The RSA at its best


Not every day is good but sometimes in my job I stumble on unexpected treasures. Yesterday afternoon I helped host the awards ceremony for the UK finalists of the European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE). The awards process is overseen by the RSA Environment Awards Forum which has at its heart a group of talented, committed, Fellows. For years these Fellows have been working to develop proper accreditation for a multitude of environment and business awards schemes. Their work resulted in DEFRA choosing the Forum to decide which award winners should be entered for the prestigious European awards. The process has been very successful with the UK regularly being European winners.

I enjoyed the awards ceremony for three reasons. First, we got to hear about some great environmental work ranging from Sainsbury's saving miles of paper by printing double sided receipts to a successful sustainable hotel. After the winter we have just had, people were particularly taken with a new technique for filling potholes,  which removes the need to dig up the road and is thus quicker, quieter, cheaper and generates less landfill waste.  There was an abundance of innovation, corporate responsibility and business leadership on show in the eleven awards handed out by Environment Minister, Dan Norris.

Second, after all the controversy over climate change science, and the growing tide of media and public scepticism, it was good to hear from businesses that were convinced that a commitment to high environmental standards was not just the best thing to do but motivated staff, saved money and enhanced their brand.

Third, it was great to see this model example of what Fellows can achieve when backed up by some quality staff time. The Environment Forum used to be the project of our valued colleague, Simon Fordham, and since his retirement the task has fallen into the very capable hands of Rebecca Daddow. Just like the examples of Chelmsford and Sheffield I gave last week, the RSA is often at its best when it combines the expertise of Fellows and the resources of John Adam Street.

So, it was a great afternoon and fingers crossed one of the award winners will soon be lifting the crown in Brussels.

Be the first to write a comment


Please login to post a comment or reply

Don't have an account? Click here to register.

Related articles

  • Local skills frameworks, levelling up and the future of work

    Fabian Wallace-Stephens (Foresight Lead)

    What mix of soft, technical, and digital skills will be needed in different sectors or local economies in the future?

  • Levelling up and participatory democracy

    Riley Thorold

    Riley Thorold explains how recent RSA work on public participation can inform this broader shift towards a more active and empowering democracy when levelling up.

  • Building a healthy economy

    Andy Haldane

    Complex interactions between health, economic and social outcomes are at the centre of health outcome inequalities. RSA Chief Executive Andy Haldane examines the interventions that could break this adverse health/economic cycle.