Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2014

Now in their fourth year, the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards set out to reward businesses for their excellence in making sustainability a reality.

The awards, organised by Guardian News and Media, shine a light on the people and projects helping businesses to be more sustainable, not just for their own bottom line but also for the environment and society.

Shared Interest Society were delighted to be announced winners in the social impact - innovation category at the awards ceremony which was held in London on May 14.

The Guardian judges admired the fact that the society was a mutual organisation rather than a business, commenting: "Its name exactly expresses what it's trying to achieve - and all this in a market with strong, dominant players."

As the world's only 100% fair trade lender, Shared Interest Society has a business model that empowers communities and changes lives.

Equal Exchange Trading commented saying: "It is great to see Shared Interest receive this recognition for their great work. We at EE have worked with them for 20 years and together we're able to provide small farmer co-operatives around the world with affordable credit that very often is not otherwise available. Their track record is a great example of the power of both fair trade and of the co-op business model. If you 'drink or eat fair trade' then why not 'bank fair trade'? That is ultimately what makes possible this rarely appreciated element of the fair trade system."