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Successes celebrated at Metsä Tissue Sustainability Awards 2023

Sustainability success celebrated at Metsä Tissue’s inaugural awards ceremony

More than 200 cleaning industry leaders gathered for a black-tie Awards dinner on London’s iconic Cutty Sark on 15 March, as the winners of the Sustainability Awards 2023 were revealed.

The event was the first in a new Awards programme launched by Metsä Tissue in the UK, in partnership with the Cleaning & Support Services Association (CSSA), which aims to promote sustainability and reward its champions.

Awards attendees enjoyed exclusive access to the Cutty Sark, which boasts three decks: the Dry Hold, ‘Tween Deck’ and Main Deck, before arriving in the sustainably dressed and beautiful copper-clad hull for a delicious, and again sustainably prepared meal before moving into the ceremony.

The Event was opened by Esa Kaikkonen, CEO of Metsä Tissue, who welcomed everyone, expressed appreciation for the entrants and then explained how the Judges said it was almost impossible to separate the winners from their shortlisted competitors, as the margins between them were so fine.

Next came Mika Paljakka, Metsä Tissue’s Senior Vice President for Metsä Tissue, UK & Ireland, who continued the excellence theme. He explained: “In the case of the Individual Award, there was nothing that could separate two of the contenders so we took the decision to make them both Joint Winners.”

However, it wasn’t just the shortlisted companies that split the judges; each of the 64 entries received, from 43 different companies, had its own merits and the thought and hard work that had gone into each of the projects was hugely impressive. The judges believed that they were all winners.

Mika continued: “Our aim in launching these Awards was to highlight and reward sustainability practices throughout our industry, not only to create a positive impact on the environment, but to raise awareness of the professionalism of our industry, amongst those outside of it. I would encourage all the winners – and indeed all those who made it onto the shortlist – to make ample use of their ‘Winner’ or ‘Finalist’ logo. As an industry we are achieving great things and we should take advantage of the opportunity these Awards have brought to ‘sing our own praises’, as it were.”

Another winner during the evening was children’s charity UNICEF. Guests were invited to make donations to the charity throughout the evening.

Mika explained: “Part of our strategy is to support local charities or children’s/youth charities. We chose to raise funds for UNICEF this evening as the organisation – which provides crucial humanitarian and developmental aid to children in more than 192 countries – is particularly stretched at the moment, as it strives to help the thousands of children displaced and/or orphaned by the recent earthquakes. They obviously need as much help as possible, and we are delighted that our guests were so generous with their donations.”

In keeping with the theme of the Awards, the guest speaker was Charlie Luxton, architectural designer and TV presenter who puts sustainability at the heart of his work. Charlie shared his thoughts on our need to always consider sustainability and our environment when undertaking any development or refurbishment project.

Mika said: “To complete our sustainable approach, Planet Mark, a leading sustainability certification, is ensuring that Metsä Tissue’s UK Sustainability Awards 2023 are carbon neutral in accordance with internationally recognised specification for carbon neutrality published by BSI (PAS2060). In addition to verifying the Award’s carbon neutrality status, we were pleased to welcome Planet Mark’s founder and CEO, Steve Malkin, on our judging panel.”

The winners were:

Carbon Reducer Award: The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Finalists: Evans Vanodine; Mitie

Social Value Impact Award: Mitie & UCLH
Finalists: Nuserve; Greenzone Cleaning & Support Services

Renewable Energy Performer Award: Lyreco UK & Ireland
Finalists: The Hillbrush Company; Wightman & Parrish

Best Sustainability Marketing & Communication Initiative: Bunzl Cleaning & Hygiene Solutions
Finalists: DOC Cleaning; Rubbermaid Commercial Products

Team Sustainability Excellence Award: Mitie & UCLH
Finalists: BioVate Hygienics; Greenzest team

Individual Sustainability Award: Claire Coder, Citron Hygiene/Aunt Flow Period Products; Shannon Berry, Principle Cleaning Services
Finalist: Steve Trew and Dan Sadler, Greenzone Cleaning & Support Services

Due to high level of interest in this year’s Awards, the next Awards Ceremony is already provisionally booked for 19 March 2025 – the middle say of the next Cleaning Show in London. It’s currently only a provisional date because The Cleaning Show itself has only provisionally booked the 18-20 March slot with ExCeL London.

Mika concluded: “This competition has shown us that the cleaning and hygiene industry is striving to embrace sustainability in its practices. We have been incredibly impressed by the projects and initiatives highlighted by the entrants, and we feel strongly that this momentum should be maintained. This is why we have already begun preparations for this next event.”

The location for the next event will likely be OceanDiva – the first carbon neutral venue on the river Thames in the heart of the City, which can accommodate many more attendees. To find out more about the Awards and register your interest in attending the next Awards Ceremony in 2025, please visit the website below.

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Products & Services Guide 2023

Sustainability Supplement 2023

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