Five claim gold in Zero Waste Awards

A record five organisations have been honoured with Gold Zero Waste Awards for showing commitment and innovation in reducing waste, following the fifth round of judging.

Another 12 businesses, organisations and local authorities also received Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended awards for their achievements in waste prevention, reuse and recycling.

The 'Zero Hero' mascot
The ‘Zero Hero’ mascot

Run by, the awards scheme is open to all groups from the private and public sectors as well as communities and charities – anyone who produces or processes waste.

The latest judging day for the awards, which are sponsored by SAICA Natur and WasteCare, took place on Wednesday (September 18).

Commercial Zero Waste, Changeworks Recycling, Carpet Recycling UK, Croydon borough council and the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) were the five winners of Gold Zero Waste Awards.

Other recipients of awards included: Yorkshire Water; Festival Place Shopping Centre; Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA); Kuehne-Nagel; and Vegware.

Commercial Group

Based in Cheltenham, businesses services firm Commercial Group employs around 200 staff and has a turnover of 30 million.

The company received a Gold Zero Waste Award for the implementation of a programme which saw it achieve zero waste to landfill without incineration across its UK operations in 2012. The programme involved the launch of new recycling streams and a focus on reuse across Commercials distribution fleet and supply chain.

Judges were impressed by the level of staff engagement on waste reduction at the company, with a team of Green Angels set up to organise waste reduction training and zero waste days. One of these engagement days saw employees wave goodbye to the last skip of company waste in 2013.

‘When we first looked into becoming Zero Waste, it seemed a daunting task. Yet, by everyone taking small but important actions, supporting each other at every step of the way, we managed to wave good bye to our last skip’

Simon Graham, Commercial Group

Commenting on the award, environmental strategist at Commercial Group, Simon Graham, said: Achieving Zero Waste has been a goal of Commercials since 2008. To receive a Gold Award for reaching our target is both a privilege and an affirmation that the excellent work that the team has done has recognised at the highest level.

He added: When we first looked into becoming Zero Waste, it seemed a daunting task. Yet, by everyone taking small but important actions, supporting each other at every step of the way, we managed to wave good bye to our last skip.

The key for us was making it all human-sized, easy and fun.

Carpet Recycling UK

Set up in 2008, Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK) is a non-profit industry scheme funded by 13 major UK-based carpet and carpet tile manufacturers. It is managed by resource recovery firm Axion Consulting.

CRUK impressed judges with its commitment to applying the waste hierarchy on a difficult waste stream, helping to increase the UKs carpet recycling rate from only 2% six years ago to 21.4% in 2012.

The organisation supports various carpet take-back schemes for carpet reuse across the UK, even helping to find another home for 30,000 square metres of high performance carpet tiles removed from Canary Warf in London. CRUK is now aiming for a landfill diversion rate of 60% by 2020.

Scheme manager at CRUK, Jane Gardner, said: We are delighted we have won the award because it is a testament to our achievements in diverting carpets from landfill.

She added: Theres definitely more that we can achieve we have a target of diverting 25% of carpet from landfill by 2015, but as an organisation we are looking beyond that to set targets for the future.

We really want to make sure that the carpet that is diverted from landfill goes to the highest possible end use and looking into the future that is our aim.

Award submissions were judged by: John Holbrow from the Federation of Small Businesses; Sarahjane Widdowson, waste management and resource efficiency lead at consultancy Ricardo-AEA; and Michael Holder, news reporter at

The awards are supported by a range of organisations including the REA’s Organics Recycling Group, the British Hospitality Association, the Federation of Small Businesses, LARAC, the National Association of Waste Disposal Officers.


If you think your organisation is worthy of recognition simply prepare and submit your own entry to the Zero Waste Awards. The awards are open to any organisation or business based in the UK or overseas and full entry criteria and details can be found on the Zero Waste Awards website.

All organisations who receive a Zero Waste Award will be invited to attend the annual recognition luncheon. Recipients of a Gold Zero Waste Award will receive further recognition for their commitment to reducing waste to landfill, by being automatically entered into the Zero Waste Champion category at the Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management.

The next judging day is set to take place on December 1 2013.

Table showing the winners from the fifth judging round

Zerp Waste Table
Zerp Waste Table


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