“Awards – what are they for?”

CBE AwardMiddleton Hall recently received an award from Friends of the Earth – a CBE (Clean British Energy) award. Plenty of charming members of Friends of the Earth came to Middleton Hall for a tour and to drink sparkling wine to celebrate (English organic wine, of course) and everyone had a cheery evening.

So what’s the point? Are awards just an excuse for a party or to look pretty on the wall?

Well hopefully there are at least three points.

We received our first award in 2001 – a rather unexpected one at that (“Best new product or service” in the Tees Valley Business Awards). The first two interesting things happened.

Our staff were really thrilled – they were actually working for an award winning company.

Our residents were also delighted – they were living not just in a nice place with some lovely staff but a facility that was recognised as being the first of its kind. An innovative new service.

A new sense of excitement about Middleton Hall was born.

13 years on, we have received many awards. In addition to staff and residents being proud of their part in our success, as Managing Director, I also take considerable pride in what we have achieved. Running a successful company is a lot easier than an unsuccessful company for a start.

But the third point of an award from a campaigning organisation like Friends of the Earth, is that it helps promote the idea of sustainability in business. Green energy and sustainability are not always seen as natural bedfellows of business. Perhaps in a small way, the publicity about Middleton Hall receiving an award for sustainability might help demonstrate that sustainability should be part of any truly successful business.