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Family business wins company of the year award

Family-owned construction company Wates Group has been named company of the year, aided by a combination of sustainable practices and family values.

Family-owned construction company Wates Group has been named company of the year, aided by a combination of sustainable practices and family values.

At the UK’s Business in the Community’s 2011 awards for excellence held on 5 July, the 117-year-old family business was recognised for reducing construction waste and following a green strategy.

A spokeswoman for Wates Group told CampdenFB: “The family ownership has most definitely played a role in winning this award. The deep-seated values of the Wates family have contributed much to the company going forward.”

The Surrey, UK-based business has reduced its construction waste from projects to 5% from 50% five years ago. It also said it plans to further bring it down to as close to zero as possible over the next year.

Currently in its fourth generation of ownership, the transition happened last year, which has further helped the business continue its green mission. The spokeswoman said: “Each generation of the family looks out for some sustainable venture to take the business forward. The fourth generation today has recognised that and are building on the initiatives of the previous generation.”

Other businesses short-listed for the BITC award included EDF Energy, KPMG and family-controlled Tata Consultancy Services, a subsidiary of India’s Tata Group. BITC is a London-based business-led charity that focuses on creating a sustainable future.

Wates Group was founded in 1897 by Edward Wates and his three brothers. The 100% family owned company had a turnover of €1.09 billion in 2010, up by 4% from the year before.

Family member James Wates is deputy chairman of the business while non-family Paul Drechsler is chairman and chief executive.

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