This year’s Observer Ethical Awards, in association with Ecover, were launched earlier this week to find UK’s social justice and environmental champions of 2013. Dubbed the ‘Green Oscars’, these awards have been at the forefront of ethical recognitions for the last 8 years, highlighting the initiatives, campaigns and individuals that make ethical living a real life possibility.
This year’s categories include:
Retailer of the Year
The category encourages people to nominate their favourite retailers - local, national or online - who can demonstrate their ethical and green credentials.
Campaigner of the Year
This category pays tribute to the public-facing campaigner who has made a positive difference and put ethical issues on the global agenda. Past winners include chef and campaigner, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall; environmental campaigner, Al Gore; human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and naturalist and broadcaster, David Attenborough.
Unsung Local Hero
From campaigners to conservationists, the Observer Ethical Awards are looking for those hard-working volunteers who strive to build a better world for everyone. Those nominated are people who go the extra green mile for their environment and their community.
Arts and Culture
The arts are a strong, emotive way of promoting awareness about ethical issues. This category invites people to nominate a play, documentary, film, book, song or dance performance from the last 12 months that has inspired them to make a positive change.
Travel (sponsored by Virgin Holidays)
This category invites people to nominate those who are pioneering new sustainable approaches to travel and who are potential game-changers for the tourism sector.
Big Idea (sponsored by National Grid)
This year, the Observer Ethical Awards want you to send in your ideas which have the potential to make a positive difference to the way we live. Whether you are an individual who has invented an ethical product or service, a small business with an ethical idea, or an established organisation pushing the boundaries, the Observer Ethical Award judges want to hear from you.
Business Initiative (sponsored by Jupiter Asset Management)
This category champions those large or small businesses who are taking sustainability to the next level, creating the new breakthrough business model. This year, the Observer Ethical Award judges will be looking breakthrough initiatives from companies that have instilled ethics into their businesses using new technology or reducing their carbon footprint by installing renewables.
Ecover Young Green Champions (sponsored by Ecover)
The awards are appealing to the next generation of ethical agitators to step forward and share their world-saving projects. This category encourages classmates, youth groups and friends (all under the age of 18) to send in their ethical ideas so that the Observer Ethical Awards can make them happen. The awards are also recognising the hard work done by teachers, parents or community leaders who working with potential young green champions on these projects.
Product Design - designing for negawatts (sponsored by B&Q)
This category rewards ethical innovation in product design. The awards are looking for new energy-saving devices, schemes and designs which change the habits of consumers to increase negawatts - a theoretical unit that represents energy saved. Enter your own energy-efficient device or nominate an invention you use that saves energy.
Well dressed (sponsored by Eco Age)
Sustainable fashion is all about the story. This year, the Observer is teaming up with the FruGal Challenge - a street style project from Eco-Age.com - to find the ultimate eco-fashionista who lives and breathes sustainable fashion. They want your pictures and the story behind your outfit to be crowned king or queen of stylish ethics.
The winners of this year’s awards will be announced in June and will feature in a special issue of the Observer Magazine.
To nominate your ethical heroes and for more information, simply go online at observer.co.uk/ethicalawards