Year for his contribution to a whole host of environmental causes and business programmes, including The Prince’s Rainforests Project, beating Matt Damon, Calum Richardson, Russell Brand, the Artic 30 and Paul Polman.
Martin Chilcott, CEO, 2degrees, said: “This year’s award winners are an incredible collection of individuals and companies who have changed the way we think about sustainable business. Each award represents years of commitment to thinking afresh, tackling inefficiencies and trailblazing ground-breaking solutions which have a positive impact on society. The 2degrees network provides businesses with an opportunity to showcase best practice, build relationships on and offline, and inspire others to start their sustainable journey.”