operations director, May Gurney Highway Services
May Gurney is a UK-wide support services company and its group office is based in Norwich. We deliver essential front-line services, making sure that the road, utility, rail and waterways networks and public buildings are well maintained and that household waste is collected, managed and recycled; services that make a real difference to quality of life for our communities. Therefore we see it as our responsibility to deliver social and environmental sustainability in everything that we do.
May Gurney has been working with Norfolk County Council, which share this ethos, through a long-term contract (known as the Norfolk Strategic Partnership) since 2004, to provide a complex range of services including programme management, highway operations, infrastructure maintenance and new schemes.
What stood out about this business was that it is thinking about environmental and sustainability issues at a local, national and international level — even lobbying government in this country and abroad to make sure the highest standards are implemented.
Rather than just waiting for legislation telling them what is needed, this company has been one step ahead — even putting in place measures which are above and beyond what is needed.
Their greener methods do not just extend to the workplace but also the products they are making with emphasis on renewable technology
FINALISTS:Heatrae Sadia Heating
Everyone from managing director Paul Rivett down to staff manufacturing the company's products are clearly engaged with sustainability and environmental issues - and even when changes are required by law they seem to be well ahead of the game. They are also making products which concentrate on energy efficiency, focus on renewable sources and which have longevity so customers can 'buy and forget'. The measures they have taken in the work place, including different coloured bins for recycling, water reuse and solar hot water in the washrooms, show a willingness to do things a better way, as does appointing green champions who encourage buy-in from colleagues.
This architectural firm has a rare opportunity not only to influence what happens from an environmental and sustainability perspective within its own walls but also in what it designs for other people - and it is clearly something it takes seriously. The pioneering Index of Sustainability form staff fill in at the start of every job shows that it is at the heart of everything they do externally but their internal strategy publication, which is available to all employees, proves that it is also trying to get its own house in order. Being able to educate clients on the merits of renewables together with sustainable building is a valuable asset and one that PMT uses to its fullest.
While the head clearly rules this business there is also a huge amount of heart put into it - and it shows. From big projects such as the improved swimming pool right down to the children's wildlife garden, environmental and sustainability issues are as much a part of any decision as cost and whether it would encourage tourism. Ruth and James Knight should be applauded for this attitude which also stretches to embrace the local community. The work they have completed since they took on the business has been commendable but their plans for the future are equally impressive.