NOW in its fourth successful year, the Sheffield Telegraph’s Environmental Awards provide an excellent example of how a regional newspaper can make a huge difference in helping its community to really get involved in local environmental issues.
Sheffield Telegraph editor David Todd told PJ: “I decided to launch the awards in 2007 because we became aware of the growing number of environmental initiatives in the Sheffield area. Our aim was to promote those already involved in environmental initiatives and to encourage more people and organisations to initiate their own projects“We’ve been growing the number of entries for the awards year-on-year and since we launched them we have received over 200 entries across nine categories. Entries come from a wide variety of sources with responses from local schools, businesses, organisations and individuals.
“The last four years have produced some outstanding stories of people and organisations who genuinely want to do all they can to protect the environment we live in.”
He continued: “The awards are something we look forward to every October. The really great thing is that many of the people and businesses we feature are doing great work, very quietly, with no real aim to be recognised for it.
“Our awards honour outstanding efforts and achievements, good building and design, sustainability, innovations and improvements. Our aim is to help raise awareness in the local community for better environmental performance by business and industry.”
Overall winner of the 2010 Environment Awards was Mike Wild who won the award in recognition of a lifetime devoted to protecting the environment. He was one of the founding members of the organisation which became the Wildlife Trust for Sheffield and Rotherham 25 years ago and has been instrumental in working on the City’s Five Weirs walk. Other winners of the Environment Awards included Dobcroft Infant School, JF Finnegan and Jefferson Sheard Architects, South Yorkshire Energy Centre and Lauren Dixon.
“I think this is the most successful community-based project we are involved in each year because it recognises people who in the main do not seek recognition,” added David Todd. “Not only have the awards been terrific for promoting environmental awareness in our area but the enormous popularity of the awards have done the Telegraph a lot of good within the community as a whole.
“A key ingredient to the success of the awards is the amount of local companies involved with the awards through sponsorship. Since the inception of the awards the main sponsor has been energy company e.on, with local businesses backing the nine individual categories.”
The Sheffield Telegraph promotes the awards heavily and runs a special 12-page supplement and an electronic magazine. The newspaper also holds an awards evening, hosted by BBC North weatherman and climate correspondent Paul Hudson, with every winner receiving a trophy.