Cornwall’s St Austell Brewery has been named as a recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Award, based upon the company’s success in terms of sustainable development across its operations.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the UK’s most prestigious business awards, recognising and celebrating business excellence across the UK. As a winner, St Austell Brewery demonstrated outstanding results in terms of its sustainable development, and will now hold the accreditation across the next five years.

Chief executive, James Staughton, said: “St Austell Brewery is a company made up of many different functions, including brewing, logistics and pubs — all of them award winners in their own right — but the Queen’s Award recognises the efforts of everyone at all levels across the business, and that makes the award unique and very special.

“Winning the Queen’s Award is an enormous honour for all of us as it is the highest accolade that any business in the UK can aspire to, but the exacting criteria of the awards process, especially in the field of sustainable development, also acted as an excellent way for us to review our aims and behaviours to confirm that our actions and decisions were aligned and that we really are doing as much as we possibly can to make our operations as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.”

As part of the awards summary, St Austell Brewery is described as a Cornish brewer and pub company that aims to deliver distinctive customer experiences through great products, innovation and sustainable business operations.

Barley and seafood

The brewery helped set up the Cornish Barley Growers’ Initiative to reintroduce barley as a staple crop into the county, and last year pledged its commitment to healthy seas and sustainable fisheries by joining Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Cornwall Good Seafood Guide.

The company, which owns an award-winning estate of 178 pubs and hotels across the South West, has significantly reduced its water consumption through investments in research and development. Energy-saving measures and use of renewables enabled St Austell Brewery’s Central Distribution Centre to go grid-free for half of 2016. Ninety-eght percent of the company’s waste is now diverted from landfill, and it uses local, ethical suppliers.

The Brewery nurtures talent and provides career opportunities through schools, colleges and apprenticeship schemes and, having set up its own charitable trust in 2003, has helped raise more than £700,000 for local charities, organisations and individuals in need. On the basis of its strong performance across all sustainability dimensions, St Austell Brewery Co has been awarded a Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.

Having acquired Bath Ales in 2016 as part of its programme of growth and consolidation, St Austell Brewery has also undertaken a multi-million-pound investment in state-of-the-art technology for the new Bath Ales brewery at Hare House, in Warmley, ensuring that operations there are as sustainable as possible to tie in with the Brewery’s wider ethos.

James Staughton added: “To us, sustainability is now second nature, as it should be with any organisation, and this award isn’t just about the honour and prestige; just as important is the added insight it can offer towards the futureproofing of your business.”

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