Pictured: The Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling Project team, from right, John Benson, Vicky van der Wildt, and Christian Bernard, with awards judge Oliver Heath.

Now in its sixth year, the P.E.A. (People. Environment. Achievement.) Awards celebrate the green heroes taking matters into their own hands and providing inspiring alternatives to business as usual.

The winners were announced at a glamorous green carpet event on Friday evening where guests had the chance to network with high-flying sustainability pioneers at Brighton’s i360 observation tower. There was vegan food, entertainment, speakers including Brighton Pavilion Green MP Caroline Lucas, and drinks from Juniper Green organic gin and Bison Beer. The categories were arts, fashion, film, music, best of the South West, Britain’s greenest family, business, energy, food, health, homes, money, pioneers, regional, resources, technology, transport and travel.

Community Wood Recycling is proud to announce the success of the network’s flagship enterprise, Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling Project, whose team was selected as the winners of the Resources category for their outstanding contribution to advancing the cause of recycling in the UK.

Awards founder Jarvis Smith said:

“Our award categories represent the pillars required by a functional society.

“When they’re done well, we won’t just survive – we’ll thrive. We used four criteria: innovation, inspiration, success and scalability.”

The judging panel included Oliver Heath, TV presenter and founder of Heath Design based in Ship Street, Brighton.

Set up in 1998, the Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling Project was the UK’s first wood recycling initiative, and the blueprint for the Community Wood Recycling business model. When it began, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wood was sent to landfill every year. The thought was, why not collect that unwanted wood so that it can be reused or made into useful things, creating opportunities for people to gain work experience and learn new skills at the same time? The Brighton project now reuses and recycles around 600 tonnes of timber and provides over 800 days of free training each year, and the network they inspired collects around 17,000 tonnes and provides 18,000 days of training!

Like all enterprises in the Community Wood Recycling network, the Brighton project’s status as a social enterprise means that any profit stays within the business, enabling it to improve facilities and conditions for volunteers and staff. It has always had a strong focus on both environmental and financial sustainability and, apart from a small start-up grant, it operates without any financial support, enabling the company to be independent and do things in its own unique way.

The Community Wood Recycling network owes its existence to the Brighton project, and we’re immensely glad that the team’s continuing enthusiasm and commitment to our core principles are still being recognised and celebrated 18 years on.

Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling Project wins P.E.A. award!
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