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How to improve your entry: Sustainable Development

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Sustainable development, Winners

We asked Richard Naylor from Harrison Spinks (winners of 2 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise last year in Sustainable Development and Innovation) if he would share his tips and advice in a 3 minute film. Richard told us he was visiting BIS the next day and would be delighted to help us out.

It’s definitely worth a quick look if you are thinking about entering the Sustainable Development category this year.

Richard simplifies the process beautifully when he says before you do anything Google the definition of ‘The pillars of Sustainable Development’, it only takes a couple of minutes but it defines the meaning clearly.

Richard Naylor shaking hands with the Queen.
Richard Naylor meets the Queen.

From this starting point Richard breaks the entry form into logical chunks. For instance explain the management approach to how you run things in your business, the ‘environmental aspects’ of your business and your approach to ‘goods and services’.

Your commercial performance is weighed against your overall story you tell so make it a good one, better still make it a great one!

Is your business helping or contributing to your local community? Don’t be shy about putting details about this in your entry form. And don’t forget to include any examples of independent praise or testimonials if you have any.

Remember the competition closes on 30 September.


There's nothing to be afraid of with the Queen's Awards for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.

What I say to people is: look it up. Look the definition up. I don't think all of us sit there in our offices thinking about sustainable development, but we do it every day. I think it's just really encapsulating those things in one document. So when I did the application for our business I googled it, just to look at it and refresh myself on the pillars of sustainable development. The application itself does explain it. The supporting documents explain it. And again, if you have any issues you just have to phone the Queen's Award office and they'll help you through the process.

Because it's a very credible award - and I would stress that - the application is a bit longer than you would expect with with other awards. But that's because this holds a lot more clout than anything else out there. I really do mean that. I'll explain at the end what it's meant to our business.

But you know, you simply have to fill in the various obvious details; names, addresses, main contacts for the awards...

Then you just have to fill in the document concerning all the relevant pillows of sustainable development. That can be your management approach to how you run things within your business. You've got environmental aspects of your business - which is what most people assume the sustainable developments awards are about - and then you've got your managed approach to goods and services. You've got commercial performance most importantly. So you've got to have a story, but you have to be able to prove that your business is commercially successful as well, because otherwise you're going about it the wrong way.

But it's very simple. Have a look at it. Take time to look at it. Yes, there are other applications. By all means enter those as well. But don't ignore sustainable development, it's very credible in terms of it giving you a good standard for who you are as a business and what you do in that arena. It is the best in the UK you can honestly get.

I've recently returned from Shanghai in China where I've done a baby show exhibition showing a cot mattresses. I had a full display... with the Queen's Awards logo on and I cannot tell you how credible that made us compared to the other manufacturers there.

So I would urge you sincerely to either look at it yourself, or get your team's to look at what the awards can do for your business. We've had such such massive success. In 2013 week we applied for, and were awarded, the Queen's Award for Sustainable Development and innovation in the same year. And next year, once I've built up enough sales data, we'll be applying for International Trade as well. It's remarkable. It is a really great process to go through.

We've won many awards, whether they're press awards or industry-specific awards, but I have to say this tops it completely. They are the elite of awards that you can gain for your business.

Thank you.

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