3 November 2021 — by Barry Bassett

VMI wins National Climate Award

Together For Our Planet campaign announces Bristol and London’s award-winning green small business.

  • VMI.TV, Bristol and London-based camera rental company, crowned Hero of Net Zero at COP26 awards ceremony.
  • Small business celebrated for original and creative actions taken to cut their own greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The company urges other businesses to commit to net zero at UK Climate Hub.
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Camera rental company VMI.TV has been crowned winner of the Heroes of Net Zero competition yesterday at a special awards ceremony hosted by Intuit at the COP26 international climate change summit in Glasgow.

More than 160 businesses entered the competition, making a commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub to achieve net zero by 2030, 20 years ahead of the Government’s own climate commitment.

The rental firm, based in Acton, London and St George, Bristol won in the small business category by demonstrating a range of measures taken on their journey to net zero, including installing solar panels and insulation, purchasing electric vans and recycling and reusing, sending no waste to landfill in 15 months.

They won an exclusive prize package worth over £4,500 from competition partners BT, NatWest and SSE.

Barry Bassett, Managing Director, VMI.TV said:

“We are incredibly flattered and really pleased that our efforts are being recognised, as this will spread the word more widely about the benefits of companies making decarbonising efforts.”

We are incredibly flattered and really pleased that our efforts are being recognised, as this will spread the word more widely about the benefits of companies making decarbonising efforts.

Barry Bassett

“I was inspired and energised from attending a seven-week sustainability course and persuaded the Managers and Directors at VMI.TV to buy-in to a net-zero plan, after which we signed up to the SME Climate Commitment.”

VMI.TV won over the competition judges for taking responsibility for their sectors environmental impact, spreading the sustainability message as founding members of the Bectu’s-Film-For-Future group.

The business rents cameras to the UK TV industry supporting projects like ITV’s Midsomer Murders, BBC’s Blue Planet 3 series and Netflix’s The Surgeon’s Cut. https://www.youtube.com/embed/YzTZIoF9iVk?feature=oembed

The panel of expert judges included the government’s Net Zero Business Champion Andrew Griffith. He presented VMI.TV and other Heroes of Net Zero finalists with awards and celebrated their green achievements at COP26 at the Scottish Event Campus. The event was live streamed on the UK government’s YouTube channel. 

The Heroes of Net Zero competition is part of the government’s Together for Our Planet campaign, run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

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UK Pavilion of the COP26 Forum

I am delighted to be celebrating The Heroes of Net Zero today at our special COP26 event. Representing a diverse range of industries and locations, the finalists spotlight the actions that UK businesses of any size can take to cut their own emissions and help us build back better.

UK Net Zero Business Champion, Andrew Griffith

UK small businesses will continue to play a critical role in building a more climate-positive future and we are proud to have sponsored these awards to showcase the winners’ great achievements.  We will continue to work closely with SMEs, to support them as they commit to carbon reduction through our partnership with Together for Our Planet.

Chris Leahy, Global Corporate Affairs Leader at Intuit QuickBooks

I am very pleased to see that so many small businesses have signed up to net zero targets. The winners showcased innovative and inspiring ways of reducing their impact on the climate and environment. I hope they will serve as exemplars for many more small businesses to take climate action.

Gabrielle Ginér, Head of Environmental Sustainability at BT

The Heroes of Net Zero competition has been a great opportunity to celebrate success and inspire businesses across the UK to take action. We’re excited to work with winners Design Abled and VMI.TV, helping them to further accelerate their journeys to net zero with our Energy Manager consultancy.

Nikki Flanders, Managing Director of Energy Customer Solutions at SSE

It is inspiring to see small and medium size enterprises doing so much to commit to a net zero future. Not only is it good for their businesses, it’s also good for their customers and the planet and sets a great example to others.

James Close, Head of Climate at NatWest Group

Heroes of Net Zero finalists

Micro business finalists included Cornish designers and manufacturers of Unmanned Surface Vessels, Unmanned Survey Design; Devonshire premium organic brewery, Barnaby’s Brewhouse; Welsh Sustainable Lifestyle Brand, Onesta; Northamptonshire micro dairy, Ganders Goat; London-based PPE Company, Design Abled.

Small business finalists included plant-based restaurant chain in Cambridge and London, Stem & Glory; Scottish period poverty social enterprise, Hey Girls; carbon neutral holiday business in the Lake District, Quiet Site; Wiltshire-based AI and robotics regenerative farming business, Small Robot Company; Bristol and London-based camera rental company, VMI.TV.  

More details on each finalist can be found at: businessclimatehub.org/heroes-of-net-zero-competition

The Heroes of Net Zero competition winners will receive a prize package, worth £4,500 –

  • 21 hours consultancy with an Energy Manager and one-year free access to ‘Business Energy Intelligence’ energy management platform, worth £3,500, from SSE
  • Six hours of bespoke mentoring with a NatWest Enterprise Manager from its Climate Accelerator programme, helping winning businesses gain climate friendly skills in accessing new markets to attracting talent, and 
  • Up to £1,000 in vouchers to access a brand-new digital advertising support package from BT to grow your business

The Together for Our Planet Campaign

The government launched the Together for Our Planet campaign in June to encourage small businesses to go green, as well as a new UK Business Climate Hub, where businesses can get advice and support and make a commitment to become net zero.  Reaching net-zero means the amount of greenhouse gases your business produces is no more than the amount taken away, eliminating all negative impact on the planet. This is part of the government’s plans to build a greener Britain by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, paving the way for the global Race to Net Zero. 

All businesses can start making small changes now to their carbon footprint, to help meet the UK’s target of becoming net zero by 2050. Find out how to green your business at the UK Business Climate Hub website and pledge to net zero targets.    


BT, a leading telecommunications company, has led on climate action for almost 30 years and has pledged to become a net zero carbon emissions business by 2030 for its own operational emissions and 2040 for its supply chain and customer emissions. It set a carbon reduction target in 1992 and, in 2008 set a first science-based target. BT achieved that four years early in 2016, reducing the carbon emissions intensity of their business by 80%. In 2017, it launched a new science-based target, aligned to a 1.5 degree pathway – to reduce the carbon emissions intensity of their business by 87% by FY31. 


NatWest Group is a leading banking and financial services group in the UK and Ireland. Operating through a number of well-known banking brands, it has a presence on the high street through customer facing brands – NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank. It’s private banking customers know the Group through their relationships with Coutts, Adam & Company, Child & Co and Drummonds. And NatWest Markets help corporate and institutional clients manage their financial risks and achieve their short and long-term financial goals. 

SSE Energy Solutions

SSE Energy Solutions provide gas and electricity for businesses of all sizes across the UK, currently supplying around 500,000 metering points. It offers a wide range of fixed-price and flexible energy plans, and all fixed contracts include 100% renewable electricity as standard.

Part of SSE plc, the UK and Ireland’s largest renewable electricity generator, SSE Energy Solutions is different as all its renewable electricity is sourced from SSE’s own UK wind and hydro assets.

SSE plans to treble its renewable electricity output to 30TWh by 2030 – enough to supply almost one-third of all current UK industry.


Intuit is a global technology platform that helps their customers and communities overcome their most important financial challenges. Serving approximately 100 million customers worldwide with TurboTax, QuickBooks, Mint and Credit Karma, they believe that everyone should have the opportunity to prosper. Please visit the Intuit website and Twitter for the latest information about their products and services.

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