Bus Éireann takes home top prize at PwC/Business Post Sustainable Business Awards
Other award winners included An Post, Cool Planet, the Ballykilcavan Brewery and Abbvie Ireland
A bakery, a bus company and a brewery were among the companies honoured at the second annual PwC/Business Post Sustainable Business Awards.
The winners of the awards were announced at a ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin last night hosted by author and broadcaster Dearbhail McDonald.
Business Post Editor Daniel McConnell and David McGee, leader of ESG practice for PwC Ireland, addressed the sold-out event, as did keynote speaker Mark Mellett, the former Defence Forces chief who now runs the Green Compass consultancy.
The award for sustainable small business of the year went to Bread 41 in Dublin, while Cool Planet in Co Wicklow was named sustainable medium business of the year. An Post was the winner in the large sustainable business category.
The sustainable business team award went to Abbvie Ireland, while Bus Éireann took home the honours in the sustainable transport project category, as well as the overall grand prix prize.
Electric Ireland Superhomes won the sustainable energy project award, while Veolia was named winner in the sustainable waste project category.
Ballykilcavan Brewery in Co Laois emerged as winner in the sustainable agrifood category, while Eddie O’Connor, the well-known entrepreneur who now runs the renewal energy firm Supernode, was named sustainable business leader of the year.
Bank of America was named as social and equality business of the year, while Margot Slatter of ISS was awarded the social and equality business leader of the year title. Sarah Hayes of Statkraft won the rising star award.
A record 140 entries were received for this year’s awards from over 100 businesses active in Ireland.
“The quality of this year's entries was very high, showing the broad range of sustainability efforts underway across the Irish business landscape,” Daniel Murray, political and environmental correspondent of the Business Post and chairman of the judging panel, said.
“It was really encouraging to see environmental, diversity and equality issues becoming a key consideration for many businesses.”
McConnell said the Business Post is committed to ESG and sustainability as an core editorial and business pillar and these awards recognise those companies and SMEs who are making the principles of ESG a central part of their way of doing business.
“Backing the principles of ESG involves investment – it requires businesses to commit resources to both delivering and monitoring progress so others can follow the example being set,” he said.
“Committing to the ESG agenda has and continues to involve considerable courage and leadership on your part. There was evidence in the entries, for example, of the huge costs involved and considerable risks being taken. And it is this bravery and willingness to lead that we are recognising in these awards,” McConnell added.
David McGee said the volume of entries was “a demonstration of the passion and effort that Irish businesses are taking to build a better future for commerce and society”, and congratulated all the shortlisted individuals and businesses.
“The awards celebrate those who have gone above and beyond to protect our planet and create a fairer world for all. By highlighting and recognising these efforts, we will hopefully motivate others to up their ESG ambition and realise that sustainability is an opportunity to future-proof their business,” McGee said.
“While businesses must be profitable to last, profitability and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. In fact, investors are now divesting from companies that fail to make satisfactory progress across a broad range of sustainability metrics, which suggests that a new world of business is opening up before us.”
The winners were selected by an independent panel of Irish and international judges including the Business Post’s Daniel Murray, Lorcan Allen and Ellie Donnelly; Catherine Sheridan of Green Rebel; the Nigerian-Irish lecturer, author and consultant Dr Ebun Joseph Arogundade, and Tomás Sercovich of Business in the Community Ireland.
Full list of winners:
SUSTAINABLE SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
SUSTAINABLE MEDIUM BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
SUSTAINABLE LARGE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS TEAM
SUSTAINABLE PROJECT, TRANSPORT
SUSTAINABLE PROJECT, ENERGY
Electric Ireland Superhomes
SUSTAINABLE PROJECT, WASTE
SUSTAINABLE PROJECT, AGRIFOOD
Ballykilcavan Farm and Brewery
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR
Eddie O’Connor, Supernode
SOCIAL AND EQUALITY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Bank of America
SOCIAL AND EQUALITY BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR
Margot Slattery, ISS
Sarah Hayes, Statkraft