Emma Watson and Yoko Ono recognised at 10th Observer Ethical Awards
Winners for The Observer 2015 Ethical Awards in association with Ecover, were announced at an awards ceremony at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. The awards celebrated a decade of ethical awareness with founder Lucy Siegle hosting activists, sponsors, bloggers and celebrities in attendance.
The green carpet was rolled out for the 10th year celebrating some of the most dedicated in the environmental and ethical world. Actress and UN goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson was recognised as Campaigner of the Year, specifically for her work with her HerForShe campaign. The winner of this award was chosen by Guardian and Observer readers in what was one of three reader-voted awards.
Yoko Ono was also recognised with the Lifetime Achievement award. The judges honoured the Japanese-born activist for her dedication to ecology, peace and human rights. The 82-year-old thanked the evening’s audience for the recognition over video and said: “I want to thank you for giving me such an encouragement at a time of my life when I feel I am still at the starting point.”
This year’s Green Briton of the Year award went to Anna Watson for creating Friends of the Earth ‘Run on the Sun’ campaign - aimed at getting every UK school running on solar power.
Soap lovers were not left out with Coronation Street claiming the first Film and Television award, in partnership with BAFTA, for the efforts to boost the show’s environmental credentials. Producers committed to bringing sustainability to one of Britain’s most famous streets. The Coronation Street set has been transformed through taking on various green initiatives, such as the installation of LED lights in one studio and creating props out of sustainable resources. The series now uses 100% renewable energy. This new category was designed this year to recognise green achievements in the entertainment industry.
Lucy Siegle, Founder of the Observer Ethical Awards said:
“The 10th Observer Ethical Awards shows in no uncertain terms that green has gone mainstream. Our judges, including Katie Piper and Deborah Meaden, have awarded across the country from the joyous, free, accessible Festival of Thrift in Darlington to Plymouth Community Energy. The ambition and energy of our winners is typified by Coronation Street, the world’s oldest soap opera now on course to become the world’s first carbon literate TV production. On and off screen cast and crew are putting their considerable energies into making Corrie a leader of sustainable TV production.”
Fashion and sustainable style enthusiasts were also present at the awards ceremony. This year’s Ethical Awards saw the Swedish denim brand Nudie Jeans take home the Eco Age Sustainable Style trophy for its ethical jeans.
Ecover’s Young Green Champions award was presented to Andover Trees United - a community project which was developed to create new woodland for all in Andover, Hampshire. The category which celebrates the efforts of under-18s in the UK gave the Hampshire-based project a nod.
Sarah Tuke, Head of European Communications at Ecover, said:
“We are delighted to present this award to Andover Trees United for its dedication in restoring and reviving local green spaces. At Ecover we are passionate about looking to nature for inspiration, so we are excited to recognise the hard work Andover Trees United does to help young people learn and care about the natural environment.”
Two groups took home the Ethical Wildlife award as the judges couldn’t separate The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and World Animal Protection UK. They jointly accepted the award for their efforts to boost local wildlife and protect animals.
The arts were represented in the awards Arts and Culture category. North Eastern festival, Festival of Thrift, won the category. Festival of Thrift attracts over 40,000 for a weekend of fun and advice on sustainable living.
The night would not have been complete without the announcement of National Grid’s Community Energy Project winners. Plymouth’s community-based project, Plymouth Energy Community, were commended for transforming how power is used and generated in the city of Plymouth.