SPONSORS for Surrey’s first sustainable business awards have been revealed.

Chambers Recycling, Holdsway and Planet Woking have ensured that the CREST21 Awards, which had to be postponed due to the pandemic, are now going ahead at the WWF building in Woking in May.

The free-to-enter awards, which promote local firms with policies and practices that support the environment, have bene founded by the Woking News & Mail in association with the University of Surrey’s Centre for Environment and Sustainability and supported by headline sponsor Surrey County Council.

The boss of Chambers Group, one of the largest integrated waste management, recycling, skip hire and quarrying companies in Southern England, is backing the awards. Sponsoring the Sustainability Hero category, he says it is a call to businesses to commit to sustainable practices.

“It has never been more important for businesses to commit to sustainable practices, to decrease waste and reduce their carbon footprint,” said chairman and managing director of Chambers Group, Peter Chambers.

“The inaugural CREST21 Business Awards will provide Woking businesses with a well-deserved opportunity to show off their green achievements, while encouraging others to follow their example.”

Having founded the company over 50 years ago, he has put it at the forefront of environmental best practice. Using the latest technology, it recycles at least 98% of the 500,000 tonnes of the waste it handles each year.  It also offers free waste audits to encourage businesses to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste.

Sponsoring the Efficiency Champion category is Holdsway. Operating across Europe, the company was established in Woking in 2013 and is today one of the UK’s highest-rated providers of interim executives – helping businesses manage change efficiently.

“Holdsway is proud to sponsor the CREST21 Awards because they represent our community’s determination to influence and lead change which can have an impact on a global scale,” said Nick Diprose, founding partner.

“Our network of interim executives lead and influence change across Europe and beyond, implementing more efficient ways of running businesses. They inspire through positive leadership and engaging people. We think that the founders of these awards, and those who take part, deserve every recognition and support for their inspirational leadership too.”

With success built on long-term, supportive relationships, Holdsway were headline sponsors of the 2019 Mayford Athletic community football tournament and currently sponsor Mayford’s U13 age group. Their “Expert Game Changer” branding was created for Mayford to underline how community football can change young lives. Holdsway is a partner firm to Surrey University’s Business School, and 2019 saw the publication of their ground-breaking research into managing efficient and sustainable business change using interim executives.

Planet Woking is on a mission to address climate change and sustainability locally and has given whole-hearted support to the CREST21 Business Awards since their inception.

“We are delighted to be a part of CREST21 and are proud to sponsor the Transforming Food category. Encouraging everyone to take positive steps towards creating a sustainable borough is at the heart of Planet Woking’s ethos, and businesses have an essential role to play in achieving this aspiration by building a green economy in which both people and the environment can thrive,” said Cllr Kevin Davis, portfolio holder for environment and sustainability.

“We look forward to showcasing those companies that have adopted sustainable practices enthusiastically and hope they inspire others to follow suit, ensuring Woking leads the way in a low carbon, zero waste future.”

The Planet Woking initiative aspires to engage local residents, schools and businesses and enable them to play their part in enhancing the sustainability of the Borough and achieving carbon neutrality.

Its website – www.planetwoking.co.uk – includes a one-stop-shop of useful resources on what Woking Borough Council is doing to help tackle climate change locally, and ideas and inspiration for everyone on what they can do at home or at work to help lighten their environmental footprint. For younger audiences there’s a dedicated section of the website called Little Planet Woking.

The Surrey CREST21 Business Awards event will be live streamed from the WWF’s Living Planet Centre, Woking, in May. It is open to entries now through its website https://crestawardssurrey.co.uk/awards/