Raymond Blanc at the Sustainable City Awards 2012
The triumphant trailblazers included the Castle Climbing Centre housed in a sprawling Grade II Victorian pumping station; and Invisible Dust, a collaborative project between visual artists and world leading scientists which encourages awareness of air pollution.
Feng Sushi took home the ‘green gong’ in the Sustainable Food category, run in conjunction with Sustain, which was judged by Raymond Blanc himself. The modern sushi restaurant with seven branches is working with local farmers to grow produce traditionally found in Asia such as mooli and edamame beans.
With 130 more entries to the eleventh annual Sustainable City Awards, organised by the City of London Corporation, it is apparent that sustainable business practice is now a critical ingredient to commercial success as organisations of all sizes seek national recognition for their efforts in greater numbers.
Last night’s winners also divulged that sustainability is key to business efficiency and provides a unique selling point in a challenging economic climate. SME contractors the Alumet Group, who took home the Overall Winner Award, have reduced their costs and become a more attractive business to their clients through their ‘Sustainability Drive’.
Simon Mills, Head of Sustainability at the City of London Corporation, says, “With the spread of winners of this year’s Sustainable City Awards including an art project, small businesses, big businesses and a hospital, it is the clear the UK is now far savvier about sustainability. It is clear that the current hostile economic climate is stimulating sustainability amongst UK businesses and organisations as they are driven to innovate, standout from their competitors and maximise their efficiency in order to survive.”
Raymond was host of the awards. In his speech, he said, “Initiatives like the prestigious Sustainable City Awards are vital in bringing issues of sustainability to the forefront of the agenda which is why I was so keen to get involved in this year’s awards. It is clear from the spread of winners that businesses and organisations of all sizes with a range of resources are leading from the front and positively transforming their environmental impact. Having judged the Sustainable Fish category myself, this trend is certainly apparent within the restaurant issue. For Feng Sushi, a restaurant group, to win shows that the world is changing. In the past restaurant groups have been driven by profit margins but Feng Sushi’s success demonstrates that both businesses and consumers are willing to change their habits to support sustainability.”
All photographs © Rupert Hartley. Reproduced with kind permission.
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