Roddick Wins Ethical Award

awards ethical photo

Image from the Observer

The Observer Ethical Awards are the Oscars of the environmental crowd: an important award honouring people whose efforts are an inspiration to us all. This year Gordon Roddick, the husband of Anita Roddick, of Body Shop fame, won the Lifetime Achievement Award. He is someone who has been just under the radar but way out there for years.

Other winners will be more familiar to TreeHugger readers: Caroline Lucas for ethical politician of the year, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as campaigner of the year, Jamie Oliver for his campaigning TV series, Pestival, the buggy festival and From Somewhere, the clothing brand.

Gordon Roddick photo

Image from the Observer

Gordon Roddick made his fortune from the Body Shop, the first natural beauty store which created a whole industry based on its ethical and environmental principles. It was sold in 2006 to L'Oreal for $ 1,111 M. Roddick says that his great regret was floating the Body Shop on the stock market, even though that led to his making millions. "The best service we could do to the world is to burn down the Harvard Business School. They've pushed this whole ethos of share-holder value and profit before people and that's not acceptable any longer" he says in an interview in the Observer magazine.

Whilst Anita was the public face of the Body Shop and their political campaigns, it turns out that husband Gordon was a quiet but strong force. He was a creator of the Big Issue, a political and popular magazine still sold by the homeless on the streets. He created the online campaign 38 Degrees which is a political platform for various policy issues ranging from banking reform to Donald Trump's golf club. He is involved in other charitable and human rights issues.

According to his daughter Sam, who is a financial and commercial success herself, Gordon Roddick is the "silent, secret ingredient" and, also a financial genius. "He was the man who stood by his woman, who always said, 'Anita dreams and I make her dreams come true'," she says.

the recyclists photo

Image from the Observer

The winner of the Ethical Kids Award is the Recyclists. They are two 14 year old boys who have set up their own business collecting, sorting and recycling waste for residents who can't be bothered in their local community in Fife. They sport hoodies that say "Your rubbish is our business" as they collect junk weekly from about 15 houses, and are paid £1 per house (Gordon, give these boys a raise). They take the stuff to the recycling centre, sort it and get rid of it there. They also donate 10% of their earnings to the Woodland Trust. These boys should get halos not awards!

somewhere from photo

Image from From Somewhere
Resomation won the Jupiter Big Idea Award. It's an alternative method of cremation which uses a water chemical based process instead of fire. It has one quarter of the carbon footprint of cremation.

More on Observer Ethical Awards
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The Observer's Ethical Awards 2007: May I Have the Envelope Please ...
Finisterre Clothing Keep On Winning Eco Awards
Observer Food Awards Feature Healthy, Ethical Winners

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