Posted: Wed 12th Oct 2022
We're excited to reveal which small businesses the judges have chosen as winners of the Sustainable Small Business Awards 2022. Drum roll please…
The winners are:
Sustainable Business Transition Award – Katie and Alastair Guinan, founders of Linwater Caravan Park
Sustainability Changemaker Award – Sue Tonks, founder of HydroVeg Kits
Sustainable Start-up Award – Christofer Fisher, founder of Red Planet Farms
Sustainable Next Generation Business Award – Roxanne Travers, founder of Fashion for Future
Sustainable Scale-up Award – Sarah Jordan, founder of Y.O.U Underwear
The awards form part of our Plan it with Purpose initiative, run in partnership with Aviva and TSB Business.
The programme aims to shine a spotlight on businesses that focus on sustainability, and indeed the five winners have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to sustainability and making a meaningful contribution to communities and social change.
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said:
"It's wonderful to see the progress these small climate-friendly businesses have made and continue to make in their purpose-driven businesses.
"The reality is that, in the fight against the cost-of-living crisis, businesses that are leading the way in sustainability and energy efficiency, while make a meaningful contribution to society, must become an increasingly important feature of the small business community and we must do everything we can to support them."
Fiona Hyde, head of sustainability at TSB Business, said:
"We know that reducing our own environmental impact matters to customers and colleagues. We're proud to support Enterprise Nation's Plan It with Purpose programme, helping small businesses make a positive impact and recognising the success of the five brilliant businesses that have won today."
Let's see what the winning businesses have to say…
Sustainable Business Transition Award – Linwater Caravan Park
This award went to Linwater Caravan Park in Newbridge, Edinburgh. Launched in 1999 by Katie and Alastair Guinan, the business sets itself apart by offering value for money while making sure the business is fair to staff, the community and the planet.
"As owners of a family business, it's really important that we operate responsibly so that we, and the planet, are still here for the next generation. We've worked hard over the last few years to improve our green credentials and we'll continue on this path. There's always room to improve no matter how many awards and certificates you get for being sustainable!
"We're so grateful for this recognition, which is proof that you can do it. I hope that it'll inspire other businesses to follow suit."
Sustainability Changemaker Award – HydroVeg Kits
Winner of the Sustainability Changemaker Award, Sue Tonks, launched Nuneaton-based HydroVeg Kits in 2018. The components of her kits are reusable season after season. They use 70% less water than soil-based plants and grow 30% faster, allowing customers to grow and pick what they want to eat daily, reducing waste.
"I'm totally overwhelmed by achieving this prestigious award. Sustainability is our highest priority, and we're constantly looking for ways to enhance our sustainability further. From the seeds of an idea for personal use, HydroVeg Kits has made its mark in the growing world. I feel honoured that other organisations have judged it so too."
Sustainable Start-up Award – Red Planet Farms
Christofer Fisher founded vertical farming and agri-tech firm Red Planet Farms in Manchester in January 2021. The company employs high-efficiency LED lighting to grow crops indoors, without using pesticides or plastic packaging. As a result, the business is able to reduce the amount of energy and water it uses while lowering its waste output.
"Our team was thrilled at the news that we were being recognised for our commitment to sustainability and combating climate change. We're constantly looking to innovate and reduce our impact on the planet, so recognition for our efforts goes a long way in supporting our ambitions.
"This is why we founded Red Planet Farms, to drive sustainable agriculture forward at a time when it's needed most."
Sustainable Next Generation Business Award – Fashion for Future
The Sustainable Next Generation Business Award went to 23-year-old Roxanne Travers, founder of Hackney-based Fashion for Future.
Did you know that between 80% and 90% of clothes donated to charity shops are sold to countries in the Global South against their will? The scale of the problem is massive. One market in Ghana receives 15 million garments a week, with 40% going directly to landfill.
"New generations who believe in sustainability will hold 68% of spending power by 2040. The consumer mindset is shifting and the opportunity is growing. We aim to serve a broad demographic of customers, from the eco-conscious to the trendy, all while providing to those in need.
"We hope to inspire young people to help us bring Fashion for Future to their local community or to start their own small business tackling their community's relationship with waste."
Sustainable Scale-up Award – Y.O.U Underwear
Sarah Jordan, founder of Oxford-based Y.O.U Underwear, won the Sustainable Scale-Up Award. She launched the company in 2016 after witnessing first-hand the problems associated with not having underwear during a trip to Uganda.
The company sells organic cotton underwear for men, women and girls on a Buy-1-Give-2 basis. Through this model, it's been able to donate over 23,000 pairs of underwear to support women and girls across Africa and the UK.
"We're a small team trying to make a big difference, so this really means a lot to us and I just want to thank the team and all our customers for all their amazing support. This makes it all worth it!
"I hope this win will help to raise awareness of us as a business, but more importantly of some of the issues we're trying to solve too. From period poverty to the terrible conditions in so much of the fashion industry, to all the waste and also greenwashing, it's important to shine a light on these issues and try to tackle them. Awards like this really help to add credibility to what we're trying to do and hopefully help us grow the business – and therefore our impact – too."
Plan it with Purpose
A programme designed to help owners of small and medium-sized businesses develop a better understanding of environmental and social issues in the UK. Visit the Plan it with Purpose hub