CO-OPERATIVE Financial Services has won the EDF Energy Environmental Impact Award at Business in the Community's Awards for Excellence 2006 for taking initiative to tackle climate change.
The award – in association with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment – is presented to companies that demonstrate excellence in tackling material environmental impacts and showing how these have been integrated into business processes.
Independently judged by top UK business leaders, CFS won the award because of its leadership in tackling climate change. Its approach has driven the market for sustainable energy technologies and paved the way for other companies to bring these developments into the mainstream.
As a result, CFS has gained commercial advantage over its competitors, with profitability almost trebling since it announced its Ecological Mission Statement in 1996.
CFS' innovations include:
*The largest ever installation of both micro-wind turbines and solar power panels in the UK – its Manchester buildings host over 7,000 solar panels and 19 wind turbines.
*An eight-year power purchase agreement with Ecotricity, avoiding nearly 4,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
*The sourcing of 96% of its electricity from renewable sources.
*Becoming the first and only investor to transfer all contracts held in its investment property portfolio to 'green electricity'.
*A halon replacement programme which has reduced its global warming potential by 92% since 1998.
Business in the Community Chief Executive Julia Cleverdon said it was becoming increasingly important for businesses to recognise that they must play a role in addressing global warming.
"Co-operative Financial Services are a pioneer in understanding both the environmental and business imperatives of their operations. They have been prepared to take financial risks that have allowed other companies to follow their lead, having a positive impact on the environment" Ms Cleverdon said.
Jennifer Gramolt, Head of Corporate Responsibility at EDF Energy added: 'As part of Europe's largest energy group, we are well aware of the many challenges, and opportunities, that today's environmental challenges pose for businesses. This award recognises the way in which Co-operative Financial Services has, through brave investment choices, helped to drive the market for sustainable energy technologies.'
The EDF Energy Environmental Impact Award was presented to CFS at the recent Business in the Community Awards for Excellence gala dinner in London attended by the Prince of Wales.