Case studies

Nick Diprose of Holdsway

Interview with Nick Diprose of Holdsway about their sponsorship of CREST Surrey Business Awards

Holdsway is a Founding Sponsor of the CREST Business Awards and this year also was the first business to sign up to the CREST Consortium think tank. 

In conversation with Carol Miller of CREST Business Awards, Holdsway’s Nick Diprose explains why he and his business partner Mary Murphy believe it’s so important to support the CREST Awards programme.

Demonstrating that ethical responsibility makes good business sense and is a part of Holdsway’s success as expert game changers in the field of change leadership interim executives.

Holdsway was launched ten years ago with a mission to help businesses accelerate change. The Woking-based firm is now one of the UK’s highest ranked interim management firms.

Samir Maha June 2021

Samir Maha, Business Director, McLaren Applied, reflects on CREST Business Awards and their achievement

As winners what does the CREST22 Award mean to McLaren Applied?

It means a great deal! We’re fully committed to creating a more sustainable future, like everybody involved with the CREST Awards. It’s truly an honour to be recognised by this community for our pioneering work in the next generation of electric vehicles, improving connectivity on trains and reducing fuel usage in mining.

We’re proud to be headquartered in Woking and would like to thank CREST22 for bringing us closer to the local business community. It is inspiring to discover the wealth of ideas and sustainability initiatives on our doorstep. It is also a great opportunity to raise awareness of the fulfilling career opportunities we can offer budding local engineers who want to change the world.

You were interested in helping the runner up Waverley Hoppa – has that developed?

Hoppa is a fantastic local charity providing vital door-to-door transport to the community in Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere, Cranleigh and the surrounding villages in Waverley. It was a pleasure to be introduced and we’ve been discussing potential ways that we can support their work further. We’re an international company with global reach but it’s also important to us that we recognise and support sustainable initiatives in the local community.

What do you hope to gain from your consultation with CES?

We were recently awarded the highest possible 3* accreditation for our leadership in environmental management by the FIA, Formula 1’s governing body. We look forward to sitting down with the Centre for Environment and Sustainability to discuss where we go from here and how we take this forward.

We’ve always had an excellent relationship with the University of Surrey, who play a critical role in developing the graduates our industry needs to sustain and grow businesses. Our consultation with CES should enable us to broaden those ties between business and academia that are so crucial to pioneering a better future.

What advice would you have for businesses trying to lower their carbon footprint?

The number one piece of advice I can give is to put sustainability on your management agenda. Let the whole organisation know about it, force yourselves to talk about it, even if it feels awkward to start with. Establish the right forums and employees will soon start contributing ideas. You will find ways to measure progress and set aspirational targets. Tap into the personal passion people have around sustainability and you’ll soon be seeing some brilliant suggestions that you can put in place more straightforwardly than you might have thought.

Organisations should keep in mind that there are global sustainability targets set for the next 10, 30 and 50 years. In McLaren Applied’s case, that means translating innovations from motorsport into sustainable business opportunities that help meet those goals. There is a massive opportunity for the next generation of engineers to make a real difference, helped by the fact that the economic and sustainability agendas are increasingly aligned. Our engineers, working in Woking town centre, are changing the whole world for the better and that certainly adds to positive feelings in the workplace.

What would you say to people who might question your commitment in relation to your continued association with the Formula 1 racing car and motorsport group?

McLaren Applied was born out of traditional motorsport and we’re fully committed to a sustainability mindset across motor racing, automotive, public transport and beyond. We are all reliant on new innovations to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and motorsport is a phenomenal testbed.

It’s therefore no surprise that breakthroughs in materials science, engineering and data science that originated in motor series like Formula 1 are proving pivotal in the race to net zero. For example, our next-generation IPG5 inverter is going to be used in thousands of electric vehicles. We are working with the mining industry to apply data analytics from motorsport in a way that reduces fuel consumption. And we’re transforming connectivity in rail, saving significant carbon emissions. And motorsport itself is changing too – we have a longstanding involvement in Formula E, the all-electric racing series, and are seeing significant growth in our electric motorsport activities across the board. There’s plenty to look forward to!

Pep Kelly winner of Going Circular award

Pep Kelly, Nordic Wellness Co Founder and Director speaks about winning the Going Circular category in CREST22 Business Awards

What does the CREST22 Award mean to Nordic Wellness?

It means much more than we imagined and really acted as a reminder to us, of the importance of sustainability is to us and our customers and how it was at the centre of our creation when we started. “Good Health, Naturally and Sustainably”.  I think we needed reminding of that. 

Have there been any spin-offs as a result of winning?

Retailers and customers who share the same ethos have congratulated us and acknowledged our efforts. I think it has strengthened our relationship and brought us more to their attention. 

We have also challenged ourselves more on what more we can do. We feel it has strengthened our sense of responsibility to our environment, customers, retailers and followers.

The other thing is that it has made us aware of other “sustainable businesses” that we would like to collaborate with in the future.

What do you hope to gain from your consultation with CES?

I hope to understand more the opportunities for utilising renewable energy. Which is an investment, we would like to make as soon as possible/we can afford it.

What was the one biggest thing that your business has done to drive your sustainability?

Since winning the award, we have challenged ourselves to do more. We have revisited the recycling of our bottles and I’m proud to say we are now recycling/taking back/re-using our glass bottles. Now we have a viable process in place, we will promote this initiate further and recycle much more. 

We are also in the process of adding larger bottles to our production process, which will also be more sustainable.

What would you like to do to increase your sustainability?

We are currently looking at the feasibility of investing in renewable energy. Either solar panels or wind energy and also changing our process so we require less freezer space (for the frozen berries) and therefore reduce our energy demands.

What advice would you have for businesses trying to lower their carbon footprint? 

Speak to other businesses who may have already done this. Keep an open mind about what is possible and think about consuming less, as well as the offsetting possibilities.

Really challenge yourself about what is possible. Even if you choose not to do it straight away, you can work towards making improvements.

CREST22 Business Awards Transforming Food winners Crumbs Brewing

Co-Founder and Chief Crumber Morgan Arnell

As winners what does the CREST22 Award mean to Crumbs Brewing?

Our “Three P’s” are core to the success of our business – PURPOSE, PLACE and PRODUCT. So to be recognised by the CREST awards, whose values effectively represent two of those P’s, is massively important to us.

Have there been any spin-offs as a result of winning?

Following on from the CREST22 Awards presentation and exhibition at the headquarters of the WWF UK, we are glad to say that, as well as positive media exposure and recognition, we now provide the WWF with our range of beers!

What do you hope to gain from your consultation with University of Surrey’s Centre for Environment and Sustainability?

As winners we were awarded a free consultation with the CES and in addition to that we were able to work with them through their SME voucher programme.

We have already engaged with the University and it has been really valuable to gain their support in fully assessing our carbon footprint and how we can make process improvements in the future.

What was the one biggest thing that your business has done to drive your sustainability?

Our biggest sustainable activity is obviously the one that is core to our proposition – fighting the problem of food waste by turning unsold loaves into a range of delicious beers.

What would you like to do to increase your sustainability?

Make our delivery network (local and national) as low carbon as possible through the use of electric vehicles and more sustainable options

What advice would you have for businesses trying to lower their carbon footprint? 

There are so many things you could do and the ambition of becoming carbon negative can seem daunting. Our advice would be simply to start by doing something, however small. At least you’ve then started the journey and are already making a positive difference.

Jonathan Hamilton

Jonathan Hamilton, Director BNI Surrey sponsor of the Sustainability Impact Award, looks back on the value of sponsorship

BNI Surrey represents the interests of a vast range of businesses through its 20 referral groups whose members are primarily small businessowners. In 2021 BNI Surrey was able to claim a total of £14 million of business passed between members.

As a business leader do you feel that a green business awards programme will help in the climate crisis challenge?

Yes – absolutely – CREST Business Awards raises awareness about sustainability and helps to educate the business community– a key stakeholder in the climate challenge.

Was there anything that stood out from your experience at either the sustainable businesses exhibition or during the presentations?

The awards ceremony included excellent presentations from a range of leaders in the field of environmental sustainability from all aspects but especially pertinent to businesses.

Of these, the presentation by Andrew Griffiths of Planet Mark, on Net Zero vs/ Carbon Zero was excellent. Planet Mark is a leading sustainability certification that works with businesses across the government and public services industry and so Andrew is clearly an expert in this field. What he had to say completely changed my perception of Net Zero and why it matters. Nice to be made aware that the UK is leading the way in this regard as well!

Do you feel your award sponsorship set a good example for members of BNI Surrey? In what way?

Sponsorship by BNI Surrey most certainly set a great example and set out a really strong message! BNI is a key leader in the SME business community in Surrey and has attempted to lead by example by engaging with CREST Business Awards. SMEs can do so much, particularly with small changes. The ripple effect of this cannot be underestimated in my view.

Do you feel that sponsorship of a green business award was a positive step for your business? How did it help?

Yes – absolutely – our involvement made me feel good to do something positive for the environment, particularly in the post-Covid era. It showed that BNI Surrey is proud to be a leader in applying sustainability to business solutions in the SME sector.

What would you like to see more of at CREST Business Awards?

This event should really have had a greater attendance from the local business community. We could have pushed it much harder if we had got involved earlier.

Equally there were very few Surrey Chamber members present – again, really could have got a strong turnout if they had pushed it.

Andrea Hughes of Mayer Brown
Andres Hughes of Mayer Brown

CREST22 Business Awards – Going Circular Sponsor

Mayer Brown in its role as a respected transportation consultancy with a reputation throughout the UK, has been an established part of Surrey’s business community since 1988.

Crest Awards 2022

Why did you chose to be a CREST Business Awards Category Sponsor?

Mayer Brown was pleased to be one of the founding sponsors for CREST’s inaugural awards last year. We felt honoured to be part of such a visionary concept and feel sure that the CREST Awards will continue to grow.
Our sponsorship of the CREST22 Going Circular award aligned with the stated aims of our environmental management plan and sat alongside our other sponsorships including being a Gold Corporate Partner of the Surrey Wildlife Trust and our ongoing community action, borne out of the COVID pandemic, including our adoption of the Woking Food Bank as one of our corporate charities for 2022 with the other cause being Mind.

As a business leader do you feel that a green business awards programme will help in the climate crisis challenge?

Mayer Brown is very committed to protecting the environment and has added to its transport planning and infrastructure design skills by developing an equally respected environmental team working on waste and construction environmental management plans, air quality and noise monitoring from their head office in Woking.
We feel that the CREST Business Awards is an effective means of helping to build greater awareness of the sustainable initiatives taking place and the work that needs to be done to combat climate change.

Was there anything that stood out from your experience at either the sustainable businesses exhibition or during the presentations?

We were pleased to see such a high calibre of entries, with such through provoking ideas behind them and feel sure that this will have inspired many other companies to put their own innovative ideas into action

What would you like to see more of at CREST Business Awards?

It would be interesting to see more ‘grass roots’ ideas. Small things which, of themselves may seem inconsequential but which can go on to inspire others to make the big differences that are needed.