The National is thrilled to announce the launch of our inaugural Environmental Awards, which celebrate the people and organistions in Wales working to fight climate change and improve our environment.

After a difficult and uncertain year, these awards will be your chance, as readers of The National, to shout about, and reward, those people, businesses, schools and groups who you feel deserve to be recognised for their hard work, dedication and innovation.

Nominations are now open and will close on June 25, 2021, with the judging taking place a fortnight later. The ceremony itself will be broadcast in early September, so there’s plenty of time to get involved.

Launching the Awards, The National's editor Gavin Thompson, said:

“When we set about creating The National, we had four key themes we wanted to cover – politics, culture, business and, crucially, the environment.

“Climate change is the defining issue of our times, a bigger crisis than Covid and one that deserves equal attention and ingenuity to tackle it.

"That ingenuity and creativity can be found here in Wales and these awards will shine a light on it, to bring it to wider attention so that others can be both inspired by it and learn from it.

“We want to hear from people and organisations who are doing brilliant things, often quietly, to improve the environment and tackle climate change. Please put yourself forward, or nominate others, so we can share your work with the people of Wales.”

To nominate or enter go to: thenational.wales/environment/awards

The National Wales:

The National Environment Awards 2021 categories:

ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER AWARD

We are searching for a person who has made a significant contribution to tackling climate change and the environment in Wales. The likely winner will be able to demonstrate leadership on green issues and solutions.

They could come from any part of the green sector; they might have been active on the renewable energy front or made technological advances in green transport or sustainable construction.

Perhaps they're an educator or motivator who has encouraged consumers, businesses and the political establishment to make greater efforts to tackle environmental challenges. Do you know someone who fits this bill?

ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY GROUP AWARD

This category, in association with Western Power Distribution, is open to any community group in Wales trying to create a more sustainable place to live and work. We want to know what your group is doing to achieve this objective.

Maybe it has ambitious targets in terms of minimising waste, reducing energy consumption, sourcing energy from renewable sources or contributing to biodiversity. Maybe it has helped to improve the local environment in some way.

Tell us all about your group’s efforts, what you have achieved to date and what you are aiming for in the future.

SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH INNOVATION AWARD

Do you know of a product or service which has been brought to market in the past year which provides an eco-friendly and effective solution? The winner of this category could be anything that enables people, businesses, and communities to create a more sustainable future. A key criterion is that it is an effective replacement to a traditional alternative.

CARBON ZERO EFFICIENT BUILDING AWARD

This award, in association with Monmouthshire Building Society, will be given to the most interesting and sustainable building completed since January 1, 2019.

We will consider all non-residential buildings or developments, including offices, educational establishments, leisure venues, hotels, industrial settings and the public sector.

ENVIRONMENTAL ENTREPRENEUR AWARD

Have you set up a new start-up carbon zero business recently?

Do you know of long established entrepreneurs who have spotted an opportunity and invested in or supported the launch of a new ‘environmentally committed business’?

We are seeking innovators and business owners involved in new environmental ventures with bright futures.

SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH TOURISM AND LEISURE AWARD

The judges in this category will be looking to reward any business operating in the hospitality sector that can demonstrate a comprehensive programme to minimise the impact that their business operation is having on the environment.

A clear sustainable and environmental plan, along with evidence that it is delivering on core objectives, is key to winning this award. This award is presented in association with the Bluestone Foundation.

EDUCATION, SCHOOL OR COLLEGE AWARD

This important category, in association with Coleg Gwent, is open to any school or college in Wales where teachers, pupils and families take part in a structured programme to ensure the school takes a lead in protecting the environment for future generations.

Our judges will be looking for a clear sustainability/environmental plan and evidence that it is delivering on core objectives.

BEST POLICY AND PRACTICE WITHIN THE PUBLIC SECTOR

This is open to councils, government departments and all sections of the public service who have provided a comprehensive array of environmentally focused services.

We will celebrate those who have actively encouraged the businesses and consumers they serve to become greener in outlook and practice.

OUTSTANDING ORGANISATION AWARD

We will give this award to an organisation in Wales who can demonstrate best practice in all aspects of running their business – ethically, socially, and in an environmentally friendly way.

Employee well-being, diversity, innovation, community engagement and protection of the environment are all key elements of this category.

BEST PRODUCT OF THE YEAR AWARD 2020/2021

Do you run a business that has introduced an environmentally friendly new product?

Maybe you have introduced a new process, invention, or idea that has made a significant impact to the businesses environmental impact. The judges will be interested in how your innovation has made a measurable improvement to the environment or made a process or product more eco-friendly.