Tate & Lyle has demonstrated excellence in environmental practice by developing supply chain partnerships, according to Environwise.
The ingredient giant's UK sugar refinery teamed up with Envirowise, a government-funded programme, last September to help suppliers improve their environmental performance.
The partnership could also help the company achieve efficiencies at a time when margins on ingredients are incredibly tight.
"Good environmental management is integral to good overall management of our business and we are delighted that our initiative with Envirowise has been recognised with an award," said Michael Grier, corporate social responsibility manager at Tate & Lyle.
"We are keen to spread the benefits of Envirowise's initiative and, following the success of last year, we are already in discussion with Envirowise about expanding our involvement to include some of our customers in the scheme as well as suppliers."
The move by the comes after a recent study showed that the European food industry has failed to make significant improvements in energy efficiency over the past thirty years. The food and drink industry, as one of the largest sectors in the EU, is also under pressure to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, the European market for sugar and related products has been affected by both an oversupply of sugar. Tate & Lyle says that, as expected, the calendar 2006 sweetener pricing round has been exceptionally challenging.
After higher energy costs, it expects in local currency terms total net margins for its Ingredients Europe division to be below those achieved in calendar 2005. And reform of the EU's outdated sugar regime, which will see the price of the commodity cut by 36 per cent, will make life even harder when it comes into effect in July.
Envirowise is a government-funded programme that provides free advice to UK businesses to help them improve their efficiency and competitiveness while also reducing their environmental impact. Tate & Lyle was one of five large companies in the food and drink sector recruited to take part in the scheme.
These companies have invited their suppliers to take part in the project who benefit from access to free support and advice to improve their green credentials.