Last year, I was proud to accept the award for Best Business for Customer Service from the Hounslow Business Awards. This year, I got to step on stage once again, this time to accept the Hounslow Business award for Best Green Business.
The Hounslow Business Awards are an annual event run by the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce. The 2016 awards were at the same venue as last year – Hilton Hotel Syon Park – and supported by the same sponsor, Hounslow Highways.
2016 was the biggest year yet for the awards, with over 1000 businesses entering before being gradually narrowed down to a shortlist of just a handful of businesses for each of the 13 categories. The quantity and quality of entrants meant that judging had to be more rigorous than ever, so to even reach the shortlist was an achievement to be proud of, especially when up against international operations with multimillion pound turnovers.
Magenta was highly commended for Best Customer Service and I was highly commended for Entrepreneur of the Year but it was Best Green Business where we scored the top prize.
This award means a lot to me personally. From the day I founded Magenta, I’ve wanted to lead by example in sustainability, efficiency and environmental impact in the security industry and beyond. We were the first security company in the entirety of Europe to achieve the ISO 14001 Environmental Certification and recently switched to solar power [link to green initiatives blog], increased our recycling efforts and reduced the fuel consumption of our vehicle fleet.
At the awards I stressed how proud each of the shortlisted businesses should be as well. We may do our best at Magenta, but environmental issues can’t be tackled by one business alone. All of us need to do our part in ways big and small, so I believe a nomination in this category is no less important than winning it.
What the win does give me is a platform to discuss the challenges and opportunities of being a green business, especially in the security industry, where such initiatives are unfortunately still rare. Throughout the night, many people approached me to ask for further detail on our environmental initiatives and seek my advice on how they might make their business a little greener. I was also interviewed by local TV channel Chiswick Buzz, which you can watch below.
As I said in the interview, a huge part of what’s made our green initiatives so successful is that they haven’t just been top-down. As with our charitable efforts and customer service, I encourage open dialogue at every level of the company to make sure no good idea is lost. Because my staff know that my door is always open to them, it keeps them alert to ways that we can be a greener, more charitable and more customer focused business.
Overall, it was reassuring in my conversations at the awards to see such interest in green business after the recession took so much wind out of its sails. The main thing I took away from the night is that many Hounslow businesses big and small are eager to help look after our planet both within their own operations and in their supply chain.
Since then, I’ve had a number of conversations with other businesses about how to tackle environmental issues and have been invited by various networks to share my thoughts and experiences on running a green business. I fully intend to spread the word as far and wide as I can so that together we can help to preserve our planet for future generations.
Looking ahead, Magenta has three nominations for the Security and Fire Excellence Awards 2016 for Corporate Social Responsibility, Customer Care and Security Consultancy of the Year – so I hope to have even more good news soon.
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