Prestigious Queens Award for two Building Plymouth Sponsor Partners
Not one but two awards for our incredible sponsor partners SDS Ltd and Ward Williams Associates.
SDS Solutions received national recognition for its social value work by being awarded the 2022
Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.
SDS has placed environmental sustainability, employee support, and work in the local
community at the heart of its business operations. These aspects of the company’s activities received special praise
when the award was announced on 21 April.
The firm has won several awards since it was established in 2004, but this outshines the others for founder Shaun
Hoppins. The Queen’s Award for this category recognises sustainable practices in all its forms, including social
sustainability. Shaun said: ‘This is the most prestigious award we’ve received to date; it means Her Majesty and her
government have recognised our efforts in achieving sustainable business and outcomes.’
The company provides designs for building environmental engineering systems to provide safe, comfortable
conditions for people to work and live. Shaun continued: ‘When we commenced trading in 2004, we wanted to
differentiate ourselves from our peers in engineering sustainability. As we grew as a business, we gained a broader
understanding of what is truly sustainable and captured this within the company values. We have used company profit
to drive innovation, provide business growth, develop staff and create job opportunities. Our team are empowered to
help local communities through time and financial support.’
What stood out for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise panel was how SDS has embedded social value targets within
its business strategy. In addition to each employee being able to donate pro-bono time and volunteer for social
value projects, the company donates at least 1% of its annual turnover to provide financial support to local
communities. Last year, this was over £50,000 and equated to around £900 per employee. The company also
provides free of charge sustainability and carbon emissions advice for public organisations such as Somerset
Council; offers careers talks at local schools and universities; and has designed work experience programmes for
The award panel said: ‘The business has set performance targets on social matters, including expanding sustainable
sales, volunteer hours, charitable giving and training. Services Design Solution provides an exemplary example of a
diverse, sustainable development programme with ambitious long-term goals, including gender, carbon, and
wellbeing. They are awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development through their strong
strategic focus, helping drive the sector forward, and achieving results through leadership and commitment.’
Shaun commented: ‘We’ve grown our social sustainability commitment over recent years. To have that recognised in a
national award reflects the hard work the team has committed during recent years. We’ve had a 148% increase in
charitable giving compared to the previous year, and seen a 60% increase in volunteering.’
Ward Williams Associates (WWA) have been awarded a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for our outstanding achievements in Sustainable Development.
The coveted honour sees WWA named as one of only a handful of Sustainable Development winners in the construction sector, cementing the consultancy’s position as an industry trailblazer for People, Places, and Planet. Just 31 organisations were recognised for Sustainable Development nationally this year out of 251 recipients overall, making it one of the more exclusive of the four Queen’s Award for Enterprise categories.
WWA feel they have only just scraped the surface and there is still more for them to learn and improve!
Their ongoing sustainability focus will include the progression of bespoke project management and quantity surveying services that target the positive de-carbonisation of the built environment. They aim to support our clients and work with design professionals to understand the carbon impacts, costs in use, and how, where appropriate, the re-use, re-purposing, and regeneration of existing buildings and infrastructure should be prioritised over building new.
In 2021 they made a commitment to “1% for our communities”, donating pro-bono time, volunteering hours, and direct financial support to assist community, charity, or environmental projects in our regions. This support is the equivalent value of a minimum of 1% of the business’ turnover in any given financial year.
Despite the upheaval of the past few years they were thrilled to become the first Chartered Surveyors in the world to be B Corporation® Certified in 2020 and in 2021 they were awarded Best For The World – Workers. This placed them in the top 5% of global B Corps for how they develop and care for their people.
The professional and personal development of the team and the creation of opportunities for careers in the built environment is an intrinsic part of WWA’s philosophy for growth. WWA Futures is the latest initiative for the business, with a recruitment to retirement advancement programme for every member of the team which is tailored to individual need.
WWA Senior Partner, Andy Snapes, comments: “Receiving this accolade is an incredible honour. It is the highest possible recognition of our team’s commitment to being a responsible business and celebrates the passion that is so intrinsic to our culture.
“We believe in using ‘business as a force for good’ and in considering the impact of our decisions on the wellbeing of our staff, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. We are proud to be a catalyst for real and lasting change in our industry.”
A massive congratulations from all of us here at Building Plymouth.
Applications for Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2023 open on the 1st May 2022.