The national event has been brought to Brighton & Hove by the council’s convention bureau VisitBrighton in conjunction with its International & Sustainability teams and is expected to bring benefit to the city in terms of visitor spend and bed nights booked at local hotels. It is the first time the awards, which are now in their fifth year, have been held outside London.
The glamorous ‘green carpet’ ceremony will honour those who have demonstrated the importance of sustainability in a range of categories, including travel and tourism, shopping, building, education, business and community. There is also a new Brighton & Hove nature themed category in recognition of the region’s UNESCO designated *Biosphere status.
The awards celebrate everything from raising awareness, travelling responsibly and ethical best practice to creating technologies, designing products and services and developing sustainability campaigns.
PEA organiser Jarvis Smith has used the Brighton Centre’s Sustainable Event programme and worked with the council’s International & Sustainability teams to improve the environmental, economic and social impact of the overall event. Measures employed include going paper free and using iPads with apps for guestlists, selecting a venue that is a Living Wage employer (ie the Brighton Centre), using LED lighting for the exhibition shell scheme and aiming for the event to be zero waste. Guests will drink 100% organic beverages at a welcome reception and dine from a menu of 100% vegan, in season, fair trade produce that has predominantly been sourced locally and is organic where possible.
BHCC’s deputy leader and chair of environment and sustainability Gill Mitchell who will deliver a welcome speech at the event said: “We’re delighted the organisers chose the Brighton Centre to hold the event, particularly in recognition of the environmental accreditation we have for the venue.
“We all have our part to play in reducing waste and safeguarding valuable resources for future generations and these awards are a great way of highlighting how a concerted effort, made by individuals, families or businesses can make a real difference and benefit society as well as the environment.”
PEA organiser Jarvis Smith added: “As an ethically focussed city, Brighton & Hove was an ideal choice of destination for the ceremony and mirrors the ethos of the awards perfectly.
“The Brighton Centre was chosen for its size, seafront location and most importantly its impressive eco-credentials. The assistance I’ve received across the board has been second-to-none. It’s one thing having a sustainable programme but putting it into practice is another matter and working with the local authorities’ teams to do this has been extremely encouraging.”
Tickets costing from £50 are available from the PEA website and include a three-course vegan dinner, devised by one of Brighton’s flagship eco restaurants, SILO, with entertainment from hip hop dance band the Stereo MCs, followed by an after party.
As a pre-cursor to the awards ceremony, local charity, Big Nature is coordinating a free daytime event to showcase local community nature projects and initiatives focussed around the city’s Biosphere status. The public event will be held in the Brighton Centre foyer from 1pm – 4pm and include a programme of presentations, stalls and workshops.