May 10, 2004

CCME presents seventh Pollution Prevention Awards

The Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment (CCME) honoured five Canadian organizations for their environmental leadership at the seventh annual Pollution Prevention (P2) Awards, held recently in Ottawa. Winners included small, medium and large businesses, institutions and a not-for-profit organization. They received a specially-designed plaque made from natural and recycled materials.

The Small Business Award was presented to Beach Solar Laundromat, of Toronto, for its implementation of innovative, environmentally sensitive technologies to enhance laundromat production processes. The operator reduced greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants by replacing lighting, installing solar panels, and designing and installing refrigerant-free air conditioning. The initiatives also helped Beach conserve water and lower costs, while promoting P2 in the community and business sector.

This innovative, single-person business also received the Greenhouse Gases Reduction Award. Beach replaced inefficient heaters and air conditioners, installed energy-saving devices, switched fuels and changed processes to reduce gas and electricity costs by 30% per load. These modifications led to a reduction in CO2 emissions of 23,000 kg in the first year following the project.

Another award in the Small Business category went to Warrens Imaging and Dryography, also in Toronto. The printing firm, which is registered to the ISO 14001 standard, combined a waterless printing process with a comprehensive P2 planning process. As a result, the company conserved 21,000 gallons of water annually, which in turn eliminated waterborne pollutants, saved energy and reduced both VOC emissions and solid waste requiring disposal.

The Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre, in Winnipeg, received an Honourable Mention in the Greenhouse Gases Reduction category. In a pilot program, the Health Sciences Centre trained staff, replaced equipment and fixtures, and improved maintenance and operating procedures to achieve energy savings. The project will realize 95% of planned savings in 2006.

An Honourable Mention in the Medium Business category was awarded to Plains Marketing Canada, in Calgary, for its Manito Pipeline/Rimbey facility pollution prevention projects. The facility captured marketable gases formerly lost to the air; installed floating roofs on tanks to reduce odours; removed, repaired and lined underground tanks to reduce leaks and built a land farm to treat and conserve soil.

The Large Business Award winner was Alcoa Aluminerie de Deschambault, in Deschambault-Grondines, Quebec, for its fluoride emissions management project. The ISO 14001-certified smelter increased its aluminum production while reducing fluoride emissions. An employee working group documented sources, then found and implemented technological and procedural changes to reduce fugitive fluoride emissions.

A multi-media approach to pollution prevention made the world-renowned Hospital for Sick Children the P2 Award winner in the Institution category. The Toronto hospital's comprehensive P2 plan goes beyond the P2 requirements of the city's sewer use bylaw. Its program eliminated 2.5 kg mercury and 1,700 000 kg of CO2, recycled and diverted solid waste from landfills, conserved 1,434,000 kWh of energy per year and conserved 67,000 cubic metres of water per year, while improving worker health and safety at the same time.

The Innovations Award went to the Eco-Efficiency Centre, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The Halifax area not-for-profit organization works with small businesses on resource conservation, recycling, re-use and good environmental practice. Since 1998, companies assisted by the Centre have diverted 1,569 tons of solid waste from landfill and 25,265 gallons of liquid waste (including toxics) from sewers, conserved three million gallons of water and saved $36,000 in energy costs through reduced fuel oil consumption.

More information on this year's P2 Awards may be viewed on the CCME Web site, www.ccme.ca.

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