The Birmingham Post Business Awards 2021 is open for entries as we look to recognise the extraordinary work carried out by businesses and individuals in and around Birmingham over the last year.
2020 was a challenging year for industry as the coronavirus pandemic created a volatile economic landscape, confronting many businesses and individuals with new and strange circumstances in which to work.
Nonetheless, companies, business people and employees in Greater Birmingham have shown outstanding fortitude – working harder than ever to keep enterprises going and even thriving.
It is this work that we want to celebrate across 12 different categories.
The deadline to enter the awards is April 19 and the online ceremony takes place on June 15.
The online ceremony will be hosted on our new virtual events platform The Awards Room which gives nominees and sponsors the chance to experience real-time networking, with guests grouped together on their own tables.
We spoke to former winner Aston Manor Cider. The north Birmingham drinks manufacturer was named Green Business of the Year and overall Company of the Year at our 2019 awards.
Aston Manor is a cider company that aims to put sustainability and environmentally friendly practices at the heart of its production.
Head of compliance Jamie Weall said winning Green Business of the Year was a “huge amount of recognition” for the brand as it had invested a lot in trying to make its operations more sustainable over the past few years.
Founded in the 1980s by former Aston Villa owner Sir Doug Ellis, Aston Manor has seen significant growth over the last few years which has been accompanied by a firm commitment to ensuring there is a strong sustainable element to each part of the cider-making process.
Since 2013, it has planted more than 400 000 trees, helping to preserve the natural environment that is so vital to its work.
The company is one of the first to have 51 per cent recycled plastic in the bottles it uses and it is also striving to move away from plastic packaging by investing in a card wrap machine at both of its sites which has drastically reduced the amount of plastic used.
Mr Weall said the firm had also managed to achieve zero landfill waste, adding: “We have implemented an office recycling scheme and used waste disposal companies to ensure all of the waste is either recycled or goes to incineration to produce energy.
“Sustainability is not going to be something that you just implement for a period and then stop. We’re continually looking to see how we can carry on with our sustainability agenda.”
The company wants to see if it can increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles, ideally up to 100 per cent recycled content, and is looking at the secondary and tertiary plastic it uses to see if it can be excised.
“It’s never going to be something that we say ‘we’re just going to leave it there’. It’s going to be continually evolving,” Mr Weall added.
The manufacturer, whose brands include Crumpton Oaks, Friels and Kingstone Press, has remained operational throughout the pandemic and even managed to expand.
It added a new canning line last year and, despite the upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the whole project was only delayed by six weeks.
Aston Manor is also involved in promoting and encouraging responsible drinking. including being a funder of Drink Aware and The Portman Group which works to help people consume alcohol responsibly.
Have you been inspired by Aston Manor Cider’s story? Then why not submit a nomination or two to this year’s Birmingham Post Business Awards? All the details can be found here
The 2021 categories and sponsors are:
– Small Business of the Year
– New Business of the Year, sponsored by Millennium Point
– Manufacturing Business of the Year
– Covid Defiance Award
– Professional Services Firm of the Year
– Property and Construction Business of the Year
– Third Sector Organisation of the Year, sponsored by InYourArea
– CSR Project of the Year, sponsored by Barclays
– Green Business of the Year
– International Trade and Export Award
– Young Businessperson of the Year, sponsored by Birmingham Metropolitan College
– Company of the Year (chosen from the above category winners)