SunGift managing director Gabriel Wondrausch has been named Environmental Entrepreneur of the Year at the Devon Environmental Business Initiative (DEBI) Awards, in recognition of his pioneering work developing his renewable energy business.  Starting from nothing, Gabriel built up SunGift – initially from the spare room of his house – into what is now a thriving and successful business.

The awards’ ceremony was held at the Met Office – home of SunGift’s highest-profile solar PV installation – and Gabriel received his award from Richard Creswell, south west director of the Environment Agency.

“It’s a privilege to be honoured with this award,” said Gabriel, “particularly among such a strong field of other nominees.  My vision has always been to provide a service that enables others to generate their own renewable energy and preserve our natural resources, and it’s pleasing to be recognised for the work I’ve done.”

Judges were particularly impressed that the foundation of Gabriel’s business is a deep belief in renewable energy, combined with strong commercial acumen.

Gabriel grew up experiencing a close relationship with the environment, and he took his first steps into renewable energy back in 2003, which included putting up the first solar thermal panels at the home of Transition Towns’ founder Rob Hopkins.

Gabriel’s desire to find not only new and better technologies but also new and better ways to employ them has resulted in him developing relationships with some of the most technologically advanced companies in the world, such as BenQ &  Solaredge.  As a result, he was the first person to bring these technologies into the UK, giving new and better opportunities to customers and other businesses in Devon before other areas of the country.

This ethos has filtered out into every area of Gabriel’s business, with him employing staff and working with other companies that share similar values.

“I always try to translate my optimism for green energy into business opportunities,” added Gabriel, “providing customers with a complete renewable energy journey.  I feel it’s important that our sector works in a similar way to more mature industries.”

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