Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the fourth annual award of the Rising Star Award for Sustainability, presented in memory of the wonderful and much missed Mel Starrs who died suddenly in 2012 aged just 38. The award was set up by Mel’s employers PRP and the UK Green Building Council as a way to celebrate the huge impact Mel had on the sustainability sector.

I always felt that despite her daunting output Mel had really only just got started, and that her best was yet to come, so it is wonderful that the Rising Star Award recognises people who are still in the early stages of their career. Recognising people for their potential, as well as what they have achieved, is a wonderful concept.

The long list of nominees had been short-listed to six, who all work to promote sustainability in their work. The mix of sectors was interesting and shows that sustainability is no longer a niche topic. You can view the short-list here on Su Butcher’s blog – Su is one of the judges and one of Mel’s many friends.

The Award was won by Lisa Pasquale of specialist building consultancy Six Cylinder. Congratulations to Lisa and all the other nominees – it must have been a tough job to chose a winner.

Mel-Starr_310The most poignant moment for me was when UK Green Building Council Chief Executive Julie Hirigoyen spoke about Mel and her work. It is amazing how many people have stories of how Mel helped with an obscure query or forwarded an article that they had yet to spot. Someone so obsessed with sustainability could potentially have been be a bit earnest – there can’t be many people who treat running on a treadmill as a chance to read new legislation – but Mel was huge fun.


If you know someone who should be recognised for their work to promote sustainability the Rising Star Award 2017 nominations are due to open in December – you can find more details on the UK Green Building Council website or by following Su Butcher’s blog