Each year we get to meet and be inspired by incredible people who bring a more ethical, responsible and sustainable approach to the ways we live and do business. Amongst the small to medium businesses we find some of the most visionary and ambitious, those who give it their all to have a positive impact, and create more successful businesses!
We caught up with two SMEs that were 2017 GGA category winners, to talk about their experience at the GGA, what they have been up to since the 2017 awards, and what ambitions they have for 2018.
We hope that their stories will inspire you to look at what you can do to improve the impacts of your work… And join us at the GGA!
In 2017 Hackney Herbal won the Global Good Special Judges Award
Hackney Herbal specialise in creative workshops and events which connect and inspire people. Their work combines a wide range of activities including providing horticultural experience to volunteers, and working in the community to promote good mental health and wellbeing. We caught up with the Founder of Hackney Herbal, Nat Mady…
Tell us a little bit about Hackney Herbal, and what it was that won you the 2017 award for Grass Roots Communities…
Hackney Herbal was set up in 2014 with a mission to promote wellbeing through herbs. We work in partnership with a number of mental health charities to deliver projects which draw on the therapeutic sides of engaging with nature.
As well as delivering workshops and courses to teach people about the creative uses of herbs we also sell herbal tea that has been grown on a patchwork of sites around Hackney. The profits from our activities fund our community work which supports people to improve their mental wellbeing through garden and nature-based craft.
We created Hackney Herbal without any dedicated funding and by working at a grassroots level within our community we’ve been able to create meaningful impact. As we continue to develop our income streams we have been able to offer more and more free community activities to people in Hackney.
Wonderful! What did winning at the 2017 GGA mean for you? What we you inspired or particularly struck by?
It was great to win an award and to raise awareness about the project and the work we’ve been doing. We’ve worked really hard on this project and had the support of lots of amazing volunteers so receiving recognition at the awards meant a lot to us.
It was inspiring to see some other great projects being celebrated, particularly the ones in our network such as Project Dirt and Bromley by Bow. It was also great to see good examples of partnership working and the positive impact that corporate giving can achieve.
Finally, what has 2017 been like for Hackney Herbal, and what do you have planned for 2018?
2017 has been a busy and rewarding year for Hackney Herbal. Following a consultation with local health providers we secured some funding which allowed us to work in partnership with City and Hackney Mind. The funding allowed us to pilot a 12-week Herb Gardening course focusing on the positive effects that engaging with plants and nature can have on wellbeing. Following on from its success, we hope to repeat the course next year and also offer it to other community groups.
We’ve also been busy developing the enterprising side of things and will be launching some new corporate services in 2018. These involve both on and off-site activities promoting good mental health and wellbeing for employees. These services include group volunteering, self-care talks and workshops and creative team building activities.
Find out more about Hackney Herbal, here
In 2017 Battlesteads added the GGA Clean & Green category to their ever-growing list of award wins.
Battlesteads Hotel, Restaurant & Observatory in Wark, Northumberland, is renowned not only for its superb food and hospitality, but also for having outstanding green credentials. We caught up with Battlesteads’ General Manager, Katie Meyrick-Scott…
Tell us a little bit about Battlesteads, and what made you winners at the 2017 GGA.
Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant in Wark, Northumberland, is one of the UK’s leading sustainable tourism destinations. Our 22-bedroom hotel, restaurant and observatory is setting the standard for environmentally-friendly operations in the hospitality industry, from reducing our carbon footprint to supporting other small local businesses.
When we were writing our entry to the Global Good Awards, we focused on highlighting all of the initiatives that have helped reduce our carbon footprint, and demonstrating the measurable impact of those initiatives.
For example, we installed a biomass boiler and 36 PV solar tracker to generate our own energy, and switched to a 100% green energy supplier, ecotricity, which helped us reduce our carbon footprint over a five-year period from 23.24kg CO2 per room per night to just 5.23kg CO2 per room per night – and that includes doing all of our own laundry on site. The industry average is 31.1kg CO2 per room per night.
In our entry we were also keen to highlight the success of our observatory which launched in 2016 – we were, and are still, the only hotel in the UK with an on-site observatory, which has been awarded Dark Sky Discovery Site Status, and since launching it has brought an additional 15% revenue into the business, as well as increasing year-round occupancy to 80%.
What did your win at the 2017 GGA mean for you?
We were delighted to win the ‘Clean and Green’ award in 2017 – it’s a fantastic award that celebrates our commitment to sustainability and the hard work the whole team here puts into running a successful business. Winning the award helps publicise the steps we have taken to become more sustainable, and hopefully seeing what we have achieved will inspire more hotels and tourism businesses to improve their sustainability and introduce more eco-friendly initiatives.
What has Battlesteads been doing since the 2017 awards?
Since winning, we have continued to champion sustainability, and have launched some exciting new packages and experience days which not only allow us to partner with and support other local businesses, but give us a chance to immerse our guests in the beauty of the natural Northumberland landscape, the diverse wildlife and stunning night skies.
Find out more about Battlesteads Hotel, Restaurant & Observatory, here
If you think your organisation has what it takes to win a Global Good Award, you can enter from now until 2nd February 2018. See our categories section for more details. All winners will feature in our 2018 newsletters and online.
Entries for the GGA open on the 1st December 2017 and close 2nd February 2018. You can find out more here.
Anyone wishing to be part of the Global Good revolution and the unique awards programme can contact Commercial Director, Richard Roe on 07776 206077 or email richard@GlobalGoodAwards.co.uk.
For entries and other enquiries, contact Founder, Karen Sutton: karen@GlobalGoodAwards.co.uk