The BITC Award for Environmental Leadership - Shortlist

April 24, 2017

Recognising those that are growing their business the smart way, through better resource use, nurturing healthy ecosystems and/or tackling climate change.

The last fifty years have seen enormous economic growth, bringing prosperity that previous generations could not even imagine to many. But it is increasingly apparent that our ‘take, make, waste’ model of debt and consumption-based economic success is undermining that prosperity for many today, and of all of us in the future, by destroying natural capital, leading to resource scarcity and contributing to climate change. Businesses need to take urgent action to address key environmental issues and secure resources for future prosperity in the short, medium and long term.

Defra logoThe BITC Award for Environmental Leadership, supported by Defra, identifies businesses that are developing models of smart growth that lead to better use of resources, nurture healthy ecosystems and/or tackle climate change.


Shortlisted Companies

Drop C02, Drop Cost, Drop Risk

Anglian are a company which sees climate change is the biggest risk to its business over the next 25 years. The East of England water specialist continues to build on successes of its Love Every Drop strategy launched in 2010. In 2015 it had halved the capital carbon in the new assets it builds and a 70% reduction from its 2010 baseline has now been eyed for 2030. 

Compared with 2010 the company has increased renewable power generation by 315% - enough to power 25,000 homes and the equivalent of 16% of its overall consumption. Anglian maintains a collaborative approach to working with stakeholders (including government), for example through the Green Construction Board ensuring its place as a thought leader which shares best practice around carbon reduction beyond the water industry. 

Resource Efficiency Programme Target 2020 - demonstrating environmental leadership in the UK beet sugar industry

British Sugar’s investment of £250million across four manufacturing plants, five years ago, to introduce new technology and practices to improve resource efficiency has ensured its manufacturing remains a world-leader. Co-products from the production process serve businesses across the East of England – as well as powering its own factory at Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. In China, the company’s partnership approach has increased the waste recycling rate to 98% of all waste generated – equivalent to only 200g of waste disposal for each tonne of sugar made. British Sugar is now focused on its ambitious plans for 2020: achieving a 2% reduction in energy use per tonne of product; zero non-hazardous waste to landfill; and a 20% reduction in water usage.

Be Responsible Strategy

Eurovia has implemented a strategic approach to the way it challenges itself to reduce environmental impacts, around five key areas of action: carbon, waste and water management, protecting biodiversity and eliminating environmental incidents. Impressively the transport infrastructure company is aiming for a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020; a 20% reduction in fresh mains water consumption as well as ensuring no site of construction waste is sent to landfill by the same year. The company has already saved over half a million pounds through eco-efficiencies whilst its environmental credibility will be further bolstered by a commitment to ensure biodiversity plans will be in place on all its contracts.

Green Energy

Last April Land Securities became the first major property company to procure 100% renewable electricity. The FTSE 100 firm – which owns and manages offices, shops and housing across the UK – has set a raft of ambitious targets to cement its position as an environmental leader in the listed real-estate sector. 

Figures include a commitment to reducing carbon intensity by 40%, by 2030, with a longer-term ambition of 80% by 2050; a reduction in energy intensity by 40% by 2030; and sending zero waste to landfill with at least 75% of waste being recycled by 2020. One example of its forward-thinking approach can be seen through its work on London’s Walkie-Talkie: the company installed a £4million fuel cell system in the building’s basement, supplying electricity and heating to 5,000 workers.

Programme name: Sustainable Construction Programme

National Grid’s collaborative approach to environmental sustainability is shown by its training of its 25 biggest construction suppliers on its carbon foot print tool – in line with the utility firm’s goal of reducing carbon in its new assets. Led by an eight-strong sustainability team in its construction business, National Grid has set itself a tough target of reducing capital carbon by 50% by 2021. It also plays a leading role sharing good practice and raising awareness around carbon reduction outside the industry. In 2015 the business included carbon and sustainability as part of a tender for the first time, challenging prospective suppliers to identify carbon savings for a major new high-voltage substation build in London. Since this first project, National Grid has included carbon as a weighted element in projects totalling £400m.

The Crystal, as Sustainable Cities Initiative 

Around half of the world’s population lives in cities and this proportion is forecasted to rise to 70% by 2050. Siemens’ The Crystal, a benchmark for green buildings, demonstrates the very latest thinking around urban sustainability and infrastructure. By using natural heat sources, the Crystal receives no heating bill and maintains a zero-landfill operation; the organization is currently finalising a fresh digital approach to its 700-odd events held each year. A new partnership with the Good Hotel (one of many relationships with environmentally focused organisations) is helping to ensure Siemens’ responsible business credentials. The floating hotel - which upcycles various materials and uses natural resources to maintain its properties - trains unemployed individuals and offers meaningful work opportunities. 

The Crystal, purpose built in east London as a “living hub” to demonstrate new technologies aiding sustainable living, now provides guidance to up-and-coming venues who wish to follow its footsteps, including the Manchester Museum and the National Rail Training Centre in Northampton.

Trailblazing with trees - enriching the environment and cutting the carbon cost for more sustainable free range egg production

Building on its 2013 achievement to ensure no waste goes to landfill, the free-range egg producer last year saw its packing station become carbon neutral whilst the business continued to grow strongly. The Lakes Free Range Egg Company ensures its small family farm producers, mainly in Cumbria, adopt its sustainability model which sees trees planted (157,000 of them to date) to encourage hens to range further and wildlife to return to more than 50 partner farms. The Lakes’ forward-thinking approach biodiversity has reaped rewards: like when the persuaded McDonald’s to include tree planting in their supplier specification. Research undertaken with the same company has proven the benefits of a tree-based environment in raising animal welfare standards.

Unsold food to charity programme

UK Food waste is estimated at around 10 million tonnes, 60% of which could have been avoided. This has a value of over £17 billion a year and is associated with around 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Morrisons’ unsold food redistribution programme has to date redistributed 2.3m products to local community groups instead of being wasted through normal procedure. 

Using findings from successful trials, including a 100-store pilot in 2015 in Yorkshire and the North East which encouraged stores to work with local community groups of their choice – the supermarket launched a full store rollout of the tech based redistribution scheme early in 2016. Last year its work with FoodCycle alone helped to contribute towards 23,747 community meals. Morrisons aims to have effective and sustainable partnerships in place across all its stores and its model is one many in the industry are following. 


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