Responsible Business of the Year 2016 Winner, Veolia

Resource management company, Veolia, has been named overall winner of the Business in the Community’s Responsible Business of the Year Award 2016. Veolia’s ability to transform its business while having an impact on the community beyond its operations, is why the company was chosen as the winner. Veolia benefits the UK population through recycling collection and delivery, water treatment and management, low carbon and renewable heat and electricity, and by providing new materials to the industry. Business in the Community is the Prince’s Responsible Business Network that hosts a yearly awards ceremony to help drive responsible business by recognising and showcasing innovation and best practice. 


Shell gives startups access to funding opportunities

Photo Credit:  Mike Mozart

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart

Shell has just launched a green finance database initiative called Shell Springboard’s Access to Finance Navigator. The interactive, digital database will give new companies access to 84 sources of low carbon funding worth £157 million. Through a simple set of questions, Shell Springboard’s Access to Finance Navigator helps identify the most appropriate financing sources for entrepreneurs’ and SMEs’ needs based on business stage, location, sector, amount needed and preferred type of finance. The online tool will then provide a list of relevant types of financing available from angel investment and crowdfunding to government grants, venture capital and incubation.


18 year old entrepreneur wins prestigious award

Photo Credit:  DIUS Corporate

Photo Credit: DIUS Corporate

18 year old, Jaime Gamble from Amersham and Wycombe College has been awarded the title of National Entrepreneur of the Year by the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy. Jaime’s startup is Panda Skateboards, a manufacturing business that makes skateboards out of bamboo. Using bamboo for its strength, durability, lightweight and sustainable qualities, Jaime started the business after spotting a gap in the market. Total prize money for the award was £5,000 which will go towards purchasing a laser engraving machine for the handmade skateboards.  


WTRMLN WTR aims to decrease America’s food waste problem

Photo Credit:  Harsha K R

Photo Credit: Harsha K R

Jody Levy is the co-founder of the newest consumer beverage fad, WTRMLN WTR. Not just a maker of consumer beverages, Jody and her partner, Harlan wanted to address core issues within American society; health and waste. WTRMLN WTR is made from what the industry refers to as ‘discarded melons’, meaning watermelons that could not be sold commercially because of a small blemish. WTRMLN WTR has turned farmers’ losses into profits as they now have somewhere to send the ‘not-so-perfect’ watermelons, as well as offering consumers a sweet, nutrient-rich beverage that also has maximum hydration benefits. WTRMLN WTR’s team of over 35 have built a venture that presses over 25 million pounds of watermelon annually, stocked in major convenience stores across North America such as Whole Foods, and has celebrity investors including Beyoncé on board. 


Richard Branson’s pitch competition crowns winners

Photo Credit:  Jarle Naustvik

Photo Credit: Jarle Naustvik

The winners of the Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016 Awards have been announced and include Scottish-based, recycled road asphalt manufacturer, MacRebur, and London-based, bio-bean which recycles wasted coffee grounds and turns them into sustainable bio-fuels. Hosted at ITV Studios by Konnie Huq, six finalists pitched their ideas to an impressive panel of judges, including Richard Branson, Tyra Banks, SPANX founder Sara Blakely, vlogger Marcus Butler, and Virgin Media Business’ Peter Kelly. Each startup has won a £250,000 ad campaign and £50,000 in cash.


Upcoming Summit: Business & Climate

From June 28-29, the 2016 Business & Climate Summit will be held at Guildhall, London. Host; The Climate Group, announced earlier today an updated list of global CEO’s and policymakers that will be speaking at this year’s summit. The most recent list includes Stuart Gulliver, CEO, HSBC; Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever; Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman and CEO, EDF; Rana Kapoor,CEO, Yes Bank; Felipe Calderón, Former President of Mexico and Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate; Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP; Bruno Lafont, CEO, LafargeHolcim; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Former Nigerian Finance Minister; and Saker Nusseibeh, CEO, Hermes Investment Management. The two-day summit will explore how business can and must take advantage of a swift transition to a climate resilient, low carbon economy. 



Cox Enterprises commits $25m to sustainability + tech by 2020

As part of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) program, Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company, has announced its Commitment to Action to invest $25 million in sustainable companies and technologies by 2020. By actively identifying sustainability initiatives, Cox Enterprises will provide organisations with financial support to help bring concepts to scale and provide backing for further innovation in the sustainable space. Organisations will also have the opportunity to learn from the company’s sustainability experts and potentially pilot their technologies within one of the Cox companies. Alex Taylor, Cox Enterprises Executive Vice President believes that this investment is “not only smart for the environment, but it’s also good for business.”

Cox Conserves was launched in 2007 and has already prevented 65,000 tons of carbon from entering the environment, diverted 6,000 tons of waste from landfill, and conserved 55 million gallons of water. Their goal is to send zero waste to landfill by 2024, and be carbon and water neutral by 2044.


Bristol carbon neutral by 2050

In the wake of the UK’s 2020 EU renewable energy targets, Bristol is taking matters into its own hands with the newly elected mayor, Marvin Rees, taking the lead. Last week, Rees approved £5 million in capital funding to build a low-carbon district heating network that will serve the entire city. Through underground pipes connected to energy centres, low-carbon heat is distributed to buildings and homes. District heating networks are said to be the most efficient way of heating homes in urban areas; less than 2% of UK heat is supplied in this way. The scheme is already seeing results as social housing blocks are currently benefiting from the biomass-fuelled heat centres that were installed last year.

Only in its first stages, the Bristol network is a major infrastructure project but it will inevitably provide the city with a sustainable source of renewable energy, reducing its reliance on gas, protecting it from fluctuating energy prices, and amend the fuel poverty that some residents are currently experiencing.