BCE is an accredited feeder scheme for the EBAE, which ensures that only the best of the best are considered by the European judges. Sir Anthony Cleaver, President of the BCE Awards, said: ‘The Co-operative Group is a deserving winner at the EBAE. I am thrilled that their BCE win last year has led to further success. The BCE Awards are unique as they are one of the easiest environmental awards to enter, but one of the hardest to win. The entrants are judged by their peers, a representation of UK business, and this ensures that only the brightest ideas and the most innovative projects are awarded. The Co-operative Group is an excellent example of the environmental best practice that UK businesses are fostering.’
The Group received its EBAE award at a prestigious ceremony on 3 June, during the EU’s 'Green Week'. The ceremony, held in Brussels, was attended by EU Commissioner Stavros Dimas, one of the main promoters of environmental excellence in Europe. The EBAE are only held every two years, and the Group faced stiff competition from 125 national award-winners from the 27 EU member states. The Group was honoured above its competitors for its strategic vision and outstanding management systems. Additionally, it was highly praised for its commitment to continual sustainable development.
Chris Shearlock, Environment Manager at the Co-operative Group, commented: 'At The Co-operative Group we are dedicated to improving the environment and counteracting climate change. The recognition we have gained, first through winning the Business Commitment to the Environment Award and now being chosen for the Business Awards for the Environment means a great deal to us. Environmental commitment is intrinsic to our identity as a company, and it is wonderful to receive independent recognition from the EU in this way.'