After joining forces to do their bit for the planet, two businesses with a big Welsh presence are backing those across the country who have also been championing the environment.

Western Power Distribution (WPD) and GPT Environmental Management Services will be the co-headline sponsors of The National Environmental Awards this year.

Some 13 awards will be handed out at a glitzy ceremony on Thursday, July 14 – and there is still time to nominate your environmental heroes who deserve to be recognised for their hard work.

Held for the first time last year, when the event took place online due to Covid, individuals and companies including Salix Finance, Anglesea Sea Zoo and Coleg Gwent were among the winners.

On this occasion, two companies who have forged a strong environmental partnership are backing the awards as joint headline sponsors while also backing the Environmental Leader Award.

The National Wales:

The Active Creosote Extraction project – known as ACE – has been part of a commitment by WPD and GPT towards a sustainable, low carbon future.

Normally, the timber polls WPD use are treated with creosote to preserve the wood, meaning they cannot be classed as non-hazardous waste at the end of their working lives.

However, the ACE project aims to replace the high temperature incineration process with a more environmentally friendly solution, using an innovative, carbon friendly, extraction technique.

This removes the creosote to levels which allows the poles to be treated as non-hazardous waste, enabling the wood to be safely repurposed.

The £1.46million scheme is funded by the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA).

The National Wales:

“Western Power Distribution is the electricity distributor for South Wales,” said WPD corporate communications manager Michael Clarke.

“Our staff are committed to ensuring that the power network of poles, pylons, cables, wires and substations delivers electricity to our homes and businesses around-the-clock.

“As a major employer in South Wales, we believe we have a responsibility to play a full and active role in the communities we serve, which is why we support initiatives like the Environmental Awards.

“WPD is committed to reducing our impact on the environment and accelerating the shift to low carbon technologies.

“Over the last year, we’ve made significant progress by publishing our environmental strategy, achieving zero landfill in three of our licence areas and continuing to reduce our business carbon footprint losses from fluid-filled cables and SF6 leaks.

“We have also successfully maintained our ISO14001 certification and responsible environmental management.

“We are working to meet our stakeholders’ net zero and environmental responsibility expectations, by continuing to reduce our environmental impact and decarbonise our business activities.

“We believe that these awards are important because they provide a great opportunity to recognise, encourage and reward local businesses/members of the community who have made a difference through environmental initiatives to benefit the area.

“These people are truly inspirational and a credit to the community.

“We would like to congratulate all of the nominees and wish them good luck for the awards.”

The National Wales:

Meanwhile, Sam Chick of Bridgend-based GPT, added: “We are delighted to be sponsoring The National Environmental Awards alongside Western Power Distribution.

“As a society, it is critical we turn the tide on climate change and these awards celebrate those individuals and organisations going above and beyond to succeed in this challenge.

"Achieving net zero can only be done by driving forward with innovations and making real changes to the way we operate.

“Our Advanced Creosote Extraction trial supported by WPD is an example of world first innovation which could be utilised worldwide to deliver enormous carbon reductions."

For sponsorship opportunities, call head of events Cathy Parsons on 01633 777126 or email catherine.parsons@gwent-wales.co.uk.