Environment Ministers honour Canadian leaders for pollution prevention leadership, innovation
Seven organizations whose innovation and leadership in pollution prevention is making Canada's environment a little bit cleaner were honoured by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) during the 9th Canadian National Pollution Prevention Roundtable held last week in Victoria, BC. The 2005 Pollution Prevention Awards gala dinner on June 1 was hosted by the Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention. In addition to the winners, four other organizations received honourable mentions.
"I congratulate this year's award winners for their vision and leadership in making pollution prevention an integral part of their operations," said current CCME president Kerry Morash, Nova Scotia Minister of Environment and Labour. "They have recognized that pollution prevention makes good environmental and business sense, and in so doing, have set an example for all businesses to follow."
Awards were given in the categories of Small, Medium and Large Business; Organization/Institution/Group; Innovations; and, Greenhouse Gases Reduction. Each of the winners received a specially designed award, made of natural and recycled materials, and a logo they may use signifying their status as a CCME Pollution Prevention award winner.
Large Business Award
New Flyer Industries, the Winnipeg-based transit bus manufacturer, received the award in this category for its volatile organic compounds (VOC) reduction plan. In an effort to minimize environmental impacts from-and reduce worker exposures to-VOC, the company began by determining which of its activities involved the use of high-VOC-content products. Among them were flooring installation and surface coating operations. Initiatives such as product substitution and installation of a high-efficiency gunwash solvent recovery still helped achieve a 70.29% VOC reduction. Since 2002, New Flyer's reduction efforts in Winnipeg have reduced the total VOC generated for every bus unit built by 41.7%. (More information is available from Mike Sarazin at New Flyer Industries, 204/224-6493.)
Medium Business Award
In this category, Roxul, a Milton, Ontario manufacturer of mineral wool insulation products, adopted a progressive environmental management system to achieve facility-wide reductions in solid waste, hazardous compounds and energy use. Measures implemented included a two-stage recycling facility, featuring innovative fines recycling to reduce solid waste, air emissions and transportation of raw material and waste; a reduction/elimination program for binder resins; and an energy reduction program to reduce process and auxiliary energy consumption. (More information is available from Jack Silva at Roxul, 905/875-9302.)
Medium Business Honourable Mention
Two companies were recognized in this category: Louisiana Pacific Canada, for its oriented strand board plant in Swan River, Manitoba; and Zep Manufacturing, in Edmonton.
At the Swan River facility, Louisiana Pacific installed a new dryer energy system and single pass dryers with flue gas recirculation. As a result, the plant reduced dryer system emissions, improved its efficiency in raw material use and lowered its net annual costs. Installing the drying system pollution control equipment yielded a 77% reduction in NOx emissions, while additional reductions in PM, VOC, and NOx emissions resulted from the closure of its wood waste incinerator. Net greenhouse gas emissions also decreased by 3,488 tonnes of CO2 per year.
In Edmonton, Zep Manufacturing Company of Canada initiated activities to eliminate or significantly reduce nonylphenol (NP) and its ethoxylates (NPE) contained in hundreds of manufactured and imported cleaning and sanitation products. By 2002, Zep had achieved a 96.7% reduction of NP and NPE and by June 2002 had eliminated NPE from more than 98.5% of its products.
Small Business Award
Clean Choice Printers, a home-based printing business in McDonalds Corner, Ontario, was honoured for its incorporation of risography, a direct transfer process which is water-based and uses non-toxic ink, into its total printing system. This enabled the company to reduce its ecological footprint by 90%. (More information is available from Don Rennick of Clean Choice Printers, 877/463-2639.)
Small Business Honourable Mention
Trimac Transportation's Oakville washrack cleaning facility in Port Colborne, Ontario, was recognized for its reduced use of CEPA toxics. The bulk trucking company eliminated the use of solvents in its exterior cleaning process by using a soluble media blasting technique with baking soda. The technique eliminates more than 24 tonnes per year of methylene chloride. The return on investment was only two and one-half months, as the cost to treat the pollutants would have added $162,000 per year to in-plant costs.
Sani-Terre, of Normandin, Quebec, received this award for its development of an innovative mobile ecological wash unit for on-site washing and maintenance of heavy equipment. By facilitating on-site cleaning of heavy equipment, the technology increases water efficiency and cost savings. The unit is also equipped with a patented carpet system allowing water retrieval, a water re-use system, and a system for pumping and treating used water; this enables Sani-Terre to retrieve and separate contaminants such as petroleum hydrocarbons and heavy metals. (More information is available from Christian Mathieu at Sani-Terre, 418/274-8104.)
Two recipients were named in this category.
The Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA), a non-profit multistakeholder association based in Edmonton, received the award for its development of a framework for managing solution gas flaring and venting in Alberta. CASA's framework was predicated on a voluntary pollution prevention approach, supported by regulations. Since implementation of the framework, solution gas flaring has been reduced by 70% from the 1996 baseline, and solution gas venting has been reduced by 38% since 2000. In 2003, 95.3% of solution gas was conserved or used in another manner. (More information is available from Donna Tingley of CASA, 708/427-9793.)
Partners for a Green Hill, in Ottawa, was also honoured for the pollution prevention initiatives established by four partner organizations on Parliament Hill (the Department of Public Works and Government Services together with the Senate, the House of Commons and the Library of Parliament). Together, they reduced pollution in the workplace by implementing fresh water saving measures, diverting wastewater from the municipal sewer system, reducing paper waste and eliminating hazardous cleaning products. Printing services received EcoLogo certification under the Environmental Choice program, while a pilot project for composting paper towels in washrooms, started in 2002, has diverted thousands of kilograms of paper towels from landfill. (More information is available from Benoit Giroux, Partners for a Green Hill, 613/992-1379.)
Organization/Institution/Group Honourable Mention
OCETA, the Ontario Centre for Environment Technology Advancement, based in Mississauga, Ontario received an honourable mention for its Toronto Region Sustainability Program, which provides pollution prevention technical assistance to small- to medium-sized manufacturers. The program has improved participating manufacturers' environmental performance by reducing smog precursors, toxics, sewer discharges, process wastes, and water consumption, while increasing cost savings.
Greenhouse Gases Reduction Award
Hamilton Community Energy was presented this award for the Hamilton Community Energy heating project, which delivers efficient thermal energy in the form of hot water to 13 buildings in downtown Hamilton, Ontario. An efficient gas-fired combined heat and power plant produces 3.5 MW of electricity using a low-NOX reciprocating engine, with the exhaust heat being recovered and converted to hot water. The initiative has helped improve local air quality while reducing energy consumption and costs as well as greenhouse gases. (More information is available from Ian Collins of Hamilton Community Energy, 905/317-4722.)
The CCME established the Pollution Prevention Awards program in 1997 to support its emphasis on preventing pollution at the source, rather than cleaning it up or treating it later. More information about the awards program is available on the CCME Web site, www.ccme.ca/initiatives/pollution.html, or from Anjanette Tomac of the CCME Secretariat, 204/948-2757, or Chris Wolnik at the Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention, 519/337-3429.