Sustainable City Awards 2019

I attended the Sustainable City Awards in July. Now that everyone is getting back to work after the summer, I thought it would be a good time to refresh people’s memories about who won and why.

Healthier Places – This awards best practice in promoting working environments and cultures which benefit the well-being of workers or citizens, such as workspace designs and facilities, and social and community initiatives.

Winner: Growhampton – the Campus Ecosystem

Growhampton is a sustainability project run by Roehampton Students’ Union at the University of Roehampton. It is a sustainable garden which teaches students about sustainability as well as helping them to develop skills. It has a particular focus on food, with many types on plants growing across the campus giving students the opportunity to learn about where food comes from and how to grow it

Innovative Spaces – Awards innovative work operations to reflect our impact on climate change, with, for example green infrastructure solutions and sustainable drainage.

Winner: Respace Projects

ReSpace Projects transforms disused spaces in London as a way of responding to rising levels of poverty and inequality. It shows how systematic reuse of wasted resources has benefits to society the environment and local economies. The transformation of these spaces is carried out by the community, helping to make this community stronger.

Managing Resources – Awards best practice to improve resource conservation (such as gas, water, electricity) waste and recycling, smart grids, energy sharing and management, heritage asset management and reuse.

Winner: Project DODO, JPA Furniture

DODO involves the collection of unwanted furniture for reuse or recycling, and so saving it from extinction, hence the name DODO. This means the volume of unwanted furniture sent to landfill is reduces, working towards zero waste. A unique feature of JPA furniture is that they consider whether new furniture is really needed; they often help businesses make the most of the furniture they already have, perhaps by reuse or rehoming. In this way they are helping to reduce the waste sent to landfill as well as emissions associated with producing new furniture.

Smart Technology

Award for application of new technology for smarter, more sustainable city life, such as apps to inform behaviours and big data projects.


iYFA was launched in 2015 with the aim of making advertising, that is cost-effective and also good for the environment, available to businesses of all sizes. They have developed the eco Box which is ‘a communication medium which is recyclable, biodegradable, compostable and is made from sustainable resources’ to help businesses to reach potential customers. Products they offer include biodegradable and compostable cups, boxes and bags all branded with the businesses’ logo.

Sustainable Mobility – Awards innovative schemes encouraging sustainable forms of travel, reducing traffic and transport impact on the environment, tackling air pollution, e.g. innovative projects to encourage walking, cycling, public realm enhancement schemes.

Winner: Hackney Council’s School Streets

The school Streets scheme reduces traffic outside schools by making them pedestrian and cycling zones only at certain times of day. It makes the streets safer for children to walk or cycle to school, as well as tackling congestion and improving air quality.

Overall Winner – Chosen from non-commercial organisations applying across all categories. This award ensures that the most outstanding overall achiever is recognised and rewarded.

Winner: ReSpace Projects

Sir Peter Parker Award – The Sir Peter parker Award recognises businesses that have successfully set new standards of innovation, performance and environmental leadership.

Winner: JPA Furniture

Now try it yourself

The awards help you to see what other organisations are doing and, hopefully, learn from them. Some of the key messages for business that come from the Sir Peter Parker Award winner are:

  • Looking at how your operations could be more environmentally and socially sustainable could really help your financial sustainability
  • Moving from a focus on sales to a focus on servicing what your customer really needs can bring new opportunities and strengthen customer relationships

I hope the lessons from the Sustainable City Awards will help drive some of the changes that we urgently need. If you want help in doing so

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