The annual competition, established in 1975 by former British Rail boss, Sir Peter Parker, recognises and rewards companies which protect and enhance the environment without compromising on business performance.
Hanson UK was recognised for the success of its new brick plant at Measham in Leicestershire. The plant, which took two years to construct and cost £50m, is the largest and most efficient soft mud brick works in Europe. It uses low energy and waste processes to produce 30 000 bricks an hour, resulting in a 50% reduction per tonne in energy usage.
Construction support company, Interserve, received its commendation for the company's Sustainable Development Strategy and guide entitled 'RENEWABLES' – an acronym of the 10 sustainable priorities staff are required to assess to maximise sustainability.
Veolia Water UK and SQS were recognised for changing industry standards and practices for sustainable construction waste recycling.
The awards were presented by the BCE president, Sir Anthony Cleaver, at a ceremony on 8 June in London. He said: "Despite the continuing economic challenges, standards in this year's competition have been higher than ever. All the winners are innovative and forward thinking, driven by a high regard for corporate social responsibility, and they set the benchmark for other businesses."
In all, 15 finalists received recognition across a range of business and industry sectors, from large multi-national plcs to SMEs. Their common factor is that they have all demonstrated how environmental leadership can produce substantial benefits irrespective of business size.
The top award of the night, the Sir Peter Parker Award, went to Kingfisher, whose UK brands include DIY store B&Q and ScrewFix. The judges praised its pioneering leadership role since the early 1990s in ensuring that its wood products come from well-managed, sustainable sources.
Applications for the 2011 BCE Awards are now being invited. Companies who believe they deserve peer and public recognition for their outstanding environmental performance and leadership are asked to request an application form from the BCE Awards website and submit it before the closing date of 11 October 2010.