The Lakes Free Range Egg Company has been announced as the national winner of the Sustainable Products and Services Award at the Responsible Business Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Wednesday night (8th July). The award recognises businesses that are embedding environmental sustainability into core products or services, as well as the processes used to produce or develop them.
Business in the Community’s (BITC’s) Responsible Business Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of companies tackling key social and environmental issues. The winning companies across 13 categories each demonstrate that making a positive difference in society can also be a key driver for business performance.
Lakes Free Range Egg Company was set up to supply free range and organic eggs adhering to leading animal welfare, ethical and environmental principles. It is likely to be the UK’s first carbon neutral egg packing factory in 2014. The Lakes is the first egg producer to enrich ranges with tree planting and remain the only packer demanding all producers have biodiversity action plans. The Lakes has planted over 152,000 trees, with plans for more each year.
The business has cut waste, reduced energy consumption and created renewable energy, achieving 0% waste to landfill, 50% reduction in water consumption. 100% of energy will be generated on site by the end of 2014. Enhanced ranges improve animal welfare and egg production; hens lay an industry leading number of eggs per year, generating increased income per bird for their producers.
David Brass, Chief Executive, The Lakes Free Range Egg Co said: “To win this national accolade is fantastic – especially in the company of blue chip organisation’s who also share the same level of integrity and a moral compass to be responsible in business. We are committed to our ethos of leading edge animal welfare and environmental sustainability. The two go hand in hand and we’ve demonstrated the benefits and profitability to our producers and customers. It’s a model that’s replicable and sustainable – even for the 50% of our producers on marginal hill farms. We’ve over 6,000 acres covered by independently monitored biodiversity action plans and some of the best laying hens in the industry.”
Commenting on the win, Richard Gillies, Group Sustainability Director, Kingfisher, who chaired the judging panel, said: “Lakes has a simple product and a holistic approach to improve animal welfare, reduce environmental and social impacts of its product whilst also benefitting from commercial success. It is an example to other businesses on the viability of sustainability.”
The 2014 Responsible Business Award winners were selected from 413 award entries and were recognised by Business in the Community for demonstrating commitment and achievement in responsible business. Furthermore, 80% of companies that have embedded environmental sustainability into their core products and services are seeing improved public and stakeholder perceptions as a result.
Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community, said: “Responsible Business Award winners have demonstrated innovation to drive positive change in our communities and as a result have seen clear benefits in terms of business growth, customer engagement or staff wellbeing. I congratulate Lakes Free Range Egg Company for playing their part to build a new contract between business and society and a more sustainable future for us all.”
The event took place at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in front of 1,400 representatives from leading companies in the presence of BITC’s president HRH The Prince of Wales. The Prince of Wales was accompanied by his sons The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry. It was co-hosted by comedian David Walliams and Sky Sports anchor Natalie Pinkham, with a performance by the Military Wives Choir and young spoken word artist George the Poet.
For full details of all the inspiring 2014 Responsible Business Award stories please visit www.bitc.org.uk/awards