At a prestigious event at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Palace, the long-awaited results were announced about which organisations had received Gold, Silver or Bronze at the national Green Apple Awards.
Peterborough was placed firmly on the environmental map with four awards won in total by a range of organisations all working towards the city’s Environment Capital aspirations.
Councillor Nigel North, Peterborough City Council cabinet member for communities and environment capital, said: “This is excellent news and truly demonstrates Peterborough’s commitment to environmental awareness and creating the UK’s Environment Capital.”
“The successes of these organisations show the city is leading the way in low carbon practices in business and development. Congratulations to everyone involved.”
The independent charity Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) won a Gold Award for Eco Tourism, which was awarded for its annual Green Festival. The Peterborough Green Festival is one of the biggest and longest running environmental festivals in the UK.
The 2015 event attracted more than 10,000 participants and worked together with 38 partner organisations across the city and surrounding areas. Funded by Travelchoice and the Arts Council, the festival’s theme this year was sustainable transport.
Second up was Peterborough DNA’s Smart Supper programme organised by Peterborough City Council and Opportunity Peterborough, which also won a Gold Award. Working with students from secondary schools across Peterborough, the aim of the project is to inspire and enable young people to develop innovative solutions to city challenges around sustainability.
Smart Supper is not just about creating entrepreneurs of the future, it is about allowing young people to stand up and have their ideas heard. It is a project that inspires the city’s young people through real life opportunities.
Cross Keys Homes achieved Gold in Improving Environmental Sustainability. The housing association won this highly coveted award for achievements in reducing its carbon footprint, and that of the homes it manages.
The award in particular recognises the solar panel project rolled out by Cross Keys Homes that has enabled 5,200 households to benefit from free electricity. It has led to a saving of 9,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions, as well as helping those tenants in fuel poverty to make real savings.
Finally, Peterborough Highways Services, a partnership between Peterborough City Council and Skanska won a Silver Award. As one of the industry’s leading green contractors, Skanska is using its Peterborough Highway Services partnership with the council as an exemplar of green technologies and sustainable techniques.
In the first year alone, Skanska exceeded its target of diverting 95% of waste from landfill. In addition the organisation is working towards achieving a zero carbon economy with an annual reduction target of 5% of direct emissions. Skanska are also now using a GPS system in all of its fleet to encourage efficient fuel consumption and better green driving techniques.
These awards show that, together, organisations across Peterborough are achieving great steps towards developing and highlighting the city’s green credentials. It is fantastic to see this recognised nationally.