This year's winner convined her company to target zero waste ­ and they¹re already 80% of the way there

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Kingspan Insulated Panels, part of the Kingspan Group Plc, has established a leading global position in the manufacture of high performance insulated roof, wall and façade systems for the construction industry.

Striving for sustainability in all our products and operations is our corporate and personal responsibility. Kingspan Insulated Panels is adopting and applying best practice sustainability principles by ensuring environmental, social and economic parameters are considered in an integrated way in product and service delivery.

The Sustainability Awards represent outstanding sustainability achievement, highlighting the efforts that many in the industry are taking to optimise environmental, economic and social impacts – very much in line with Kingspan’s sustainability vision.

Kingspan would like to congratulate all those nominated in the Kingspan sponsored “Sustainability Champion” award as well as those nominated in other categories.

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Winner: Rachel Woolliscroft, Wates Group

This was a closely fought contest but Rachel Woolliscroft’s list of achievements at Wates – too numerous to list here – made her the worthy winner of this award. Her leadership, creativity and determination to share successful methodology with others make her an invaluable resource, not just for Wates but for the wider industry too. Not least among her triumphs has been spearheading the company’s groundbreaking waste strategy, Target Zero. The firm has committed itself to eliminating non-hazardous waste that goes to landfill by 2010 and is already well on its way – in 2007, 80% of rubbish was diverted from landfill. Her other initiatives include the Building Futures programme, which is working to get former offenders and the long-term jobless into work. Of those to go through the scheme so far, 65% are now employed. She has also worked tirelessly to raise awareness of sustainability issues through regular talks at construction and environmental conferences and a position in the Major Contractors Group.

Runners up

Pooran Desai, BioRegional Quintain

Fourteen years of hard work have seen Pooran Desai leave his mark on the sustainability sphere. For instance, he coined the term “One Planet Living”, the name for BioRegional and WWF's global initiative to create exemplary projects following 10 sustainable principles. He also worked on pioneering eco-development BedZed and even bought the first apartment in the scheme. Recent work includes the sustainability action plan for Masdar City, Abu Dhabi's zero-carbon city, and One Brighton, a 172-flat green residential scheme.

Lucy Hall, ISG

Lucy's year has been dominated by the Shell Renewal project, a major refurbishment of the 26-tower at the Shell Centre. She has found ways to cut energy and water waste on site as well as creative ways of recycling - for instance, all the wooden crates used to transport chilled beams were donated to the National Scouts Association for woodworking projects. Children from local primary schools have also come in to learn about construction and try their hand at bricklaying, painting and recycling. Now she is working hard to make sure key environmental features of that scheme are adopted on other projects, including ones for Transport for London and Eversheds.

Tim Pollard, Wolseley

“Tenacious” is perhaps the best word to describe Tim Pollard's attitude towards sustainability. His determined nature was clearly demonstrated by delivery of the Sustainable Building Centre at Royal Leamington Spa - a project that he dreamed up, won support for and saw through to completion in spite of numerous challenges along the way. He was also responsible for the Wolseley sustainable products offer, a list of 7,000 items put together after a year of extensive research and negotiation with supply partners.

Brian Spires, HLM Architects

HLM's progress on the sustainability front is testament to Brian Spires' hard work and commitment. Last year, the company cut carbon emissions across its five offices by 18%. In London, the figure was a whopping 32%. Savings have been achieved through video conferencing, recycling and vigorous efforts to keep staff aware of their carbon footprint and up-to-date with industry developments. Outside of the company, his work includes the sustainability strategy for WorkPlace 2010, a PFI project to overhaul 65 civil service buildings in Northern Ireland.

Paul Toyne, Bovis Lend Lease

The judges were impressed by Paul Toyne's enthusiasm and passion, which has radically changed the way Bovis Lend Lease deals with sustainability. Under his leadership, the company has set an industry example with an ambitious set of sustainability targets to hit by 2010. These include cutting carbon emissions by 20% based on 2007 emissions, reducing construction waste to landfill by 70% and achieving a minimum BREEAM rating of “very good” on all new-build projects and major refurbishments worth more than £5m. He also chairs the board of BeOnsite, the company's non-profit organisation which aims to help 3,000 people into construction work by the end of 2010.