Bettys & Taylors, ScotAsh and Northern Rail have won coveted recognition as leading responsible businesses in Business in the Community’s Awards for Excellence. The awards were presented to the companies by HRH The Prince of Wales at a gala event at the Royal Albert Hall.
Bettys & Taylors were awarded the John Lewis and Waitrose Supply Chain Award for their achievements supporting coffee farmers across the world. ScotAsh won the TATA Consultancy Services Marketplace Innovation Award for the development of a new and environmentally friendly ways of using waste from power stations for cement. Northern Rail received the Northern Foods Rural Action Awards for their unique ‘community rail partnerships’ programme.
John Lewis and Waitrose Supply Chain Award
Bettys & Taylors is a traditional family business based in North Yorkshire, with six Bettys Café Tea Rooms and a tea and coffee merchants, Taylors of Harrogate. By paying a fair price for coffee Bettys & Taylor are able to ensure a high quality product both now and in the future whilst farmers are able to achieve a decent standard of living and invest in the future of their businesses.
In response to the crisis in the world coffee market Taylors of Harrogate launched their Sustainable Coffee Sourcing Programme. The programme was built on three pillars: building direct personal relationships with the growers; maintaining quality, including meeting ethical and environmental standards; and finally rewarding quality with a fair price.
To monitor conditions in their supply chain, Taylors coffee buyers are qualified social auditors, accredited by the Ethical Trading Initiative. These audits assess working conditions against international labour and human rights standards as well as compliance with local legislation. By offering suppliers forward contracts and by pre-financing crops they are able to give farmers the stability and the confidence to plan ahead, invest in their crops and therefore provide Taylors of Harrogate with the on-going quality they need for their blends.
Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the judging panel and Chairman of John Lewis Partnership, said:
“Bettys & Taylors showed passion and commitment in improving standards in their supply chain. They’re continually developing the skills of their employees so that buyers are accredited social auditors. They’ve worked with their customers to make them partners in encouraging better standards. We were impressed by the honesty, commitment and the level of personal involvement of buyers with farmers. Their practical and energetic approach make them an ideal winner and an excellent example for other companies.”
TATA Consultancy Services Marketplace Innovation Award
ScotAsh’s innovative process for recycling waste ash from power stations into low carbon cements, ScotAsh products have saved 1.6 million tonnes of ash going to landfill and conserved more than 2 million tonnes of primary aggregates, preventing 120,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent to taking 38,000 cars off the road for a year.
Power station ash, known as pulverised fuel ash (PFA), has been sold to the construction industry for many years but it has been used mainly in low value applications due to its variable carbon content.
ScotAsh, a joint venture between ScottishPower and Lafarge Cement UK, innovated to overcome these issues. By constructing massive storage capacity to ensure year round supply of product and by installing electrostatic separation technology that removes carbon from the ash, ScotAsh have created a versatile core material suitable for use in advanced cement products.
Keith Sharpe, Chairman of the judges and Marketing Director of TATA Consultancy Services, said:
“ScotAsh have come up with something truly different, blending in two different environmental imperatives – processing waste ash and developing ‘clean’ concrete. These new products are not only extremely effective and being profitably sold to the construction industry, they offer massive potential to reduce the amount of waste ash that goes to landfill.”
Northern Foods Rural Action Award, supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Northern Rail’s community partnerships promote sustainable access into rural areas, assisting rural regeneration, and resulted in increased passenger revenue by providing better rail services.
Northern Rail is the largest train operator in the UK operating local and regional train services across the North serving hundreds of rural communities as well as major conurbations. They have a growing network of ‘community rail partnerships’ on most of their rural routes, particularly in the North West. These partnerships bring together local businesses, the community/voluntary sector and local authorities with the shared aim of providing better rail services, promoting sustainable access into rural areas and assisting in rural regeneration.
Their community strategy has led to enhanced train services on some routes (such as live music performances) and improved station facilities. By marketing their rural services to urban areas they have increased the number of visitors into rural areas, who then increase spend in the rural economy. Community rail partnerships offer a means of engaging with local tourism providers, avoiding dependence on the car.