THE North East may once have been synonymous with coal-mining but now it is central to the development of new technology which focuses on renewable energy.
From the manufacture of battery powered vehicles to research into wind turbines to building homes which use no electricity for heating, the region heads a lot of the pioneering work in this growing field.
The achievements of the companies in the sector will be recognised with a new category at the nebusiness awards, organised by The Journal and Evening Gazette in association with the North East Chamber of Commerce.
This year sees the launch of the Low Carbon Award which will be given to an exceptional business in an industry which is an increasingly important contributor to the North East economy.
Judges will be looking for a low-carbon growth model, commitment to skills and employment development, minimising the environmental impact of manufacturing, investment in people and equipment, innovation in low carbon product design and processes, sales performance and growth prospects, low-carbon and sustainable ethics embedded in the company culture and economic and social contribution to the local community.
Examples of a low-carbon growth model that recognises the opportunities in the North East as being a low-carbon economic area will be relevant to the judges, as will companies that are overcoming challenges in the sector, creating jobs, driving technology innovation and developing skills.
The award replaces the Corporate Responsibility and Environment Award as the sponsor Port of Sunderland wants to emphasise the significance of this cutting-edge sector to business in the North East.
It is just one of 10 categories at the nebusiness awards which give companies across the region to show they are the very best in the business.