THE efforts of those in Wales doing their utmost to protect the planet were recognised tonight, as The National Environmental Awards took place for the first time in a special online ceremony.

Naturalist and broadcaster Iolo Williams hosted the event on The National’s Facebook page, with a total of 10 awards dished out to individuals and organisations from across the country.

The Dwr Cymru-sponsored awards also featured contributions from celebrities including former Wales rugby international Jonathan Davies and television presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle.

The National Wales:

The first winner of the night was Salix Finance, who won the award for Best Policy and Practice within the Public Sector.

Salix provides funding opportunities to the public sector in England, Scotland and Wales to carry out energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects.

They got the nod from the judges ahead of fellow finalists Newport City Council and Ceri Williams of Torfaen County Borough Council.

The National Wales:

Up next was the Sustainability through Tourism and Leisure Award, sponsored by Bluestone National Park Resort.

Any of the three finalists would have been worthy winners but it was Anglesey Sea Zoo who emerged victorious.

The zoo minimises its impact on the environment by recycling and monitoring energy use, as well as using and supporting local products and producers.

The water in its tanks is pumped directly from the Menai Strait creating a natural environment in the aquarium.

Ebbw View Eco Stays and The Centre for Alternative Technology just missed out on the prize.

The National Wales:

Genesis Biosciences scooped the BMI Werndale Hospital-backed Sustainability through Innovation Award after impressing the judges with the way they have pioneered the innovation of effective natural products to resolve specific environmental challenges across a variety of industry sectors.

Barefoot Tech and Cellular Agriculture finished as runners-up in the category.

The National Wales:

The Carbon Zero Efficient Building Award, in association with Monmouthshire Building Society, was won by Canolfan John Burns Centre, in Kidwelly, which has been an ambitious project from its conception.

Their building is a pioneering development demonstrating the use of sustainable solutions that are widely available to all new developments.

Clwb Rygbi Bethesda in Gwynedd and Bwyd Bendigedig Port/Incredible Edible Porthmadog were the runners-up.

The National Wales:

Coleg Gwent were crowned winners of the Melin Homes-sponsored Education, School or College Award.

The college has a long-standing commitment to act in a sustainable manner, embedding sustainability as a core principle and making significant year-on-year improvements to ensure long-term benefits for the college and community.

Teacher David Lawson, his pupils and their school in Rhyl, Ysgol Llywelyn, and The Welsh School of Architecture were the other finalists in the category.

The National Wales:

The Best Product of the Year accolade went to ScrubbiesUK ahead of Genesis Biosciences, The Goodwash Company and Eto Eto.

Kerry Mackay started ScrubbiesUK as a small project to raise her and her son out of food bank poverty, and now it has transformed into a Europe-wide wholesale and retail manufacturer of home-compostable sponge alternatives.

The National Wales:

The Coleg Gwent-sponsored Outstanding Organisation Award was claimed by Newport City Council ahead of IBERS, the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University, and the Rhug Estate in North Wales.

Among other things, Newport City Council’s senior management staff and elected members have been enrolled for carbon literacy training and there is a climate change steering group to ensure that sustainability and thinking about carbon are at the heart of all operations.

The National Wales:

Established in 2013 by the community renewable energy charity Awel Aman Tawe, Egni Cooperative, which develops rooftop solar energy panels for buildings across Wales, were the winners of the Environmental Community Group Category, sponsored by Western Power Distribution.

To date, Egni has provided solar power at 88 sites in Wales and says that it has reduced carbon emissions by 1,000 tonnes per year.

Brymbo Heritage Orchard Project and Youth Climate Ambassadors, brought together by The Size of Wales, a rainforest conservation charity, were the runners-up.

The National Wales:

The Environmental Entrepreneur Award recognises those starting out or supporting environmentally friendly businesses.

Sponsored by Valero Environmental, the award went to Newport-based Sero Waste, a shop where customers can refill their own bottles and containers leading to a significant reduction in waste.

The Rhug Estate, owned by Lord Newborough in North Wales, and Afallen, a company based in Penarth were the other finalists in this category.

The National Wales:

The winner of the Environmental Leader Award, sponsored by Dwr Cymru, is Repair Cafe Wales, who have worked for four years to develop a culture of care, repair and re-use in Welsh communities.

They are an environmental non-profit organisation run by volunteers which repairs broken items for free and teaches communities repair skills.

Poppy Stowell-Evans, Lord Newborough of the Rhug Estate and Torfaen County Borough Council’s Ceri Williams were the other finalists in the category.

The National Wales: