Read about 2017’s winners!

We hope that everyone enjoyed their night at the Cornwall Sustainability Awards, and that all of our winning & highly commended finalists are happy with their trophies and certificates.

We received a large variety of applicants this year, and we were impressed by all of you.

The winners & highly commended for 2017 are:

Best Managed Micro Business

Winner: Keep Cornwall Fed

They are a catering company based in mid Cornwall who use waste and surplus food and turn it into healthy meals for those in food poverty. They only use select suppliers who share the same ethos and sustainable methods as they do.

Keep Cornwall Fed intrigued and engaged all the judges. They all felt this demonstrated one of the areas that Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly leads the thinking in a joined up, 21st Century way. It’s not only business-like but demonstrates an understanding of a circular economy, and is an inspiration to other start-ups.

Highly Commended: The Jackson Foundation Gallery

A unique and ambitious art-space celebrating and championing arts and the natural world. Powered by an array of highly efficient solar panels and ground-source heat pumps, the Foundation goes further by delivering paintings within Cornwall in its two zero-emission fully electric cars.

The judges felt that The Jackson Foundation Gallery were a sign that Sustainability is reaching more and more corners of activity in Cornwall, and becoming a central part of working life, wherever that may take place.

Best Managed Small Business

Winner: Camel Valley Vineyards

Grape growers and winemakers in the heart of the Camel Valley with their own PDO and SSSI. Fully solar powered, shared deliveries, fruit waste fed to cows, fertilizer recycled from cows, cycle to work scheme, sponsored 90 Air Ambulance rescues, above living wage and ISO 9001.

The judges thought that Camel Valley Vineyards is an iconic Cornish brand which has led the field over the past 15 years, taking Cornish excellence to the world, and winning international acclaim and awards. While they are strutting the global stage they are looking after their own patch at home making sure their excellent produce is going to be just as amazing forever, making them a worthy winner of this category.

Judge’s Special Award – Longstanding Commitment to Sustainability: Bosinver Farm Cottages

Luxurious cottages set in acres of organic wildflower meadows where children can play freely in nature and parents truly relax. Sustainability is at the heart of everything they do; eco building, renewable technologies, carbon neutral swimming pool and electric car charging.

Bosinver Farm Cottages received this commendation from the judges for their consistent commitment to sustainability, and for continually progressing and evolving the way they do things to stay at the cutting edge; showing their visitors how to do it, and changing the behaviour of their visitors in a positive way.

Highly Commended: Urban Biodiversity

Urban Biodiversity CIC, is a newly formed community interest company that aims to put an end to social deprivation by developing urban sites into places that offer a fair chance for all.
They aim to provide education, job opportunities, food security, environmental protection, community building, and community projects that engage and empower local communities with the skills and opportunities to improve their surroundings for the betterment of their health and wellbeing.

Urban Biodiversity provided a well-written entry that couldn’t fail to demand a close read. And when the judges read it, they felt there was real substance in their activity. They really enjoy what Urban Biodiversity are doing, and are proud to display it.

Best Managed Large Business (Medium & Large combined this year)

Winner: St Austell Brewery

St. Austell Brewery is a family run independent brewery founded in 1851 by Cornishman Walter Hicks, producing award winning beers and managing a thriving pub estate with strong community links. They believe that the smallest of changes can have a significant impact; people just need to be aware of it and be willing to put it into practice.

The winner of the large business category is one of Cornwall’s largest companies. One that most of us are very proud to call our own, producing a range of wonderful goods that now all of us can enjoy safe in the knowledge and with clear conscience because they are striving to make all their products through more environmentally aware processes. Alongside their processes, the steps they’ve made over the last few years in energy reduction, recycling in all parts of the business and a culture of care for the place they call home and everywhere they sell their produce, command respect across their successful enterprise.

Highly Commended: Naturally Learning & Arco2 Architecture

From the ‘mud kitchens’ to their renowned Forest School, the great outdoors plays an integral part in the learning and development of the children at Naturally Learning. When children engage with nature they learn to respect the natural environment and realise their relationship with it.
Naturally Learning is reaching out to spread a set of very appropriate messages for Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly’s image and to their own business success, to people across the Duchy and beyond.

ARCO2 is a RIBA Chartered Architects Practice that offers a complete design, build and management service, while committed to securing the planet for future generations.
Arco2 Architecture demonstrates their command of the sustainability issues in a very visible way: the built environment, which of course will be there for decades to come as an exemplar of good work.

Best Contribution Towards Creating A Sustainable Food Economy

Winner: The National Lobster Hatchery

The National Lobster Hatchery is a pioneering marine conservation, research and education charity. Their primary aim is to help conserve the vulnerable lobster populations and preserve coastal marine biodiversity. Current research focuses on developing low carbon sustainable forms of culture.

The National Lobster Hatchery is an organisation that has become a national treasure in conserving marine biodiversity, while also safeguarding the livelihoods of small coastal communities. It has been a pioneer in marine conservation, and receives over 40,000 visitors per year who learn about sustainability in their industry.

Judge’s Special Commendation: Tamar Grow Local

Tamar Grow Local CIC has established and managed over 20 different community and commercial food initiatives in the Tamar Valley. These range from community orchards and allotments, field-scale community growing and livestock co-operatives through to food hubs, produce co-ops and a farm-start.

The judges wanted to give a special mention to Tamar Grow Local, a local partnership attracting national attention for helping communities walk the walk when it comes to local sustainable food resilience. They’re a triumph of the grassroots to renew for the 21st century traditions and practices that were lost in the 20th century.

Highly Commended: Fish for Thought & Wild Harbour Fish Company

Fish for Thought are proud to be the first online fishmonger delivering super-fresh seafood in fully recyclable packaging. They are committed to local, sustainable sourcing, working with the best fishermen and markets around the South West Coast to bring the finest seafood to your door.

Wild Harbour is a specialist fish & shellfish supplier. By sourcing direct from the fishermen and paying a fair price for responsibly caught fish, they can make fishing a truly sustainable industry in Cornwall, now and for future generations.

This year, we were pleased to see a strong representation of Cornwall’s fish and shellfish businesses. There is an increasing understanding amongst customers and suppliers of the importance of sustainability and traceability. The judges have jointly commended two companies, who are both doing a fantastic job on promoting sustainable fish, and marketing this effectively to wider audiences.

Best Contribution Towards the Creation of a Sustainable Energy Economy

Winner: Kensa Heatpumps and Coastline Housing

Kensa Heat Pumps is a Cornish manufacturer of ground source heat pumps. Coastline Housing is an independent, not-for-profit housing association. Together, Kensa & Coastline are reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions in Cornwall by delivering innovative heating upgrades utilising communal ground source heating.

The judges were particularly impressed with the partnership approach taken by the organisations involved. The wider benefits of this application added to the overall sustainability of this approach for both the community housing sector and also it’s transferability to the private sector. In an economy with ever increasing fuel poverty and spiralling energy costs, this application is a worthy category winner.

Highly Commended: Goldolphin House

Godolphin House have managed to reduce energy consumption by half as part of their conservation plans for this special place. This has been achieved by changing all lighting to LED lights, replacing oil with biomass boilers and making other significant and sustainable changes.

The judges were impressed by the approach taken by the Godolphin House, in particular, the rapid implementation and the personal ownership of the project by those involved. Their application was backed up by hard data which confirmed the benefits of the works undertaken by them.

Best Contribution to Resource Efficiency

Winner: Co-cars Ltd

Co-cars is a hire-by-the-hour car club. Co-cars runs Cornwall’s first car club offering car hire by hour in Falmouth & Truro booked through your smartphone. They use low emission, hybrid & electric cars and are a not-for-profit social enterprise that cover the South West.

The concept of Co-cars Ltd provides society with a viable alternative to the huge inefficiencies and resource wastage presented by individual car ownership. With many private cars sitting unused for over 90% of the time and ‘second cars’ often unused for 95% of the time, the approach taken by this organisation offers a potential solution with huge benefits to both individuals and society. The judges wish Co-cars Ltd well, and look forward to the service being replicated across Cornwall.

Highly Commended: Falmouth & Penryn Repair Cafe

The Falmouth & Penryn Repair Cafe – Cornwall’s first Repair Cafe. It’s a meeting place that is all about repairing things together. Bring anything that needs repairing along to this friendly group and they’ll try and help you fix it so it doesn’t end up in landfill.

Consumer goods are frequently discarded when they prematurely fail. Often faults are trivial and can be easily repaired, but people don’t have the knowledge, and repair costs can exceed the value of the item. This organisation not only enables the life of consumer goods to be extended, but also brings people together in a social setting. The judges feel that this is an excellent model which could be grown across Cornwall.

Best Contribution to the Built Environment: Retrofit

Winner: Jackson Foundation Gallery

A unique and ambitious art-space celebrating and championing arts and the natural world. Powered by an array of highly efficient solar panels and ground-source heat pumps, the Foundation goes further by delivering paintings within Cornwall in its two zero-emission fully electric cars.

The winners of this category, Jackson Foundation Gallery, exemplified the spirit of these awards. In this building the old internal Victorian beams were re-conditioned with new energy efficient insulation. Building companies were all local, and materials were sourced as locally as possible. All the timber was FSC and the project used local handmade doors and windows, all highly insulated. The building is heated with ground source heat pumps, with solar PV on the roof, low energy lighting and car charging for electric vehicles. Wider sustainable benefits were also considered. There is a policy of accessibility and non-elitism to all members of the public, and nearby local businesses have reported an upsurge in their takings as a result of this project. This project focuses on the arts and the natural world and showcases a holistic approach to sustainable retrofit.

Highly Commended: Fox Atrium by Falmouth University and Ward Williams Associates

The Fox Atrium at Falmouth University gathers a collection of buildings into one holistic form with shared flexible work/ socialising spaces, a cafe and internal courtyard all under one roof.
Innovative and sympathetic design has ensured the re-use and re-purpose of the existing buildings whilst creating a significant and beautiful piece of architecture.

The Fox Atrium entry reflects the sustainable aspirations of the client through the most obviously sustainable method, re-using older buildings. The project incorporates a new ETFE roof structure to link existing buildings, whilst creating an internal courtyard and enclosing the existing buildings within this new structure and therefore improving the thermal efficiency of all the buildings. It is a great example of a retrofit that considers benefits beyond just the project itself. There is an innovative living green wall, which reduces the impact of surface water run-off, cools the air in the warmer summer months and provides insulation in the winter. The project is located within the UK’s highest ranked Arts University and creates a new and vibrant educational and social space. A project for Cornwall to be proud of.

Best Contribution to the Built Environment: New Build

Winner: Velidhu by Ian Armstrong

Velidhu was designed and built by Arco2’s director Ian Armstrong. It is considered exemplary in terms of its design and sustainable credentials and is one of the highest rated buildings in the country. Not only does this project educate Ian’s family, his clients see first-hand the systems required for a low energy property.

This award category is for a project that demonstrates the best of Cornish Sustainable buildings, and the judges feel that this project certainly does that. It is a self-build highly energy efficient property with the highest Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating in Cornwall and it actually generates more income than the cost of energy it uses. The building is super insulated, the fabric is airtight, breathable and the external joinery all triple glazed. It was built using sustainable materials such as natural stone untreated timber and sheep’s wool insulation. Moreover it has an ethos of replicability showcasing the best principles of sustainability to share with others. This building is a worthy award winner.

Best Contribution to Cornwall’s Brand Through Sustainability

Winner: Surfers Against Sewage

Surfers Against Sewage has evolved from a single-issue pressure group into one of the country’s best recognised marine conservation charities. Over the past few years it has grown from 4 to 14 staff and now works with up to 30,000 volunteers every year. It has a dedicated marine conservation All Party Parliamentary Group and is effecting real change for the UK’s marine environment.

This organisation has evolved from a single-issue pressure group into one of the country’s best recognised marine conservation charities. Over the past few years it has grown from 4 to 14 staff, and attracts funding from some of the biggest charitable foundations to create high-value sustainability and marine conservation jobs in Cornwall. It represents over 300,000 regular supporters and now mobilises the biggest beach clean community in the UK, some 30,000 volunteers annually contributing over 150,000 hours of time to protecting beaches nationwide. Its priority issue today is plastic pollution, which is frequently top of the global environmental agenda, as Blue Planet recently documented. Internationally recognised, this year has seen the charity take its message of ocean optimism to the UN Oceans Conference in New York, the Our Oceans Conference in Malta and organise many events through its own All Party Parliamentary Group in the Houses of Parliament, where it brings together leading voices of marine conservation, MPs and ministers to discuss new measures to protect the ocean. It was recently honoured to be asked by HRH the Prince of Wales to organise the Ocean Plastic Awareness Day in Cornwall. The list of accolades goes on…

Best Individual Contribution

Winner: Ralph Retallick of Coastline Housing

Ralph was nominated by his team at Coastline Housing. Coastline Housing is a charitable housing association based in Redruth owning and managing over 4,300 homes. Since 2011 they have secured £4.5 million in funding for energy saving schemes to work towards their target that customers spend under £600 per year on heating.

This individual has gone well above the call of duty and brought much needed warmth, comfort, energy and investment to the social housing sector. Championing fuel poverty for many years and driving sustainability and energy efficiency improvements across this sector. Government cuts over recent years has not deterred him from raising funds and helping customers to access the grants they need to get out of fuel poverty. Ralph has happily reassured countless worried customers about basic things like how to read a meter and how to programme their heating systems. For many people who are living alone without family nearby, this sort of personal touch is worth its weight in gold. He is a green champion within his workplace, helping to reduce carbon emissions and related costs. Working with academics and experts in the built environment and health he has gone on to help reduce the presence of damp in homes, and understand the health impacts of related factors like mould on conditions such as asthma.

Highly Commended: Deb Rosser of ReFill Bude

Deb Rosser is a volunteer, community influencer, and protector of her local environment with a passion for sustainable practice. She’s the founder of a local community initiative, which operates on a model that seeks to reduce waste & single use plastics, by working with local businesses to encourage and incentivise the refilling of water flasks and coffee cups. This simple scheme encourages better consumer choices, gives businesses a simple sustainable solution to offer customers, reduces the demand for and consumption of single use plastic, protects their local environments, and funds community projects from the proceeds. The project has grown from strength to strength since she started it 2014 and has inspired a local Clean Cornwall campaign called Turn On The Tap and was also adopted by the city of Bristol, who have taken the campaign out into a national ReFill UK campaign.

Tomorrow’s Contribution to Sustainability

Winner: Fishy Filaments Ltd

Fishy Filaments Ltd recycle used Cornish fishing nets into supplies for 3D printing. They do this locally and with a low impact method, producing a ‘first of its class’ material that is innovative, environmentally-conscious and globally applicable.

The judges were unanimous in choosing this company as winner. Founded by Ian Falconer, this is a new company designed to prevent the escape of plastics into the environment, land or ocean, minimise the impact of recycling those plastics and provide a local economic return by doing so. They take used fishing nets that would otherwise be trucked to landfill or across Europe for recycling, depending on the materials used in their construction, and transform them into a form immediately useable in the growing sector of 3D printing.

Highly Commended: Fathoms Free

They are a volunteer group of marine conservationists pioneering a grass-roots circular economy initiative manufacturing Kayaks and other ocean products from recycled marine plastic and fishing gear. This in turn supports their community action, beach cleaning and diving for debris.

8 million tons of plastic and 640,000 tonnes of lost fishing gear enters the marine environment every year. There are very few options for the retrieval and recycling of these. Fathoms Free has developed schemes for recycling the plastics gathered from our coasts and end-of-life fishing gear, most of which presently ends up in landfill as there is no designated free recycling scheme for such materials, and then turning them into new products.

Best Contribution to Environmental Growth

Winner: Greenyard Flowers

They are the largest daffodil grower in the UK, farming approximately 3000 acres in West Cornwall. They actively work to protect and enhance the land they farm with a particular focus on soil – its health, improvement and long term sustainability.

We’re sure that the winner in this category surprised some of you this year. The industry sector this company belongs to has previously not been known for their ‘environmental sustainability’, as this sector was notorious for causing environmental problems e.g. from the use of herbicides and pesticides, and soil run off into water courses. However, the company that the judges chose as the winner is one that is now leading the way in this industry. This company is doing much to create an environmentally sustainable business, and we hope it continues its quest further on this journey, and may it raise the bar for the whole horticultural sector in Cornwall and further afield. It is the UK’s and World leading grower and packer of daffodil flowers and bulbs.

Highly Commended: Crowdy Marsh Ditch Blocking Project by South West Lakes Trust

The blocking of ditches on Crowdy Marsh for biodiversity, cleaner water and carbon storage was delivered in partnership by the South West Lakes Trust, South West Water’s Peatland Restoration Team and Natural England.

Cornwall’s Environmental Growth Strategy aims to increase our natural habitats so that biodiversity can flourish. Protecting biodiversity in little isolated corners of the countryside is not enough. We need to take a landscape scale approach to give space for nature. One excellent example is the peat marsh restoration project!

Best Contribution to Sustainability by Increasing Resilience in the Community

Winner: Newquay Community Orchard

Newquay Community Orchard (NCO) is run by Urban Biodiversity CIC. NCO is a re-imagined off-grid urban green space that promotes sustainability across all operations and provides social inclusion, environmental education, training and employability opportunities, food security, community events and sustainable economic growth.

The winner that the judges chose is a multifunctional community growing space, designed to provide environmental education, employability training, mental health therapy, community events, food security, and environmentally sustainable economic growth. This project has an ethos that revolves around sustainable management, not just in practice but also in the ability to influence visitors, partners and the wider community. It is an off-grid community site, 100% organic, and moving towards being waste neutral, excess food is donated to a local cooking charity for the homeless and the team are working with Falmouth University sustainable product design students.
The site is a Permaculture Land Demonstration Centre, which means it takes a holistic view on sustainability encompassing all environmental, social and economic aspects. This all-encompassing approach is the reason the judges felt this was a worthy award winner.

Highly Commended: Looe Bathing Waters Project

The Looe Bathing Waters Project (LBWP) empowers communities to take collective responsibility for their water environment, including the ‘Only Rain Down the Drain’ project. Consistent positive engagement with businesses, homeowners, schools and farmers is shaping a culture which will self-sustain healthy people, wildlife, the wider environment and the economy for future generations.

The judges were impressed by the depth and breadth of this project which empowers communities to take collective responsibility for their water environment. Consistent positive engagement with businesses, homeowners, schools and farmers is shaping a culture which will self-sustain healthy people, wildlife, the wider environment and the economy for future generations.
A diverse partnership has steered and funded the project and the work that has been undertaken is equally impressive, from stencilling Yellow Fish symbols on surface water drains, to creating woodland and wetland areas on farms.

Overall Winner

Winner: Kensa Heatpumps & Coastline Housing

The judges felt that this application/project was the best example of a sustainable, local cooperative project that delivered an affordable, green and efficient integrated solution utilising local skills and businesses keen to deliver energy savings both economically and environmentally, an exemplar to all for the sustainable future of Cornwall. It’s tremendous to see an engineering company in Cornwall leading the way in environmental solutions as our precision manufacturers here have done in so many ways for generations.

Well done to all of our winners, runners-up, and finalists this year!

Get ready for 2018!

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