Wessex Water is one of the regional water and wastewater companies. We serve around 1 million households in Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset and the areas around Bristol, Bath, Bournemouth and Poole. While we have known about the Queen’s Awards for a long time, we became aware of the Sustainable Development category around 2005, a few years before we first won the award.
We have decided to apply because the Queen’s Awards represent true achievement and are a mark of businesses that aim to go far beyond the norm. As an ambitious business, we hoped that we would be a fitting recipient. We have always aimed to be a leader in the core aspects of our work - the things that everyone associates with water companies – and always to be ready to introduce new, better ways of doing things.
Sustainability as integral part of doing business
It was in 1996 that we first committed to becoming a genuinely sustainable water company that adds real value to the people we serve and the environment around us. And over the last 20 years we believe we have done just that. There have been real improvements in terms of how we engage with customers, whatever their circumstances; our management of the water cycle and the catchments in our region; enhancing biodiversity; reducing our carbon footprint and getting value from waste materials; our work in local communities; being a great employer, and many other aspects besides! Essentially, sustainability is about being fit for the future. As a long-term business, it is crucial that we ensure this, whatever the 21st century brings.
Winning a Queen's Award
We were absolutely delighted when we recently found out that we had won the award for the third time. It was just the same as for the first 2 occasions – a great sense of reward and encouragement that we are going in the right direction. The award has always been something that we are proud to point to. Wessex Water staff care deeply about what they do and holding the Queen’s award is a great demonstration of this. It also shows that we are serious about sustainable development, making it integral to the services we provide and how we work.
Our advice for Queen's Awards hopefuls is: if you believe that you have a great story to tell and your business is making a real difference, then go for it!