CELEBRATE YOUR COMMUNITY'S GREEN HEART
On 11th March, we showed the love in a big way—by celebrating how people around the country are helping to create a future where the UK no longer contributes to climate change.
The Green Heart Hero Awards are a chance to celebrate these extraordinary endeavours and give our neighbours a huge round of applause for all they are doing to create a cleaner, more secure future for our communities and beyond. Our second annual ceremony featured an incredible audience, including over 40 MPs from across all major political parties, sport and business leaders, well known TV personalities, and inspirational community members.
The incredible nominees and winners show that beautiful things truly are possible when we work together to tackle climate change.
Best Small Business
HISBE — WINNER!
HISBE stands for How It Should Be - a business creating a regular supermarket atmosphere but only supplying local, seasonal, waste-free produce to the highest of standards. HISBE aims to make good food normal, not exclusive, by removing the false choice between supermarkets and overpriced fresh produce. They are serious about zero waste and have installed a refill station into the shop as well as opening a bootcamp for training other businesses interested in stepping in the same direction. Having just celebrated their fifth birthday, HISBE have a lot to celebrate, and hopefully more to come.
UNWRAPPED SHOP, SHEFFIELD
Unwrapped is a zero waste grocery shop based in Crookes, Sheffield. Customers can fill their own containers with a huge variety of food and non-food products and can also purchase other items aimed at reducing waste. This company have done an incredible amount for the local community by making people more aware of waste and climate change. They try to minimise environmentally damaging products and consider social ethics in their decision making. Unwrapped want prices to be accessible to everyone, so that no-one is priced out of becoming zero waste.
The owner of Kunsthuis gallery, Cecile Creemers, has dedicated an entire commercial gallery space this year to ‘Our Earth’, with over 100 artists from around the world exhibiting works relating to climate change and the environment. Cecile has said “As curators of this show, we believe the arts has a major role and responsibility to encourage and provide knowledge to our audiences towards the environmental sustainability that we need to protect life on our beautiful planet. We believe art is a powerful tool to achieve this, communicating awareness of what is going on around us.”
Best Large Business
Anglian Water have committed to becoming a net zero business by 2050, setting ambitious targets to decarbonise, increase efficiency and limit their waste, while also ensuring local habitats for wildlife can be protected.
Ecotricity is doing amazing things to help build a cleaner future, with their profits going back into building new forms of green energy. Founder Dale Vince is also known for having the world's first UN certified carbon-neutral football club with Forest Green Rovers. 2018 saw the launch of the Ecotricity mobile phone network, which uses its profits to buy land in the British countryside to give back to nature.
In setting a net zero target of 2045 and a 2020 target for 100% renewable energy, BT are leading the business change to net zero. EE, the UK's biggest mobile phone network which is part of BT, is now powered by electricity from 100% renewable sources, helping to save an estimated 100,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
MARKS & SPENCER — WINNER!
M&S have long been dedicated to leading sustainability initiatives and driving sector-wide change. In 2007, their Plan A strategy was launched to dramatically increase the environmental sustainability of the business. A series of impactful initiatives followed in partnership with WWF within the Seafood, Cotton and Forest sectors. They became the first major ‘carbon neutral’ UK retailer in 2012 and have strongly advocated the business case for sustainability.
Greenest School or Youth Project
BREDON HILL ACADEMY — WINNER!
Bredon Hill Academy is a haven for wildlife, recently developing a newt rescue pond project. Pupils frequently explore the local woodland to learn about biodiversity, with a seven mile, whole school walk to the summit of Bredon hill every year. Most pupils are involved in growing, with a garden club open to all every lunchtime. Every lesson makes use of the diverse habitats for learning and the school’s potting sheds have been transformed to provide a sheltered outdoor learning space. They monitor species, weather and habitats, and their nest boxes and insect houses produce young each year.
ST JAMES PRIMARY SCHOOL, ASHTON
Nursery and Reception children have been finding out about ways to care for the environment at St James’ Primary School in Ashton. They have set up a display showing what they are doing to lead greener lives and the school is encouraging parents, governors, children, staff and visitors to fill in a postcard showing what they are doing to live more sustainably each day. The children have been planting trees and are setting up an Eco-Warrior club where they will find out more about what they can do to improve the environment.
THE E.Y.E PROJECT, WORTHING AND ADUR
The E.Y.E. Project was established in 2008 with the aim to bring local schools together to focus on the importance of building a cleaner, greener future. They do this through the fun and educational activities available at their Eco-Summit events. The first event involved the creation of the ‘Green Charter to help schools to lessen their environmental impact. Over the years, the Worthing and Adur E.Y.E. Project network grew across the county, expanded into Arun, and then most recently into Chichester and surrounding areas. The project now regularly communicates with around eighty local schools in these areas, across primary and secondary age ranges.
Sustainability in Sport
DARTFORD FOOTBALL CLUB — WINNER!
Dartford Football Club’s home stadium was built in 2006 and is the UK’s first sustainable purpose-built small stadium. Princes Park incorporates a range of environmental features, such as rainwater harvesting, effective insulation and solar panels. It uses efficient underfloor heating and low energy lighting and the use of public transport to and from the ground is encouraged. The bold design also includes a green roof and stands are partially buried into the ground to preserve the landscape.
THE ARCH CLIMBING WALL
Using a series of workshops with members of staff from across the business, Arch Climbing Wall in London have collectively developed their sustainability policy. Reducing waste has been one of the biggest areas that they have focused on, recycling coffee grounds and streamlining deliveries to reduce the number of vans and cardboard boxes being used. They’re conscious of the products they use and sell, offering a range of vegan snacks and cold drinks and using environmentally friendly cleaning products and energy efficient lighting. Arch use a renewable energy supplier for one of their centres and are planning to do the same for a second.
LORD’S CRICKET GROUND
Lord’s Cricket Ground is a world-class venue with a world-class approach to sustainability. After making Lord’s the first cricket ground in the country to run on 100% renewable energy in 2017, this year Marylebone Cricket Club has continued its commitment to be more environmentally friendly by focusing on reducing the amount of plastic used at the venue. A reusable cup scheme, along with the removal of plastic straws and the increased number of water fountains, will contribute to reducing the amount of plastic at Lord’s by an estimated one and a half million items during the season, while maintaining an excellent spectator experience for the thousands of people who regularly visit the ground.
ISLAMIC RELIEF KENYA
Islamic Relief Kenya (IRK) are currently leading a life-changing project to help nomadic pastoralist farmers battle the impact of climate change. Pastoralists and farmers in this rural area of Kenya are facing massive challenges due to the increasingly unreliable rain falls. IRK is helping them to invest in sustainable livelihoods by facilitating microfinance loans to help the farmers invest in solar powered drip feed irrigation technology. The system is ultra-efficient, reducing water usage by up to 80% with expected yield gains of over 300%.
CHRISTIAN AID - BREAKING THE BARRIERS — WINNER!
Breaking the Barriers programme uses sustainable energy products and technologies to increase rural women's income, improve working and living conditions, promote gender equality, and strengthen women's social status. Women-led sustainable energy enterprises in Honduras, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Malawi are developing business plans and building savings and loans schemes to grow profitable sustainable energy businesses. 104 women from South Omo and Ethiopia are producing and marketing improved cooking stoves, which use less firewood, subsequently reducing deforestation and the need to gather the wood.
TRILLION TREES PROGRAMME
Trillion Trees has the ambitious goal to protect, save from loss, or restore one trillion trees by the middle of the century. It brings together three of the world's leading conservation organisations: the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the World Wide Fund for Nature - UK (WWF-UK) and BirdLife International (BLI) around this shared goal. Through Trillion Trees, Restore Our Planet have provided an opportunity to use their own investments to unlock much bigger ones, which will ultimately deliver global benefits for people, wildlife and the climate.
THE HEARTWOOD FOREST
The Heartwood forest is a Woodland Trust project that started in 2008 and culminated in March 2018 with the planting of the 600,000th tree. What was once low quality arable land in Hertfordshire growing a monoculture of oilseed rape is now England’s largest new native forest. The trees were planted by thousands of people from the local community and further afield, including businesses, religious groups, the public, Woodland Trust volunteers and more than 17,000 schoolchildren. The project has had a massive impact on wildlife with new species recorded such as the water shrew, barbastelle bat, skylark, yellowhammer and hen harriers sighted. The linnet in particular is thriving. In six years, linnet sightings have increased by 250%, bucking a national trend decrease. Butterfly populations have increased by 160%. The project is an amazing demonstration of how communities have come together to plant an incredible, sustainable new landscape.
RSPB WALLASEA ISLAND — WINNER!
The Wallasea Island Wild Coast project is a landmark conservation and engineering scheme in Essex and is the largest of its type in Europe. The project used more than 3 million tonnes of earth brought by boat from the tunnels created for the Crossrail scheme in London. The earth was used to raise parts of the Essex island by 1.5m and restore 670 hectares of farmland to its historic form - lagoons, saltmarshes, islands and mudflats. This provides essential habitat for bird species such as the avocet, black-tailed godwit and spoonbill. It is now a valuable space for the public to enjoy the beauty of nature.
A THRIVING FUTURE FOR ENGLISH RIVERS
Coca-Cola Great Britain and WWF have been working together to secure a thriving future for English rivers in the UK since 2012. Less than a quarter of English rivers are deemed a healthy ecosystem. The project has engaged 2,500+ farmers to deliver sustainable practices resulting in over 3,600 acres of land being farmed more sustainably, and 940 million litres of water have now been replenished back to the environment.
ALEX SOBEL, MP FOR LEEDS NORTH WEST
Alex has been a strong advocate of tackling climate change- both before and since becoming an MP Alex wears his green heart on his sleeve. Since joining Parliament he has worked relentlessly to humanise the debate on climate and the environment, artfully marrying a hard push for ambitious action with relatable references. A regular COP attendee, he is also a member of the APPG on Climate Change. In the Environmental Audit Committee he’s encouraged deep scrutiny of plastics and a deposit return scheme and was snapped by students in Leeds rummaging the ‘soon to expire’ shelf because he hates food waste!
SIR BERNARD JENKIN, MP FOR HARWICH AND NORTH ESSEX
Sir Bernard Jenkin MP has joined the call for a net zero emissions target of before 2050 in the UK. He has taken to the media to champion the need for ambitious action on climate change to be a cross-party issue, co-authoring a Times op-ed with Alex Sobel. Bernard tried to makes changes in his everyday life - he cycles whenever possible, has a hybrid vehicle, and has had solar panels installed on his home. Since 2015 he has chaired five large public meetings with local constituents focusing on action on climate change. The most recent was with 117 delegates at the University of Essex in October 2018. He wrote to ministers to represent the views of delegates following last year's meeting, he plans to do the same again this year
KERRY MCCARTHY, MP FOR BRISTOL EAST
Kerry sits on the Environmental Audit and EFRA Select Committees. She previously served as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Kerry led on environmental amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill, helping win critical concessions, including a promise that environmental principles would be set in legislation. Kerry chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology: Sustainable Food and Farming. She was the first MP to highlight the environmental impact of the livestock industry and the first vegan MP. Kerry has introduced two Food Waste bills, set up the Food Waste All-Party Parliamentary Group and worked closely with Surfers Against Sewage on “Plastic Free Parliament”, resulting in an ambitious package of measures to end single-use plastic use across the estate.
SIMON CLARKE, MP FOR MIDDLESBOROUGH SOUTH AND EAST CLEVELAND — WINNER!
Simon Clarke MP has been a driving force within the Conservative Party pushing for the UK to bring its legislation up to the standards needed to reach our commitments under the Paris Agreement. He has lead a joint MP letter to Theresa May calling for net zero emissions before 2050, which has seen more than 180 MP signatures from across all parties. He has also called for a new Environment Act to restore nature, kickstart the green economy and inspire the world with environmental conviction. Simon is a member of the Conservative Environment Network and has ambitious hopes for reinvigorating UK Government environmental policy post-Brexit.
BARONESS JONES OF MOULSECOOMB — WINNER!
Jenny has been tirelessly bringing climate change to the political agenda since the formation of the London Assembly in 2000. She is now the only Green party member in the House of Lords, and has used this platform to raise issues relating to climate change and the environment. Her most successful roles were as the Mayor’s Green Transport Adviser (2004-2008) and Road Safety Ambassador (2001-2008). A report she commissioned led to the creation of the hire bike scheme and London’s cycling superhighways and Jenny has engaged in a wide range of political tactics to raise awareness of climate change, from Lords debates to engaging with NGOs.
Lord Framlingham has been environmentally active since his days studying for an MA in Agriculture back in 1962. In 1983 he became MP for the rural seat of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, which he held until 2010. A former president of the Arboricultural Association, Lord Framlingham has carried this interest into the House of Lords where he has sat since 2011, making his maiden speech during a debate on EU agriculture and forestry where he called for increases in tree planting rates and for better respect for woodland environments. With a keen interest in biosecurity and woodland wildlife, he has been a loyal member of the APPG for Ancient Woodlands and Veteran Trees, helping to achieve ground-breaking legislative protection for this irreplaceable habitat.
BARONESS REDFERN OF THE ISLE OF AXHOLME
Since joining the House of Lords in 2015, Baroness Redfern of the Isle of Axholme has been a strong supporter of the environmental movement, attending many events and tabling important Parliamentary questions. Alongside this, as a local Councillor and board member of the sustainable development fund, Lady Redfern has helped secure investment in local nature reserves and ensure that buildings are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Lonstanding Commitment to the Environment
DR ALAN WHITEHEAD, MP FOR SOUTHAMPTON TEST
Well before the Climate Change Act came to pass, Alan Whitehead was hard at work in the area of climate change and the environment. For over 20 years Alan has driven policy in a strategic, committed and inclusive way, to bring about the green policies which this country benefits from today. From CCA Committees to pushing internally for the Labour Party to adopt a contemporary net zero position, Alan has been at the centre of events ensuring ambitious evidence-based policy prevails.
ED MILIBAND, MP FOR DONCASTER NORTH
Ed Miliband has worked tirelessly to establish cross-party consensus over the urgency of action on climate change. He was Secretary of State for Climate Change when the Labour Government announced they would be introducing The Climate Change Act, and is still campaigning ten years on- working to ensure a cross-party call for a net-zero emissions target before 2050. Ed truly reflects a longstanding commitment to tackling climate change throughout his parliamentary career, and has dedicated several episodes of his successful podcast ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful’ to the need for immediate and far-reaching policy change.
LORD DEBEN — WINNER!
Lord Deben was the longest serving Secretary of State for the Environment the UK has ever had, serving from 1993 - 1997. BBC Wildlife magazine described him as the ‘Environment Secretary against which all others are judged’. He now chairs the Climate Change Committee and continues to advocate passionately in defence of the natural living world, including pushing for increased government ambition on electric vehicles and making the economic case for prompt action on climate while the problem is relatively cheap to address.
MARY CREAGH, MP FOR WAKEFIELD
The Labour MP for Wakefield has stood on the Environmental Audit Committee since 2015 and is its current Chair. She has been active and vocal in challenging UK oil exploration in the Arctic, calling for strong policy measures to limit negative climate impacts from the fashion industry and advocating for continued and improved environmental protections post-Brexit. Most recently, she has published a report on ‘Fixing Fashion’, noting that we throw away over one million tonnes of clothing every year in the UK, with a third of that being incinerated or sent to landfill. She wants to see the clothing industry held responsible for its own waste and the emissions associated with its production.
Inspirational Community Project
ABINGDON CARBON CUTTERS
Abingdon Carbon Cutters are a Community Action Group working in and around Abingdon to help reduce the local area’s carbon footprint, promote a sustainable and resilient lifestyle for the town without relying on fossil fuels and promote a range of activities to showcase the community in transition. They do this through a series of events and actions - big and small - from Edible Abingdon where herb and vegetable gardens are grown in plots and old recycling boxes dotted around the centre, to major campaigns that aim to persuade the local council and others to formally commit to reducing energy use. They are a small but very enthusiastic group of local volunteers who take every opportunity to promote an environmental message or project.
SOMERSET WI AND SOMERSET WILDLIFE TRUST
To raise awareness of how Somerset is uniquely vulnerable to many aspects of climate change, through rising sea levels and storm events, the Somerset Federation of the WI and Somerset Wildlife Trust held a combined event during the Climate Coalition’s ‘Speak Up Week’ in summer 2018. The WI and the Trust proudly displayed bunting across two of Somerset Wildlife Trust’s reserves to raise awareness of how these areas are at risk of climate change: Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve on the levels and moors and Cook’s Field Reserve in the Mendip Hills. This was no ordinary bunting however – 4000 WI members in Somerset produced 185.5m of bunting, the equivalent to the length of two football pitches, which had individual hearts with messages on why climate change is important to each member personally.
TRANSITION TOWN WELLINGTON — WINNER!
Transition Town Wellington is a community group set up in 2008 as part of the Transition Towns movement. They have created four community orchards, as well as herb beds and fruit bushes dotted around the town. These are maintained and looked after by a team of volunteers and there is a dedicated 'foraging map' so that people can explore the spaces and access healthy, seasonal and local food. They are also tackling the plastic problem by talking to people directly about how they can minimise waste and organising regular litter-picks in the town.A new Repair Café where people can bring things to be fixed and learn skills to mend items themselves at home will open soon.
Des Kay is a local eco-activist in Kingston. His charity, Save the World Club, has used his bicycle-powered puppet displays to inspire action on environmental issues since 1986, and over 250,000 people have seen his travelling environmental show, the Amazing Cycle Powered Answer to Everything Machine. Des is the ultimate upcycler: he creates art-works out of rescued materials, highlighting the scandal of consumer waste. His Save the World Club creates mosaic murals around Kingston with reclaimed ceramic tiles, he shares re-usable rescued items via Freecycle and he runs Save the Food Club, which collects surplus food from local supermarkets to deliver by bike to night shelters and refugees. Des co-founded Kingston Green Fair, and is active in Transition Town Kingston.
ELSIE LUNA — WINNER!
Elsie Luna is a 10 year old who decided to take her concern about climate change straight to some of the people she feels are causing the problem - big oil company CEOs. She walked up to the London headquarters of major oil companies unannounced and politely asked the doormen if she could speak to the boss. After being turned away by Chevron, Total and ConocoPhillips, she was invited into Shell’s Waterloo office to meet Sinead Lynch, UK country chairwoman. Elsie reminded Ms Lynch that Shell is responsible for 1.67 per cent of global emissions and asked her "on behalf of the children in the world please, please have a change of heart and keep your fossil fuels in the ground.”
Fiona has been instrumental in working with a group of environmental activists in Keynsham who are trying to reduce food waste by setting up a community fridge in the town where fresh, surplus food can be donated from local shops, businesses and individuals. She also helped to organise an event at a local supermarket where plastic packaging was returned to the supermarket and filmed, reaching over 10 million people from around the world.
Note: Some of these photos were taken by an external photographer. Please ask if they require crediting before reuse.