The Beer Store, Peel Region are triple winners of RCO Waste Minimization AwardsOutstanding achievements in environmental leadership made both The Beer Store and the Region of Peel triple winners at the Recycling Council of Ontario's 2004 Waste Minimization Awards presentation, held in Tottenham, Ontario, as part of Waste Reduction Week in Canada (October 18-24).
The Beer Store received a Platinum in the Business Awards category, recognizing businesses that demonstrate a commitment to environmental protection by reducing resource and energy requirements, waste materials, and air and water pollution. Subsequently, the company was selected from among the Business Award winners to receive the Environmentally-Sustainable Business Award which recognizes the most outstanding business.
The RCO also selected The Beer Store to receive its prestigious Stewardship Award, presented to a company that promotes, conducts, performs or finances extended producer/product responsibility and stewardship, including reduction, re-use, recycling and recovery on a voluntary basis.
The Beer Store has implemented a closed-loop product return system since its inception in 1927. Its most recent Responsible Stewardship Report, submitted to Waste Diversion Ontario, indicates that in 2003-04, it recovered:
*98% of all industry standard bottles sold throughout Ontario;
*107% of all refillable bottles, as The Beer Store takes back beer containers sold through both its own stores and the LCBO;
*111% of non-refillable glass bottles;
*77% of all secondary beer packaging sold in Ontario including corrugated/boxboard, metal crowns and plastic and
*95% of aluminum cans.
The full report may be viewed on-line at www.thebeerstore.ca/about/tbs-environmental.html.
The Region of Peel also won three awards, including the RCO Chair's Award, a discretionary award recognizing the most outstanding and/or unique environmental contribution during 2003. Peel was the top recipient in the categories of Waste Diversion Program Operator and Environmentally Sustainable Municipality.
In addition to achieving a waste diversion rate of 45.2%, Peel introduced a number of new environmental sustainability programs, such as Water Smart Peel (a water efficiency program) and a smog response strategy, incorporating building energy retrofits, introduction of hybrid vehicles and a regional Clean Air Plan. The regional government has also created a corporate energy management division, responsible for managing Peel's energy in a sustainable manner.
As a waste diversion program operator, Peel Region was honoured specifically for its Brampton Community Recycling Centre (CRC) which, in 2003, alone diverted 8,860 tonnes of material from landfill. The Brampton CRC was developed from an existing recycling depot and is the second of six planned for the region as it works toward its goal of diverting 70% of residential waste from landfill by 2016.
Ford's St Thomas assembly plant was, along with The Beer Store, a Platinum winner in the Business Awards category; this marks the facility's fifth straight year as an award winner, including four consecutive Platinum awards.
In 2003-04, the company made further progress toward its goal of eliminating hazardous wastes and is on track to become completely PCB-free by 2005. Measures have included equipment changes and switching to more efficient paint spraying methods.
The plant has increased its recycling rate for used solvents and continued to expand the re-use component of its waste reduction program. For example, 61% of its parts are now received in returnable containers, reducing the amount of cardboard, pallets and other packaging waste entering the plant.
Another Business Award, for Sustainable Technology, went to the multi-national health care company Baxter. At its manufacturing operation in Alliston, Ont, the ISO 14001-certified company continued to make improvements to its systems to reduce energy, water and gas consumption. Initiatives to reduce packing of its own products also helped Baxter achieve significant decreases in the plant's overall waste volumes.
The Facility Management award was presented to SNC Lavalin Profac for its Garden City tower building in St Catharines. Its program addresses waste minimization and all-around resource conservation and clearly indicates a substantial effort in developing initiatives, making commitments, engaging tenants, monitoring progress, documenting results and working toward continuous improvement.
The RCO presents the annual awards to recognize businesses, municipalities, organizations and individuals for their vital contribution to waste minimization and environmental sustainability.