We posted recently about the finalists for the Observer Ethical Awards 2011, the paper’s sixth annual awards aimed at recognising and rewarding businesses who are “putting the environment first” across a number of different categories including Local Retailer, Online Retailer, Big Idea, and Ethical Blog.
So, who won?
In the Local Retailer category, The People’s Supermarket was victorious; a sustainable food co-op aimed at providing healthy food at reasonable prices, you may remember them from a recent Channel 4 documentary. James Lovelock, originator of the Gaia hypothesis, won a Lifetime Achievement Award, and the well-established Riverford Organic Vegetables Company won Online Retailer. Savy B.O.B Box, an idea from some year 8 school students in Merseyside, creating and selling unique bat or bird boxes, walked away with the Ethical Kids gong.
Perhaps more pertinently, businesses interested in adopting more green technologies, such as green hosting, will be interested in the winner of the Big Idea, sponsored by the National Grid. Pavegen take the natural, normally wasted kinetic energy from footsteps and turn it into energy.
“Currently the only commercial kinetic renewable energy generating technology in the world”, Pavegen installs paving slabs that move 5mm when people walk on them, converting the kinetic energy to electricity that is stored within the slab itself. The company has won an order for the slabs to be installed at Westfield’s new shopping mall near the Olympic site in Stratford City.