Flurry of awards recognition for CIWM

07 December 2020

CIWM has been made a finalist in no less than six categories in the upcoming Association Awards UK – prestigious non-profit awards that recognise excellence among trade associations and membership bodies. Here, we take a look at some of CIWM’s recent award-winning projects.

Alongside CIWM being named a finalist in the Individual Member Association of the Year category, CIWM’s own CEO, Sarah Poulter, has been announced as a finalist for Executive Director of the year.

The fantastic news continues, with CIWM’s marketing manager Gemma Smith announced as a finalist in the Marketing & Communications Executive of the Year category, and Pat Jennings in the Association Executive of the Year category. 

CIWM’s daily news and magazine site, Circular Online , has also been made a finalist in the Best Digital Transformation category, and CIWM’s webinar series that ran in partnership with SUEZ over the summer during lockdown has been made a finalist in the Best Event (Non-Conference) category. 

“The Covid-19 crisis has been unprecedented,” said Sarah Poulter, “but throughout the pandemic CIWM has worked continuously to support its members and stakeholders across the sector.

“During this time, CIWM was in regular contact with members, Affiliated Organisations and government to ask and answer questions and offer support to meet the urgent and changing demands of a rapidly evolving and immensely challenging situation. 

“By acting quickly and working collaboratively, we have been there not only for our members, but also for the wider resources and waste sector, when they have needed us most and I am immensely proud of the ways in which we have responded to this crisis and I’m thrilled our hard work has been recognised by being made a finalist in the individual member category for such respected awards.”

“Marketing and communications are my passion,” said Gemma Smith on being made finalist for the Marketing and Communications Executive of the Year.

“While this award recognises individual contributions, the projects I have been able to deliver at CIWM would not have been possible without the hard work of our two Marketing Executives, as well as the support and encouragement of the wider CIWM team. I’m so pleased to represent CIWM in the shortlist and I wish my fellow finalists the very best of luck!”

Circular and Circular Online

The latest announcements follow the recognition CIWM has achieved with a flurry of recent accolades and award wins for its magazine, Circular, and its news and insight website, Circular Online, which also includes the member access only CIWM Knowledge Centre.

The Circular brand was launched in 2019 to excite and challenge CIWM’s membership as well as the wider sector, setting the agenda for the resources sector debate, while engaging in a way that is valuable, informative and enjoyable.

The name Circular was chosen to reflect the direction of the resources and waste sector, in that waste can no longer simply be thought about separately from the life cycle of any given material. It has to be considered at every aspect, from design to end-of-life.

In September this year, CIWM won two awards at the esteemed Memcom virtual award ceremony – Circular Online was awarded Best Website and Circular won Best Magazine Launch or Relaunch. 

The Memcom awards recognise membership excellence and are among the most anticipated awards in the calendar year to showcase innovation and celebrate achievement among membership organisations. 

Prior to this, CIWM took home the award for Best Association Magazine (circulation up to 10,000) for Circular in the 2019 Association Excellence Awards (pictured left), beating six other magazine finalists to the award, including the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ magazine, Influence. 

In 2019, Circular was also shortlisted for the CMA International Content Marketing Awards, in the Best Use of Print category and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence at the Institute of Internal Communication Awards.

“I’ve been a CIWM member for the last decade,” commented INCPEN CEO Paul Vanston. “In that time, the presentation and substance of CIWM’s publications and online content have gone from good to great to excellent – truly so.  

“CIWM’s Circular magazine is award-winning and that’s no mean feat given the quality of magazines across all UK sectors. Circular Online is top notch: news that’s bang up-to-date, videos, infographics, podcasts, insights, courses, research and guidance – it’s all in one place, which is convenient, saves time, and gets people directly to the content that’s going to help.  

“I find CIWM to be a dynamic organisation, quick to offer the content and support members need. As I’m a daily user, I’m grateful to CIWM on a very regular basis for the quality services they provide.”

Webinar partnerships

Like many membership organisations, much of CIWM’s member value is delivered through face-to-face events, from national conferences and exhibitions to regional meetings, site visits and social gatherings. 

Due to government restrictions implemented earlier this year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, these events were suddenly put on hold and CIWM had to quickly find new ways to engage with its members and deliver tangible member value remotely.

By partnering with SUEZ, one of the UK’s leading resource management companies, on a series of interactive webinars , it was able to overcome the challenges it faced in the absence of in-person events and deliver real, tangible value, not only for CIWM members but for the resources and waste sector as a whole.

Through this project, CIWM was able to connect with over 1,200 professionals in live, topical webinars with the content being extended to include blog posts, giving those unable to attend the sessions in real time the opportunity to benefit from the discussion. 

Because of this, the webinar series has been made a finalist in the Best Event (Non-Conference) category at this year’s Associations Awards UK. 

“SUEZ have been at the forefront of the resources and waste sector’s thinking for many years and partnering with CIWM to deliver a series of topical webinars seemed a perfect solution to the challenges we faced in maintaining our influence and sector reach during the lockdown period,” said Dr Adam Read, External Affairs Director, Suez Recycling and Recovery UK and CIWM Vice President.  


CIWM is also delighted to have played a small part in the recent Let’s Recycle Award for WISH (Waste Industry Safety & Health Forum) . The nomination for WISH (in partnership with CIWM) was for ‘best project, partnership, campaign or initiative in response to the coronavirus pandemic’, reflecting the immensely valuable work WISH undertook in developing and co-ordinating health and safety information and advice for the resources and waste sector during the first UK-wide COVID-19 lockdown and beyond.  

The WISH Information Document, now in its eighth version since the beginning of the pandemic, was developed collaboratively with stakeholders across the sector and provided operators with information and guidance on a range of operational considerations, including PPE, social distancing measures for waste collection and treatment activities, measures to manage the health & safety implications in the event of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the re-opening of HWRCs.

At the outset of UK-wide lockdown in March, developments occurred at pace and new COVID-19 measures were announced on a daily basis by UK governments. The main priorities for the CIWM Policy & Technical Team were to focus resources on making sure CIWM was ‘in the loop’ and able to communicate important developments to members in real time, and to effectively tap into the collective body of knowledge across CIWM’s membership base. In support of WISH, CIWM collated responses from CIWM Members and Expert Groups to the ongoing development of the guidance and, as hosts of the WISH website, worked with the WISH team to get each version of the guidance uploaded quickly and disseminated to CIWM’s networks.

“In the face of considerable and widespread uncertainty about the COVID-19 virus in the early days, WISH did an amazing job in responding quickly and developing a rolling Information Document that was able to capture and address different issues as they arose, as well as incorporating the learning along the way,” said CIWM Head of Policy, Knowledge & External Affairs Pat Jennings. “It is even more remarkable as the hard work was driven by just a few volunteer experts who were also busy dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 in their own operations. They thoroughly deserve this recognition from the sector and CIWM is pleased to have been able to offer its support.”

“None of the CIWM accolades could be achieved without the hard work of the CIWM team,” continued Sarah Poulter, “and it’s testament to our dedication and passion for working on behalf of our members in everything we do. Good luck to all in the upcoming awards.”

The Associations Awards UK ceremony is taking place online at 4pm on Wednesday 16th December. To watch the ceremony as it happens, click here to register . You can view the full list of finalists here


CIWM Media Centre