Leading glass and glazing manufacturer, Pilkington, won a top prize at last night’s prestigious Business Commitment to the Environment (BCE) Environmental Leadership Awards ceremony in London.
The company won the Process Premier Award for the refurbishment of its UK5 float glass line, the largest glass furnace in the UK. This included the installation of a pollution control plant (PCP), an improved combustion system, a new insulation package and an on-line glass coater. The project ensures the availability of glass with the lowest overall carbon footprint on the European market.
Another manufacturer, British Gypsum, the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of gypsum-based plastering and drylining solutions, received a major commendation for an innovative way of dealing with leachate, which reduced waste and water use. The project reduced waste by 2,000 tonnes and saved more than £100,000 per year.
Twelve companies, ranging in size from SMEs to major PLCs, won major awards or commendations across a number of sectors including construction, food and waste management. The awards were presented by former Marks & Spencer chairman, Sir Stuart Rose.
"I’ve been very impressed with the quality of this year’s BCE Award winners and commend them for their commitment to the environment, particularly in the face of such challenging economic conditions" said Sir Stuart. "They’ve really set the bar for other companies."
Work by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to minimise the environmental impact of new venues and infrastructure for the London 2012 Games won the top award on the night, the prestigious Sir Peter Parker Award.
Founded by Sir Peter Parker in 1975, the BCE Awards scheme is one of the world’s longest-running environmental competitions. It celebrates the achievements of businesses that an independent judging panel recognises as meeting the commercial demands of the present without compromising the environment. The Sir Peter Parker Award is presented to the best overall project.
Premier Awards also went to recycling company, Paper Round; and office equipment manufacturer, Ricoh UK Products Ltd. The UK’s sixth largest water and sewerage company, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, won a special commendation for Continuous Commitment and Improvement.
A number of other businesses received Major Commendations. These were Commercial Group, EAE Ltd, May Gurney Ltd, Noble Foods Ltd, Skanska, Sweeptech Environmental Services LLP and The Thoughtful Bread Company.
Congratulating the winners, Sir Stuart said:
"I know from my own experiences at Marks & Spencer that businesses need to display qualities of leadership, innovation and excellence to succeed with sustainability initiatives. These demanding attributes are also required to win a prestigious BCE Award and all the winners deserve enormous credit.
"Businesses will need to show these qualities in spades to adapt in a rapidly changing world. We need to radically alter our business models to cope with a perfect storm of climate change, a growing global population and finite resources. The BCE Awards scheme has pioneered the recognition of companies taking the lead on environmental issues and the winners’ achievements are an inspiration to their peers."
The ODA joins an illustrious list of previous high-profile BCE Award winners. Over its 35-year history, the BCE Awards scheme has attracted some of the most influential names in industry, including Kingfisher, ASDA, Unilever, Marks & Spencer and Rolls-Royce.
WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) is the lead sponsor of the 2011 BCE Awards. Main sponsors are AEA, BP, Brunswick Group, E.ON and Sustainable Business.
Applications for the 2012 BCE Awards can now be made via the BCE Awards website (www.bceawards.org). The closing date for entries is 10 October 2011.