JD Irving receives 2004 Gulf of Maine Visionary AwardJD Irving recently received a 2004 Gulf of Maine Visionary Award, presented annually by the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment to individuals and organizations in recognition of their innovation, creativity and commitment to marine protection of the Gulf. Nominated by forward by Dr Deb MacLatchey of the University of New Brunswick at Saint John, the company was one of two New Brunswick recipients of the award. It acknowledged in particular Irving's work in watersheds and coastal areas of the Gulf of Maine.
The firm has developed a series of initiatives within the region, including conservation efforts, public education, pollution prevention and research on aquatic habitats, which together have contributed to improving the health of New Brunswick's watersheds.
Irving has donated land in the Musquash estuary to the Nature Conservancy to help preserve the last fully functioning estuary in the Bay of Fundy. The Irving Nature Park, a 600-acre parkland where wildlife needs have been identified and ecosystems preserved, is another company initiative. The company is also an active supporter of the Atlantic Salmon Federation and sponsors of salmon research, and is an active participant in the Maine River Quality Association.
Its pollution prevention activities include certification of its St. George Power generation facility, the first and only facility of its type in New Brunswick to be certified under Canada's Environmental Choice program as a "green" source of energy. Additionally, recycling efforts at Irving Pulp and Paper (on the mouth of the Saint John River and the Bay of Fundy) have recovered more than 8,000 litres per minute and the facility has reduced water consumption by 40% in the last 15 years. This facility was recognized by the NAFTA watchdog group as No. 2 in North America for reduction of wastewater discharges. Irving Pulp and Paper has also invested over $350 million to pioneer and patent applications of reverse osmosis as a pollution prevention technology for kraft pulp mills. The technology was installed at the company's facility on Reversing Falls near the mouth of the Saint John River.