Environmental leaders have been helping to turn Lancashire even greener, say BIBAs judges

Judges in the Green Business of the Year award in this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, say Lancashire businesses are at the vanguard of Net Zero and sustainability

Lancashire has a strong track record of environmental improvement.

Over half-a-century ago, it led the way in reclaiming derelict land. It has seen major tree planting and peatland restoration projects carried out, landfill disposal decline while recycling rates peaked at just over 51 per cent, and carbon dioxide emissions fall by 46 per cent since 1990.

Now, as the country moves towards its target of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050, local businesses are stepping-up their efforts.

From waste reduction and recycling, to micro energy generation, energy efficiency and emissions reduction, county firms are increasingly embracing green initiatives.

Eight applicants that made it through to the finals in the Green Business of the Year category in the BIBAs this year have all demonstrated real leadership and a commitment to being more sustainable.

They are:

Equestrian Surfaces
Hedgerow Luxury Glamping
IoT Horizon
Making Energy Greener
RKMS Group
Senator Group
Stortec Engineering
The Vita Group

“Whether it’s taking charge of their own environmental impacts or helping clients reduce theirs, the applicants and finalists in this category have all contributed to making Lancashire greener and are leading the way when it comes to adopting and promoting sustainable business models,” said Ben Beetham from Sustainable Energy First which is sponsoring the award.

“It’s really good to see sustainability and Net Zero thinking featuring so highly on the agenda of Lancashire businesses. Apart from being good for the planet, it’s also good for the bottom-line when you consider that the waste and inefficiencies which cause pollution and emissions have costs associated with them – if you can reduce or avoid them, running your business gets cheaper, and profits rise.

“We had a difficult job of judging this category simply because there was such a diversity of environmental initiatives on display.”

Another category that judges found tricky this year was the Family Business of the Year award.

Oxford Economics estimates that there were 4.8 million family businesses in the UK in 2020, making up 85.9% of all private sector businesses. These businesses employed 13.9 million workers (51.5% of all private sector employment) and contributed a significant £575 billion to the UK economy.

Most family businesses are very small firms. 75 per cent of all family businesses in 2020 were sole traders with no employees, and a further 21% had 1-9 employees.

“It’s always surprising how many businesses in Lancashire are owned and operated by families,” said Tom Smith of category sponsor Brabners.

“There are so many of them, some that most Lancastrians will be aware of like Booths Supermarkets, but plenty more they won’t have heard of, like some of those that made it to the finals this year.

“It’s typical for family businesses to have a long-term commitment to a specific geographical place, usually where they were founded or are based, that helps them build trust with communities and other stakeholders. That was certainly evident when we interviewed the applicants and visited them in their own places of work during the judging. It was hard to pinpoint a winner.”

The finalists in this year’s Family Business of the Year award are:

1842 & Ivory Tower
Becketts FS
Equestrian Surfaces
M M Acquisitions
SHH Interiors t/a Fab Home Interiors
Suresite Group

Sponsor spotlight: Smooth Radio
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