Bartlett Mitchell winnersThe beautiful gardens at the Stationers’ Hall in the City of London, were the venue this week for the fourth ACE Sustains Awards.

These awards were established to recognise the teams and companies that truly stand out in the foodservice sector as champions of sustainability. Our MD Mark Linehan again joined Mark Jancovich, of Delphis Eco, Brendan Hunter from WRAP and Shirley Duncalf of 3663. The four-strong judging panel emphasised how impressed they were with the ever increasing standard of entries.

The judges also stressed that they believed many of the submissions were scalable and could be replicated across the sector, bringer wider, more far-reaching benefits to the environment.

To the winners?

The ACE Sustains are unusual as there are only two categories. The first is the People Award and this was won by SRA Member bartlett mitchell’s Marketing Director Lin Dickens and her Green Bee Team.

Lin and her team put a lot of thought into how best to communicate to their customers all of company’s the fabulous, award-winning sustainability. They hit upon an ingenious plan to deliver the message in a sandwich. Well, not quite. In fact they wrapped the sandwiches in biodegradable paper, which carried all the stories on it. So while their customers enjoyed their lunch they could read about the local suppliers whose ingredients had been used to make it – as well as about key environmental initiatives. A very smart way of engaging with your customers.

And four lucky members of the team will get to enjoy the tasting menu at SRA Member Fera at Claridge’s.

The second category, the Corporate Award, was won by a supplier who works with many SRA Members – West Horsley Dairy. Faced with an intrinsically west horsley green vanenvironmentally damaging delivery system – lorries on the road – West Horsley decided something had to be done and so they set to work with the manufacturer and a refrigeration company to build the Greenest Hybrid Food Service Lorry in business. It is a diesel, electric hybrid and the fridge is cooled using revolutionary engineered frozen gel tube and plate technology rather than being cooled by the engine. It uses 40% less fuel than conventional lorries and is the first of its type in the world using this combination of technology. After the success of the prototype, West Horsley have ordered four more for their fleet.

The runners-up in this category included SRA Approved Supplier The London Linen Group for an ingenious idea. Polyester and poly cotton that would otherwise be incinerated or sent to landfill is now being recycled into 100,000 bags for life for Marks & Spencer and the £250,000 profit is being donated to UNICEF.

Lusso, another SRA Member, looked to the humble pig for its smart sustainable idea. We’ve written before on these pages about the excellent partnership between Surrey Docks Farm and the forward-thinking caterer which sees the farm benefit from a a regular income stream while Lusso has access to quality locally produced pork, butchery training for chefs and the chance to champion nose to tail eating.