Rewarding environmental excellence
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, announced the winners of the Ibec Environment Awards 2013/14 at an awards ceremony on Friday 29th November.
Astellas Ireland, a pharmaceutical plant based in Killorglin, Co. Kerry won the overall environmental excellence award as well as the environmental management award (see below for full list of award winners). The awards are the Irish stage of the 2014 European Business Awards for the Environment (http://www.ebae.eu) and the winners will go on to compete with companies from across Europe in November 2014.
Announcing the winners, at the event Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said: “It is important that the environment is a key consideration for all businesses today. Not only for businesses to minimise their impact on the environment, but also to embrace new opportunities arising in context of the Green Economy. The Ibec Environment Awards are about acknowledging and championing progressive organisations in Ireland, that have demonstrated a commitment to protecting and improving our environment. I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of all of the participants and thank them for their individual contributions towards a healthy and sustainable environment.”
Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: "These awards provide an opportunity to showcase the best of Irish innovation in environmental management and practice. The record number and the quality of Irish entries this year reflects the increasing importance of environmental issues for businesses of all types and sizes."
Overall Environmental Excellence Award and Environmental Management Award
Astellas Ireland, a pharmaceutical plant based in Killorglin, Co. Kerry won the overall environmental excellence award as well as the environmental management award. The company is located in a special area of conservation and next to the River Laune, which is a river well known for salmon and trout fishing. The company embrace their scenic location through active consultation with the local community and ask for their views prior to undertaking big projects such as the on-site wind turbine. The company have provided public walkways, seats and flora and fauna information boards along the nature reserve. The management have shown their long term commitment to the community by taking on the responsibility of the clean up and removal of contaminated material from Glannagilliagh landfill by a sister plant, despite never having placed waste in the landfill. Projects undertaken by Astellas include installing a wind turbine on site to generate 20% of the electricity needed and installing a wood chip boiler to supply 90% of the company’s thermal needs which has saved approx. 750,000 litres of oil being bought by Astellas and €250,000 being spent on oil since 2012.
Product and Services Award
Wood Energy Solutions, based in Co. Tipperary won the Product and Services Award. Through innovation and adaption, Wood Energy Solutions have developed a new product to suit market needs. The company have modified a wood pellet boiler to suit local authority needs for the social housing sector. The boiler is designed to be installed in small properties with very limited space, is fully automated and self-cleaning. The boiler makes an outstanding contribution to sustainable development as the product both reduces fuel poverty in lower income households and reliance on fossil fuels. Houses that have installed the wood chip boiler have recorded ~ 50% savings on cost compared to fossil fuels.
Dawn Meats, with their headquarters based in Co. Waterford won the Process Award. The company are at the forefront in undertaking initiatives to provide commercial and environmental sustainability in the agricultural and food processing sector. The project involved a change in the overall operation of two sites within 1 km of each other to identify a new way of heating hot water. Previously the company spent €400,000 per annum heating hot water in one site alone. They adapted existing technologies, such as heat recovery and a district heating system, this has resulted in a cost saving of 90% on their previous spend.
International Business Cooperation Award
Arthur Cox, received the international business cooperation award which is an award for Irish business involved with a developing country in global sustainable development. Arthur Cox received this award for their Mwandi Project which offers long term sustainable support for Mwandi, a rural area in the south west of Zambia. Arthur Cox work in partnership with a charity organisation and the local community and ownership of the projects is by the local Zambian community. The projects empower the local community to be more self-sufficient and manage issues such as adapting to climate change, improved nutrition and general standard of living.
Runners up in the Ibec Environment Awards:
Environmental Management Award
University College Cork has over 20,000 people on site yet achieved campus wide engagement with the Green Campus Programme. Key savings include recycling which has increased from 21% to 75% saving nearly €900,000, energy consumption has been reduced by 9% this year and since 2007 UCC have saved ¾ million m3 of water. Campus wide communication and engagement with management, staff and students form the key elements to the success of the programme. This programme is an excellent example of replication potential.
Product and Services Award
Wattics have developed a product to removes the need for sub-metering and uses software to monitor energy usage. The product is based on solid research, is energy efficient, low cost and can be installed in any industrial/ commercial business. Great example of innovation in the area of energy efficiency.
Diageo, St. James’s Gate Brewery have saved ¼ million euro (304 million litres of water) since July 2012. With limited capital investment, the company undertook 63 individual process changes to reduce water usage and this resulted in a 14% reduction in water consumption. This had a knock on effect by reducing the volume of effluent to 22% and an overall saving of €1 million euro to the company. This project is a great example of utilising the skills and knowledge on site to achieve reductions, collaboration by staff departments and management and staff buy-in to a project. Great opportunity for sharing with small organisations that large investment is not always needed to achieve savings.
International Business Cooperation Award
ESB International's project will result in a long term secure and improved electricity supply which will result in an improved economy and standard of living for Tanzanian people. ESB International has shared their skills by educated the local Tanzanian energy suppliers on international best practice and organising familiarisation workshops on the new equipment being installed to ensure that local staff are familiar with all new items of plant being installed.
Contact Anne Murphy for more information:
Wednesday, 24 September 2014