Today, the options for sustainable trophies and awards are both numerous and innovative, challenging the old stereotype that sustainability equates to boring.

Only a few years ago, if you had asked for sustainable trophies and awards for your next event, you would probably have been offered a nice lump of wood, engraved with the winners’ details. Today, the options are both numerous and innovative, challenging the old stereotype that sustainability equates to boring.

Ultimately, excellent design is at the heart of a good trophy or award. By that we mean one that is memorable, worthy of both the recipients and the presenting organisation and, importantly, has that special ‘wow’ factor. This is equally true for trophies manufactured from sustainable materials and which employ production processes which endeavour to reduce environmental impact.

Sustainable wooden award shaped like the letter P

Designer wooden award

Designer wood

Wood is an obvious natural option, providing it can be proven to have been sourced from certified timber supplies. It can be water-jet cut into a myriad of shapes, letters and logos, creating a work of art which both communicates a message and highlights the beauty of the natural markings of the wood.

Stunning surface design can also be achieved using laser engraving and digital printing, offering high quality in the full gamut of colour options.

A designer award made from recycled material

A trophy for AoM, made from electric circuit boards

Giving a new life to something old

In an era when single-use plastics are increasingly questioned, an award which has had a previous life has clear appeal for any company looking to promote its green credentials.

There are some fabulously creative examples around including antique, wooden shoe lasts encapsulating the concept of craftsmanship for the Drapers Footwear Awards, recycled electric circuit boards featuring in a trophy design for the Academy of Management’s conference: Big Data and Managing in a Digital Economy.

Likewise, a retirement gift produced from gold-plated rail track for Cross Country Trains illustrates how this design route can be both highly personal and have huge impact.

An award made of sustainable, recycled materials

This REFI award included recycled metal

Recycled metals

Plated aluminium is a popular metal for contemporary styled trophies. Managing the waste from such production processes is an important element in cutting the long-term, environmental impact.

Recycled metal can be used in the manufacture of other awards, such as these stylish REFI awards, or reprocessed as aluminium ingots.

This topic should be a conversation you have with any potential manufacturer, before you commission them.

Likewise, waste produced by processes such as water-jet cutting of materials are significantly reduced with effective, on-site water recovery and treatment plants, whilst renewable energy from solar panels and the like is an invaluable means to reduce a manufacturer’s carbon footprint.

Marie Claire award made using recycled plastics

This Marie Claire award makes use of recycled plastics

Recycled plastics make eye-catching new materials

There is an increasing choice of materials made from recycled plastics, which are perfect for anyone looking for a contemporary look to their awards, plaques and trophies. These include recycled yogurt pots complete with attractive flecks of silver, recycled black meat trays, tyres and green pipes.

Low carbon footprint stone

And finally, natural stone is a sustainable option with a low carbon footprint. Appealing in its texture, with natural veining and markings, stone can be cut, polished and engraved to produce a lasting accolade with connotations of reliability and strength.

Royal Albert Hall awards made from natural stone, a more sustainable option

Royal Albert Hall Awards made using natural stone

Looking for inspirational ideas for sustainable trophies, plaques and awards?

Get in touch with Special EFX to commission something with that unique ‘wow’ factor.

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