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Supporting sustainability through entrepreneurship

Published 14th May, 2014 by Neil Nixon

Supporting sustainability through entrepreneurship

The City of London Corporation established the Sustainable City Awards in 2000, and this year's ceremony took place on 27 March. Over the years the awards have become the UK's foremost business awards scheme that focusses on the environment and sustainability, and they're now affectionately known as the 'Green Oscars'.

The Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners became involved in the awards at their inception, as part of its mission to encourage and maintain high standards of practice and integrity. The company is the Livery sponsor of two categories: Social entrepreneurship and Commercial entrepreneurship. These awards specifically recognise social and commercial entrepreneurs who provide outstanding leadership while promoting innovation in environmental issues and sustainability across the UK.

The Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners is one of 22 organisations that partner the awards, which are given across 12 categories, including the Sir Peter Parker Award. Between them, these categories represent the three pillars of sustainable development - the economy, society, and the environment.

Entries to each of the categories are judged by independent judging panels established by the organisations which support a particular category. Each of the judging panels is responsible for selecting a winner, a highly commended and up to three runners-up for their category. The winner and highly commended of each category is passed onto the final judging panel, which is composed of a number of experts under the non-voting chairmanship of the City of London's head of sustainable development. This panel is responsible for choosing the winner of the overall award, the Sustainable City Trophy.

The winner of the Social entrepreneurship award was Please Cycle, while Carbon Voyage won the Commercial entrepreneurship award. The City Trophy was presented to Rosh Engineering, who also received a highly commended award in the Commercial entrepreneurship category.

Last year the Sustainable City Awards attracted over 230 applications from a wide spectrum of organisations that ranged from a bicycle repair shop, to a software application, to a zoo!

The annual awards ceremony takes place at Mansion House, the home of the Lord Mayor. This year the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE - a keen proponent of sustainability - presented the awards. Dr Julie Maxton, executive director of the globally influential Royal Society, gave the keynote speech.

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