Councillor Martin Wilby, Chairman of the Norfolk County Council Environment, Development and Transport Committee, said:“It was fantastic to meet our eco heroes last night and hear about their ingenious work in protecting the environment. It is always such a pleasure to hear about the variety of organisations, businesses and communities within Norfolk who are working so hard to encourage others to think about the environment and how we can reduce our impact on it. I hope next year’s awards will have just as many wonderful applications, if not more.”
Creating a wildflower meadow, native hedgerow, vegetable garden and pond are all evidence of East Ruston Infant School’s commitment to nature and caring for the environment. Making the connection between food and growing is also at the heart of the school’s outstanding eco credential including caring for Meg and Mog – the school chickens, and harvesting vegetables from the garden for school lunches.
The judges chose Norwich-based Liftshare.com Ltd to be the eco business winner because of the huge contribution they have made towards reducing carbon emissions. Founder Ali Clabburn started Liftshare when he needed a lift home from university back in the 1990s. He posted the request on a student noticeboard and the next day there were three offers of a lift and idea was born! Today, Liftshare is the UK’s largest car sharing community, with over 500,000 members currently offering or requesting a lift. Members using Liftshare on client sites alone save 35,000 tonnes of CO2 annually at current usage levels, and take over 97,000,000 miles off of the roads every year!
For the first time in the history of the awards the same group has received the eco community group title twice in a row! FoodCycle Norwich takes the food that is considered ‘waste’ from supermarkets and shops and turns it into three course nutritious meals for between 75 and 100 people in the city every week of the year. Since they set up six years ago, the group have served over sixteen thousand meals and diverted over 22 tonnes of food from going straight to landfill.
The winning entry for this category goes to a Victorian terraced retrofit project on Silver road in Norwich owned by Matthew White. In a short time, the owners have installed a range of environmentally friendly measures throughout the house, using high tech, yet organic and sustainable materials, such as earthwool insulation and water saving technology. Outside has also been utilised to conserve energy and encourage wildlife by fitting water butts, planting native mixed hedgerow and removing paving stones to make way for clover, grass and wildflower meadow. The owners also generate energy through solar panels. The judges felt this project would be an inspiration to others who want to create a more environmentally friendly home in an urban space and on a modest budget
Liftshare.com Ltd also wins the title of the eco hero this year. The judges were so impressed that with just 22 staff based in a Duke Street office in Norwich such astounding results have been achieved up and down the country. In addition to their car sharing scheme, Liftshare also run behaviour changing workshops and undertake data scoping exercise to better understand travel patterns.
Rackheath Primary School, Reepham High School and College, Friends of Train Wood and Marriott’s Way, The Master Composters, Little Ouse Headwaters Project, Eastgate Larder, Barnwell Print, East View Farm Holiday Cottages, Old Brick Kilns Caravan and Camping Park, East View Farm, Hamson Barron Smith.
Thanks to all this year's sponsors
outstanding eco primary school sponsored by Recycle for Norfolk
outstanding eco secondary school sponsored by Cleantech East
outstanding eco community group sponsored by Voluntary Norfolk
outstanding eco small/medium business (less than 50 staff) sponsored by BEE Anglia
outstanding eco food producer sponsored by Slow Food Norwich and Anglia
outstanding eco home sponsored by Foster, part of the Lakehouse group
eco hero sponsored by Anglian Water