Winner — Paul king

There are many reasons why Paul King is this year’s winner: his tenacious driving of the WWF’s “million sustainable homes” campaign, his sustained pressure on the government to improve upon its “poor draft Code for Sustainable Homes” and his tireless championing of the sustainability cause in front of MPs in the Houses of Parliament and on numerous committees such as the BRE’s sustainability board. However the best reason is summed up by a reader’s review of King’s latest book, One Planet Living, on – yes you’ve guessed it – sustainability. “For me the best thing about this book is that it inspires you to actually get up and do all of the things that you probably know you should.” What more could you ask from a leader?

Runners up

John Callcutt

On his appointment as the new chief executive of English Partnerships, Callcutt cited raising “environmental standards” as one of the key challenges he faced in his new role. He is well placed to do just that from his 31 years at Crest Nicholson. When he left, Crest was on top of the WWF housebuilder sustainability league.

Allan Jones

Most Londoners would scoff if you told them that they had a thing or two to learn from sleepy old Woking in Surrey. However, that is precisely what is happening after the appointment last March of this sustainable energy pioneer as chief of the London Climate Change Agency. From 1992 to 2004 Jones cut Woking council’s carbon emissions by 77% through promotion of renewable energy sources. It seems old habits die hard as one of his first acts as was to insist all LCCA’s power came from solar panels and wind turbines.

Ken Livingstone

He has been labelled Red Ken owing to his political leanings, but perhaps the moniker should be changed to another colour: green. It doesn’t have quite the same ring but over the past year Livingstone has certainly earned it. He has overseen the rise of the London Sustainable Development Commission to ensure the greenest Olympics ever, he has launched the London Climate Change Agency, he has set out a blueprint for a sustainable London and he plans to build Britain’s biggest ever zero-carbon development in the Thames Gateway.

Sir Neville Simms

Simms has already been recognised at Buckingham Palace for his services to the construction industry, but he may be owed a debt by the whole country if the recommendations in this June’s sustainable procurement report are taken up. The taskforce that Simms chaired concluded that, as government spending accounts for 13% of the UK’s GDP, it was ideally placed to make a real difference to the market for sustainable goods. The government wants to be the EU’s leader in sustainable procurement by 2009 – with Simms’ help it might just make it.