Reader awards: vote now for business leader and unsung hero of the year

Thank you to all who put in nominations for the Guardian Sustainable Business reader awards. The shortlist has been created – vote for your favourites below

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 Who will you vote for? Photograph: Guardian

We invited you to nominate the individuals who you believe deserve to be recognised for their efforts in sustainability. It’s been a tough choice, but from all your entries we have put together shortlists for leader of the year and unsung hero of the year, and have included some of the reasons given by readers for their nominations.

It’s now time to submit your vote for the two awards, both of which will be announced online and in a special in-paper supplement on 27 May. The deadline for voting is 11:59pm on 22 April.

The shortlists are as follows (the voting poll is at the end of the article):

Nominees for leader of the year 2016

Richard Clothier - managing director, Wyke Farms

Wyke Farms’ “100% Green” initiative, developed after Richard analysed the company’s environmental impact, has allowed it to become the UK’s first national cheddar brand to be 100% self-sufficient in green energy. Wyke Farms is challenging both industry change in a farming environment (where change is oftem resisted) and also category change at retail level. Under Richard’s leadership it has set up a visitor centre and is offering to pay milk-producing farmers an annual premium for using their own renewable energy to help reduce environmental impact throughout the region.

Paul Corcoran - managing director, Agent Marketing

When The Guardian revealed the extent of the refugee crisis, Paul offered the services of his team to raise support for British Red Cross. With his team, he helped to organise With Love From Liverpool (the first and biggest pro-refugee arena fundraiser event in the UK) and raised £50,000. Paul also implemented a two-month trial of the Scandinavian six-hour working day for everyone on his team in a bid to address work-related stress and create the conditions for a happier, healthier, more productive and sustainable workforce. And he launched Agent Academy CIC, a social enterprise that helps young people into meaningful employment.

Tom Dyrdal - business unit director, Avery Dennison

Tom started at Avery Dennison NTP on the shop floor at 20 and has since worked his way up to his current director position. “Make others around you great” is his core principle as a person and as a leader. Avery Dennison NTP has employed 10 refugees for work and language training in collaboration with local authorities. He has also opened the door for people who sometimes struggle to find jobs (people with disabilities, people with little or no education etc). Under his leadership, the sick leave level has significantly reduced from 9% to 5.85%.

Ellen MacArthur - founder, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Ellen founded the Ellen MacArthur Foundation which works with business, government and academia to help build an economy which drives out waste and is regenerative and circular. Her work has pushed the EU to develop circular economy legislation and she has built an alliance of 100 companies committed to pushing forward circular principles in their own business models.


Cyndi Rhoades - founder, Worn Again

Cyndi has been building the circular economy for textiles for more than 10 years. Worn Again first started working with recycled textiles, with consumer facing products that were attractive and sexy but ultimately small scale. She quickly realised that the only way to completely reduce the millions of tonnes of textile waste going to landfill was to go beyond recycled products and develop a technology that would enable fabrics to be completely re-used over and over and over again. Worn Again evolved into a business-facing technology company. Cyndi engaged chemists from Cambridge and brought mainstream companies such as H&M and Puma on board.

Nominees for unsung hero of the year 2016

Rachel Bradley - head of One Planet Home, B&Q

Rachel has been a driver for B&Q’s One Planet Home programme, where colleagues across the business are empowered to meet sustainability goals directly through B&Q’s operations and also at a customer level, helping them to create sustainable homes. She worked with the sustainability charity Bioregional to create the programme in 2007 and has been a hidden powerhouse behind B&Q’s environmental and ethical performance.

Ben Coombes - energy project manager, Affinity Sutton

Since joining in 2013, Ben has overseen the delivery of more than 1,000 retrofit measures and embedded sustainability practices across the organisation. Whether it’s meeting residents to ensure they get the right support to pay their bills, or personally scoping and delivering a programme of staff training on affordable warmth, Ben is involved across the business. He has also fought for and achieved high levels of external funding and ensured the best outcomes both on bills and comfort for our residents.

Kate Hofman - CEO and co-founder, GrowUp Urban Farms


Kate set up a pioneering, commercial-scale, closed-loop aquaponic urban farm in London on a scale unseen before. The farm produces fish, salads and herbs in unused city spaces to sell to restaurants and grocers. The aim is to feed people in cities in an environmentally and socially positive way, and reconnect people with where their food comes from.

Neil Jameson - executive director, Citizens UK

Citizens UK has had a big impact on the social and activist community in the UK from a small start. Under Neil’s leadership it has galvanised and focused the movement for change with ethical, direct and simple ideas underpinned by a light touch operational structure.

Lena Staafgard - programme director - global supply, Better Cotton Initiative

Lena aims to make sustainable cotton mainstream. Her role is not very public facing – her job is to make sure the farmers who sign up to BCI get the right training and support, as well as to strong arm brands to move their financial commitment from a philanthropic budget to a mainstream procurement one. Lena also has to navigate very toxic politics on occasion, for example, the very real opposition of some regional producers to BCI. 

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I have not seen in my 71 years of life an opportunity to support youth co-create futures like SDG Metaverse Prize - since my father met von neumann the year I was born my family has kept an eye on entrepreneurial revolution open societal flows. living up to smithian or keynsian values 
Special thanks to zasheem launches of 2 journals with adam smith scholars and around Glasgow's greatest 20th C alumni for good. See alsdo and Greatests of All Time
Following on with Japan ambassador to Bangladesh support from 2010 in mapping last decade of Fazle Abed and the billion womens economic model he gravitated over 50 years, Team of Asian media graduates, and friends and I were lucky to follow movements of Guterres (very granular levels of 100 ops leaders inside UN) around digital un2.0 from their start in 2016.
As a statistician, datawise. I can offer a quick start mapping every last mile operation branch of UN that is linking in to maximise tech nd deep data with smartest possible logistics even as sad new fractures of world trade flows are caused most lately by Russia. Whats still needed is more clarity on which multilateral has the most data on broken value chains- fortunately i personally know who at the world bank has since 2006 the most data on food prices across every country. Maybe you know // sources .
 Digital cooperation has been celebrated solutionwise in Geneva where the ITU has actually been the digital twin of ny policy headquarters from the start in 1946 (and actually earlier since 1865 collaborations needed for there to be one telegraph standard instead of many).
By 2018 the first digital cooperation report mainly chaired out of geneva with 30 national tech leaders eg melinda gates representing USA to guterres and he formed tech envoy transformation office round 10 transformation processes -see Overview of the Office’s Ongoing Work | Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Technology
The ITU started taking its responsibility to a new level with AIforgood- specifically this went year round zoom not juts annual summit- and a first 50 operational branches of the UN identified at least one ai project each. Meanwhile Guterres hosted expert roundtables around the 10 processes uniting not just un branches and national leaders but corporations , leading ai university centres and NGOs -see
Three more things came together- it turned out that 20 operational units of the UN had been discussing web1 &2 in annual vents of ITU -in thi=ose days called worldwide information society; the xprize out of moutnain view's singularity university got involved. By december the 10 million dillar avatar prize will  be debriefed- the last 4 xprizes have been on urgen tai solutions eg related to covid. And japan has been uniting about 40 cities' colleges through two investment streams geared to society5.0 and Osaka Data Track Expos - connection places where the UN has a training college and connecting AI regional epicentres fortunately Nordica, Netherlands & selected East Europe's smartest community AI researchers (ie who value DAO) are miles more connected than west EU's bureaucratic offices. (I did help moderate EU Knolwgeboard for 3 years so have followed this rather strange old world happening) You could also check with Romano Prodi as died and he shared most entrepreneurial revolution maps.
Back in 2018 the tufts arctic circle club were miles ahead on virtual reality than other boston students including mit100k prize that i once judged in a minor way.  The over 18 teams are effectively free to help the UN digitalise and connect this with web 3 or metaverse or ai or whatever is the leap forward 2020s that you see tech mobilising
 can a prize help celebrate new Greatest of All Time. This will be one way to unite celebrities of sports and fashions with real tech heroines.
Exponentially we are at a critical time as nature judges us. Due to last week's supreme court rulings, around the world nations are being told taht it is only at the state level they can expect any american partners of climate, energy etc. However there is a chnace e that if we map who cares about water this may even unite some republican states. 
Thanks to the work led by people like Eban he has a listing of which institutions joined their youth in March 2022. Is there a way to see who wants to help youth connect before december's starting line for year 1 of As far as I can see this prize isnt just us last chance to be be trusted rest of the world on cop26 but it is every community's chance to benchmark digital gov. UN2.0 if succeeds  Meta will not only provide a benchmark for digital multilateral but will in effect unite every best govtech - at community state nation level. So already when it comes to goal 4 education places like singapore and south korea are both leaders of ai for every age group and leading connectors of Guterres Digital UN , and in effect every sustainability goal solution. of course the problem is penisular and  developed island states are not sufficient to help with massive inland solutions on continent scales let alone messy landlocked nations borders. The reality is west (US and EU) depends on Asian solutions  more than many Atlamtic policymakers view. Europe is not yet better situated for peace than the 1920s and this time round the US is not united on being a leader in saving the world. The great thing about the prize is with teams of 2-6 getting on with deep digital solutions youth can advance in joy and productivity even as elder generations have designed 60 years of accelerating media to propagate hate or fear or mental illness.
i welcome any way to follow this up eg whatsapp +1 240 316  8157, zooms, last month while wall street was still investing mainly in naked apes - educators started an NFT aimed at connecting 6000 educators; to be frank this is mainly k-12 leaving the 2 main areas fazle abed's last 20 years focused newly on university and pre-school maximum opportunity to represent women empowerments voice if you should so choose to collaborate
cheers chris macrae

===================please note most of this column is due to be re-edited we hope to issue a list of yunus top 10 stories but when it comes to solutions matching those challeges there's all to play for as web3 is humanity's last chnace to leap ahead

  hottest youth-spring question of our life and times-can online education end youth unemployment for ever ? yes but only if you help map how!

Breaking News to action now!

About Pro-Youth economics at Norman Macrae Foundation online library of norman macrae - The Economist's Unacknowledged Giant -videos 1 2 -fansweb  NMFoundation- youth projects - include yunuschoolusa


fullest press reports  Grameen Brand Partnership Architecture

exponential impact advisory: the social business youth networks inspired by muhammad yunus -without which millennium goal actions networks would be way behind are worth far more than any individual parts according to Norman Macrae Foundation  trilliondollaraudit methodology and charter notespace

Beyond the extraordinary investment of the members bank at Grameen, and the approximate third share its members foundation holds in grameenphone, here is our Unofficial League Table of Most Impactful Social Business Investments around yunus - last update 1 dec 2012

! Grameen Solar

2 Grameen Mobile Nursing nets and college

3 Portfolio of investments linkedin by Japan

4 Portfolio of youth-led networking inventions in US educationsystem  tertiar and secondary - transparency note NM Foundation has minor donation/loan interest

5 Investments in Grameen as collaboration brand linked in out of paris- the origin of global social business partnership funds

6 OpenTech investments of Grameen Intel


-------- while not controlled by yunus we see wholeplanetfoundation microcredit investment table and conscious capitalsm movements and hugely important to advancing pro-youth economicsmission of friends of youth and yunus


email you have questions or recommendations of entries that should be in this league table

-please read notes about what pro-youth economists mean by superapps being most

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