A social entrepreneur and environmental campaigner has been shortlisted for two regional awards in recognition of his work.

Naseem Talukdar, who  founded Projects Against Plastic (PAP), has been nominated as both a ‘Green’ and ‘Transformational’ leader in The Business Desk Leadership Awards South West.

Naseem Talukdar, of PAP.
Naseem Talukdar, of Projects Against Plastic (PAP) and Regency Recruitment.

Naseem, who set up Regency Recruitment to supply seasonal workers for UK horticulture from climate-affected countries, said: “It’s great to receive recognition in such a prestigious event.

“It’s vital that we take action to protect our environment and support those who are particularly affected by climate change. We can lead by example and guidance.”

Great leadership

Naseem Talukdar of Projects Against Plastic (PAP) and Regency Recruitment.
Naseem Talukdar of Projects Against Plastic (PAP) and Regency Recruitment

The Business Desk, a market leader for regional digital business news, created the awards to celebrate role models who raise the bar.

Michael Ribbeck, The Business Desk South West editor, said: “The aim of the award is to highlight the fantastic achievements of our business leaders here in the South West.

“Great leadership can set apart the companies and organisations from their competitors and create the kind of businesses who people want to work with.

“Everyone who has been shortlisted fully deserves to be recognised for their hard work, inspiration and dedication.”

Sustainability in the workplace

Naseem, who is standing for MP Candidate for the Green Party for Bristol East, is also director for social responsibility and sustainability for UK Curry Connect (UKCC).

UKCC is a campaign group set up to raise awareness of skills shortages in the Asian catering industry.

Last year the University of the West of England (UWE )IT graduate and trained software engineer met with business leaders, policy makers and representatives from academia at the House of Lords – to find ways to encourage sustainability and diversity in the workplace.

And Regency has aligned with several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will create an ethical charter to ensure workers’ rights are protected.

Naseem, from Fishponds, Bristol, said: “We work with those affected by natural disasters, caused by the carbon footprint around the world.

“The recruitment benefits the UK farming industry, the migrant workers and the environment. It helps to reduce waste and the carbon footprint in production.”

Regency recruits from countries such as such as Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh has experienced more than 185 adverse weather events over the past 20 years. Seventy-five percent of the country is technically submerged.

Campaigning

Naseem, whose own parents used to run a restaurant, has introduced changes at takeaways in the South West – from reducing waste to offering more plant-based choices.

He also leads workshops to educate residents, business owners and community leaders on ways to tackle climate change as part of the Curry and Conversation series.

He has worked with representatives from mosques in Bristol to find sustainable ways to serve food and drink while breaking fast during.

The nationwide launch of PlasticFreeRamadan, with members of Projects Against Plastic (PAP), Bristol Muslim Strategic Leadership Group (BMSLG) and Lord Dick Newby.
The nationwide launch of PlasticFreeRamadan, with members of Projects Against Plastic (PAP), Bristol Muslim Strategic Leadership Group (BMSLG) and Lord Dick Newby.

The Plastic Free Ramadan campaign has since gained international recognition and an increasing number of mosques are signing up to the mission.

Naseem  is a former environmental consultant for Bristol City Council. He has previously won awards for his work, including with the charity Feed the Homeless.

He has received a High Sheriff’s Award from the Lord-Lieutenant Bristol in recognition of his contribution to the city, as well as The Lord Mayor’s Medal in 2020.

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