FIVE Sussex companies have been honoured in the 2016 PEA Awards.

Now in its sixth year, the PEA (People. Environment. Achievement) Awards – in association with Mongoose Energy – celebrate the green heroes taking matters into their own hands and providing inspiring alternatives to business as usual.

These sustainability pioneers were recognised and rewarded at a glamorous green carpet event with music, entertainment and ethical food and drink.

The categories were arts, fashion, film, music, best of the South West, Britain’s greenest family, business, energy, food, health, homes, money, pioneers, regional, resources, technology, transport and travel.

Sussex winners were:

  • The Big Lemon buses and coaches
  • Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling Project
  • Harry Owen from MCB Seafoods, Newhaven
  • Green Mop greencleaning service, based in Church Road, Hove
  • Brighton-based Circuitree Energy Independence team

Awards founder Jarvis Smith said: “Our award categories represent the pillars required by a functional society.

“When they’re done well, we won’t just survive – we’ll thrive. We used four criteria: innovation, inspiration, success and scalability.”

The judging panel included Oliver Heath, TV presenter and founder of Heath Design based in Ship Street, Brighton.

The Transport Award went to The Big Lemon, which runs its buses and coaches on biodiesel made from waste cooking oil collected from restaurants, chip shops and hotels. The judges said: “This community bus travel company shows others how to get from A to B environmentally.”

The Big Lemon is no stranger to winning awards – it scooped three at the recent Brighton and Hove Business Awards.

Tom Druitt is co-founder and managing director of the company that runs five bus routes across Brighton and Hove.

It environmentally-friendly Brighton bus fleet companyis currentlybidding for funding to build a solar powered electrical charging point at its depot for its three electric buses.

The company’s bus fleet could completely switch to electric from recycled cooking oil over the next 18 months.

Tom said: “We want to cover the roof of our bus depot in solar panels to power the new electric buses on clean green renewable energy. But we do need votes.”

The Resources Award went to Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling Project team, the UK’s first wood recycling initiative. This not-for-profit social enterprise saves around 600 tonnes of timber from going to waste each year.

Set up in 1998, Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling was the first scheme of its kind in the country. It collects waste timber for reuse and recycling, keeping it as far up the waste hierarchy as possible. When it began, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wood was sent to landfill every year. The company thought: instead of hundreds of tonnes of wood being sent to landfill, why not collect that unwanted wood so that it can be reused or made into useful things, creating opportunities for people to gain work experience and learn new skills at the same time?

Its status as a social enterprise means that any profit stays within the business, enabling it to improve facilities and conditions for volunteers and staff.

It has always had a strong focus on both environmental and financial sustainability and, apart from a small start-up grant, it operates without any financial support, enabling the company to be independent and do things in its own unique way.

MCB Seafoods won the Pioneers Award for its Retrawl scheme, which collects and recycles old fishing gear – free of charge – into such things as swimming costumes, sunglasses, nylon socks and skateboards.

The Newhaven company’s procurement team works around the clock, utilising their decades of experience to provide customers with responsibly sourced fish at stand-out quality.Sustainability is one of its top concerns and it relies on healthy fish stocks, for their livelihoods and wants to see them protected for ourselves but also for future generations to enjoy.

The judges said: “This is exactly why the PEA Awards were created: Harry is changing the entire DNA of an old school fishery – and tackling a global threat to marine wildlife.”

In the Regional category, the award went to a business offering super-sustainable services in its own region. Green Mop is a professional green cleaning service for businesses of all sizes across Brighton and Hove, helping to minimise their impact on the environment.

Green Mop was founded in 2007 by Rachael Hughes, who, after 20 years’ working in IT in London, decided it was time to work closer to home.

From the onset, she has been committed to using eco-friendly products with environmental and ethical values at the core of her business.

Today, Green Mop is a flourishing enterprise supported by a great team which provides a service that they are all proud of.

It also that uses IT solutions for efficient site and staff management, including the use of smartphone apps to complete thorough site quality audit and remote clocking in and out of staff.

Finally, Circuitree Energy Independence, based in Sutherland Road, Brighton, won the Technology Award.

Circuitree is a clean energy generation, capture and storage specialist. It empowers users with increased energy independence, by allowing the storage and use of solar or wind energy on demand.Intelligent controls manage and automate energy flows, always prioritising the cheapest, cleanest source of power.

It won the award for its manufacture and installation of solar and battery storage. It specialises in saltwater batteries – the only batteries to achieve “cradle to cradle” certification.

The judges said: “Quite simply, battery storage is the future.”


THE winners were announced at a glamorous green carpet event on Friday evening where guests had the chance to network with high-flying sustainability pioneers at Brighton’s i360.

There was vegan food, entertainment, speakers including Brighton Pavilion Green MP Caroline Lucas, and drinks from Juniper Green organic gin and Bison Beer.

The PEA Awards honour the individuals and teams behind the products, services and businesses changing the face of our planet.

Previous winners include Juliet Davenport OBE, Cat Fletcher, Polly Higgins and many others committed to revolutionising the way things are done.

The awards identify and celebrate the green heroes who are taking matters into their own hands and providing inspiring alternatives to business as usual. Organisers say a record number of entries confirms a surge in UK residents taking to the streets, the forests and the oceans – the offices and the schools – to demonstrate sustainable, workable alternatives to what they describe as failing government policies.

Founder Jarvis Smith said: “Can there be any hope left of leadership from Westminster? Cameron’s promise to lead ‘the greenest government ever’ is in tatters following a pro-fracking premiership that prioritised fossil fuels over renewables, and within hours of becoming Prime Minister Theresa May set the wheels in motion to close the DECC – the very department charged with tackling climate change.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that action on climate change will have to come from the bottom up – from a new wave of revolutionaries who understand we need to move now.”

In 2015 the Great British Oceans Coalition was crowned overall P.E.A. Champion for leading a tireless campaign following which the UK government agreed to create the world’s largest marine reserve around the Pitcairn Islands. The team was applauded by the judges for getting the government to act.

This year’s PEA Award show entries and winners reveal more individuals bypassing government departments and taking matters into their own hands, say the organisers.

Other winners this year included Britain’s Greenest Family award, which recognises families that have truly embraced green living.

Justin and Chanel Cornelius, 918 Coffee Company in Dorset, ‘addressed the coffee eco-system as a family business, and come up with the complete ‘end-of-life’ coffee solution!’ The family business designed and built a roaster powered by the energy in used coffee grounds, turning a waste product into an asset.