THESE are the runners and riders for this year's Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sustainable business Awards.

Twenty-four shortlisted businesses and organisations will now receive assessment visits from judges.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on June 10, held at the Great Hall, Winchester, and presented by TV presenter and environment champion Chris Packham.

In the large business category, sponsored by Astrium, shortlisted entrants include Waterlooville company BAE Systems Underwater Systems Division, Southampton-based Gifford and Partners, Basingstoke-based Raynesway Construction Southern, Romsey company Hillier Nurseries and Isle of Wight firm SP Systems.

The medium business category, sponsored by Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick, entrants include the Sandy Balls holiday centre near Fordingbridge in the New Forest and Hamble-based company BP Oil Terminal.

The small business category entrants, sponsored by the Environment Agency, include Basingstoke-based Greenhouse Graphics, Portsmouth-based Seek-it Limited and IT Power of Chineham, Southland Camping Park of Newchurch, Isle of Wight, and Efford Household Waste Recycling Centre near Lymington.

In addition, there are five businesses shortlisted for the environmental innovation and technology award sponsored by Business Link Wessex, three in the not-for-profit category sponsored by B&Q and two in the public sector category supported by the Government Office for the South-East.

Maureen Newton, deputy chief executive of Portsmouth and South-East Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry and chairman of the Business Environment Forum Awards Working Group, said: "The judging panel is going to have a difficult job when it sets out to choose an overall winner from such a high standard of entries."

Last year's overall winner was the Portsmouth Marriott Hotel.

Winners and runners-up of the business categories go through to the SEEDA South East Sustainable Business Awards in November in which last year the small to medium-sized category was won by Horndean brewers George Gale & Co.