THE Mayor of Winchester David McLean held a special award ceremony at Winchester Guildhall to recognise the first local businesses to take part in a new Green Impact scheme.

Green Impact is a free scheme commissioned by Winchester City Council with the Department for Sustainability at the National Union of Students (NUS).

This is the first time the national scheme, which involves local students in the assessment process, has been provided by a local authority and the initiative is designed to allow local businesses to align themselves with a national accreditation.

The ceremony saw awards given to Two Hoots campsite, Marwell Zoo, Sustainable Acoustics, Winchester Business Improvement District, 29 Christchurch Road Bed & Breakfast, Winchester University Kirton Farm Nurseries, Green Value and Specsavers area office in Whiteley.

Cllr Robert Humby, council portfolio holder for business partnerships, said: “I’d like to congratulate the businesses who received today’s awards. Their commitment to building a low carbon economy has helped us achieve a grand total of 327 green actions completed in the Winchester district.

"These businesses have collectively prevented over 78 tonnes of carbon from being released into the atmosphere. It’s also of note that the actions led to savings equivalent to £12,288 in running costs to these businesses – demonstrating that adopting low carbon practices can make sound business sense.”

The Mayor Cllr David McLean, added: “I was delighted to present the first businesses with a recycled slate engraved with their name and a certificate.

"It was good to hear about the actions that have been taken and to give out special awards for businesses who have showed exceptional achievements in improving their green credentials. Two of the businesses: 29 Christchurch Road Bed and Breakfast and Sustainable Acoustics also received the higher Silver Standard.”

The Green Impact Winchester scheme complements the support offered via the Sustainable Business Network and the Green Business of the Year award at the Winchester Business Excellence Awards.

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