News & Opinion

Observer announces Ethical Awards shortlist

The nominees for The Observer Ethical Awards 2013, in association with Ecover, were announced this morning.

The purpose of the awards, dubbed 'The Green Oscars', is to celebrate and support the standout campaigns, breakthrough business ideas and people and initiatives that make sustainable change and social justice a reality.

This year’s awards attracted a record number of nominations and votes from the public who, along with a panel of judges, helped to form the shortlists for the 10 categories. The panel for 2013 is made up of leading figures across science, culture and business, such as James Wong, TV Presenter and Ethnobotanist; VW Brown, singer and model; Tim Burgess, lead singer of The Charlatans and Paralympian Martine Wright.

The winners will be announced during a ceremony in London on 13 June.

Full Shortlist

Entries in the below categories were nominated by readers. Each winner is voted for by the public:

Campaigner of the Year

  • Caroline Lucas - As the UK’s first ever Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas has kept climate change, environmental protection and animal welfare high on the political agenda.
  • Sir David Attenborough - As the world’s leading natural history programme maker, Sir David Attenborough has shaped our understanding of planet earth. He is an avid campaigner against climate change and overpopulation.  
  • Guy Watson - Guy Watson has pioneered the Riverford organic vegetable boxes and developed his business to what it is today.
  • Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall - Hugh’s work has changed the purchasing habits of millions. His Fish Fight campaign recently scored a huge victory, when the EU voted for a ban on the throwing of healthy fish from boats back into the sea.
  • Joanna Lumley - A longtime advocate for animal welfare, Joanna Lumley has proved to be a great leader of social justice and environmental campaigns.
  • Livia Firth - As founder of Eco-Age Ltd, Livia Firth keeps ethical fashion production in the spotlight. She pioneered the  ‘Green Carpet Challenge’ is a UN Leader of Change and an Oxfam Global Ambassador.
  • Malala Yousafzai - Shot by a Taliban gunman for campaigning for her right to an education, Malala has become a global symbol of both courage and women’s rights.
  • Polly Higgins - London barrister Polly Higgins is an expert on Earth Law, and has fought to get the charge of Ecocide recognised. Polly is also chair of the Eradicating Ecocide Global Initiative.
  • Satish Kumar - For 50 years, Satish Kumar has built a movement for sustainability and social justice. He is editor of Resurgence magazine, which last year merged with the Ecologist.
  • Vivienne Westwood - The first lady of British fashion has taken up the fight against climate change working with charity Cool Earth and giving numerous lectures at the UN and science festivals.

Retailer of the Year

  • Frugi - online organic clothing brand for adults and children
  • Riverford Farms - online organic farm shop and box scheme
  • Roco hair and beauty - organic and eco products and beauty
  • Tot Bots - manufacturer of reusable cotton nappies and accessories, based in Glasgow
  • Warren Evans - producers of ethical beds and wooden bedroom furniture handmade, based in London

Unsung Local Hero

  • Dan Thompson - Creator of the Empty Shops Network, Dan has breathed life into Worthing’s rundown areas.
  • Douglas Peacock and Emily Cutts - Both have fought to save North Kevlin Meadow and Childrens’ Wood, the last wild green space in West End of Glasgow.
  • Francis McCrickard - Established wildflower meadows and a climate change walk and in the Myddelton Grange Centre in Ilkley.
  • Kendra Ullyart - Has channeled her creativity into green projects in Darlington.
  • Zoe Palmer - Founder of social enterprise The Golden Company, Zoe helps businesses manage their own bee hives and connects businesses together across London.

Entries in the below categories were nominated by readers. The winners will be chosen by our panel of judges:

Ecover Young Green Champions  (sponsored by Ecover)

  • Bee United - A project aimed at restoring bumblebees in Thirsk, North Yorkshire and involving the community.
  • Mama Margarets - A unique project that twins the pupils of Savio Salesian College with women in Dagoretti, a large slum area in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • QE11 - A project which created new fabrics by using tea, sugar and microbes.

Travel (sponsored by Virgin Holidays)

  • Pack for a purpose - An initiative which uses available luggage space for supplies for communities in need.
  • Unseen Tours - A unique enterprise in London which offers walking tours led by homeless guides
  • Village Ways - Guided walking tours and stays in village communities.

Big Idea (sponsored by National Grid)

  • Catchbox - A cooperative which supports small fisherman who use responsible methods to catch seafood
  • Loowatt - A unique toilet project which uses biodegradable lining instead of water
  • Plastic Surgeon - An expert in finishing and repairs, and committed to helping to achieve sustainable construction

Arts and Culture

  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Craftivist
  • Ten Billion

 Products and Services (sponsored by B&Q)

  • Client Earth - Activist lawyers committed to securing a healthy planet
  • ColaLife - Opens distribution channels which Coca-Cola uses in developing countries to enable products such as oral rehydration salts and zinc supplements to use those routes.
  • Newlife Paints - A company in West Sussex which has created a paint product created from recycled material

Business Initiative (sponsored by Jupiter Asset Management)

  • Dormont Estate - A rural estate in the heart of Dumfries and Galloway
  • Kelvin Valley Honey - An initiative which raises awareness of the importance of bees in the local community
  • Virgin Atlantic with Lanzatech - using gas fermentation technology to create sustainable biofuels for aviation. Is this the point where green planes take off?

Well Dressed (sponsored by Eco Age)

  • Jane Molloy - Creates unique, 100% ethical clothing and accessories, and edits Get Clobbered
  • Rosalind Jana - Edits blog Clothes, Cameras and Coffee and supports ethical fashion
  • Zoe Robinson - Edits blog The Good Wardrobe, a style-sharing community hub

More information on the shortlist and the awards can be found on the Guardian website.


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