Daily grind pays off for bio-bean’s CEO who picks up a Guardian Sustainable Business Award

The 24 year-old is the youngest winner of the award, and said he was “delighted with this recognition”. The accolade, voted for by the public, recognised Kay’s role in creating and developing bio-bean – a green energy company that recycles waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels at an industrial scale.

While still an architecture student at The Bartlett, University College London, Kay was given the task of designing a coffee shop and roastery, and “quickly realised that coffee was being wasted everywhere”. bio-bean was the result of his attempts to address this problem.

“bio-bean is at an exciting stage in its growth and this award, above all else, recognises the hard work of the whole bio-bean team,” he added. Kay also said the acknowledgment was an indication of progression in terms of sustainability.

“Our company fits into a much bigger picture – if we can redesign and retrofit cities, we can turn the challenges of urbanisation into huge opportunities,” he explained.

The GSB Awards, now in their fifth year, also saw wins for Ikea and Neal’s Yard Remedies in the supply chain category, Rezidor Hotel Group for diversity and inclusion, and Cafeology and Marks & Spencer for natural capital.

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Kay joins the roster of previous winners including Paul Poiman, CEO of Unilever, David Jones, Global CEO at Havas, and Ian Cheshire, the group chief executive of Kingfisher.

Since founding the business two years ago, Kay has expanded his team to 20 and built the world’s first coffee waste processing factory. bio-bean has also secured contracts with industrial-scale feedstock suppliers.

The London-based company operates in a 20,000 square foot factory, where it creates two carbon-neutral fuel products from waste coffee grounds – coffee biomass pellets used for heating buildings and biodiesel used for powering transport systems.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “As a past winner of London’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition, it’s great to see Arthur getting this recognition. His success demonstrates what young Londoners can achieve when they have a great green business idea, with the right motivation and support.”

Kay suggested the recognition reflected the growing importance and awareness regarding sustainability. “It’s a vital ingredient of successful business at any scale,” he said. “Sustainable business in the UK, as evidenced at the Guardian awards, is flourishing.”

Image: Calum Creasey/Stokedeversince

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