EcoWeek,  April 19, 2004

Globe Awards honour achievements combining environmental stewardship, competitive advantage

Canadian leaders in traditional industries, along with leading-edge technology developers, were recognized for their success in combining environmental stewardship with competitive advantage at the third annual Globe Awards for Environmental Excellence, presented April 2 at the Globe 2004 International Trade Show and Conference.

Toyota Canada was named winner of the Corporate Competitiveness Award. This award is presented to a company with a proven record of environmental stewardship which has materially contributed to economic competitiveness through a commitment to environmental excellence. Toyota has been operating in Canada for nearly 40 years. Its vision for Canada combines a commitment to produce vehicles with low environmental impacts while making positive contributions to Canadian communities. Last year, the company joined Earth Day Canada in sponsoring a new environmental scholarship (ELW February 24, 2003) and in 2002, Toyota Canada released the first Canadian version of its North American Environmental Report (ELW February 18, 2002). The third edition of this report was issued earlier this year (ELW February 2).

Other finalists in this category included Alcan, DuPont Canada and Suncor Energy.

The selection of the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) to receive the Industry Association Award for Environmental Performance was particularly significant for CUTA, which is commemorating its centennial in 2004. This award is presented to an association representing an industry sector which has shown leadership by going beyond regulatory compliance to develop a collective commitment to improved environmental performance through research, development and education in partnership with governments, non-governmental organizations, communities and other stakeholders.

CUTA's mission and goals that are built around the concept of environmental sustainability as being inherent to public transportation. The Association has pursued sustainability by focusing on environmental performance and promoting innovation through the display and showcasing of industry improvements. It has developed partnerships with government and other stakeholders and has sought international industry partnerships as well. CUTA also advocates government policy supportive of sustainable urban transportation. In 2003, CUTA became a signatory to a global Charter on Sustainable Development.

The other finalists in this category were the Canadian Steel Producers Association and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association.

The Corporate Award for Technology Innovation and/or Application was presented to Xantrex Technology, a Vancouver company which develops, manufactures and markets advanced power electronic and control products for the distributed, mobile and programmable power markets.

The award honours outstanding technical ingenuity in the development and/or application of an innovative technology or process with a significant environmental application. Xantrex's products convert raw electrical power from any central, distributed, or backup power source into high-quality power for use in businesses or homes. For the renewable energy sector, Xantrex designs and manufactures advanced power electronics that convert power from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, and advanced energy and storage technologies such as fuel cells, into electrical power. The company recently received a TPC grant to further advance its renewable energy technology work (ELW XXX).

The other finalists in this category were EcoTrans Technologies and GPS Gas Protection System.

Carmanah Technologies, of Victoria, BC received the Industry Award for Export Performance, presented to an environmental technology or service company which has demonstrated the drive, talent and innovative spirit to have gained a solid foothold in the global environmental marketplace.

Carmanah Technologies has rapidly become a world leader in the design, manufacture and supply of solar-powered LED (light-emitting diode) lighting systems. An alternative energy manufacturer, Carmanah specializes in patented, maintenance-free, solar-powered LED lighting systems for marine, transit, roadway, railway, and aviation applications throughout the world.

The company's solar-powered self-contained products can operate virtually anywhere under all environmental conditions. They do not require connection to infrastructure and because of their unique design, they require no scheduled maintenance or servicing for up to five years. Since 1998, more than 85,000 units have been installed in 100 countries.

The other finalists in this category were Fueling Technologies, Lotek Wireless and Trojan Technologies.

The first-ever Capital Markets Award for Sustainable Investment and Banking went to Innovest Strategic Value Advisors. This new category represents an explicit recognition that financial markets are increasingly integrating environment factors into investment and banking decisions, and are placing more capital into sustainable technologies and ventures.

Founded in 1998, Innovest is an international investment research firm specializing in analyzing "non-traditional" drivers of risk and shareholder value, including companies' performance on environmental, social, and strategic governance issues. Several independent commentators have cited Innovest as world's the leading firm in this area. The firm has clients in more than 20 countries and currently has over US $1.1 billion under structured sub-advisory mandates with asset management partners including State Street Global Advisors.

The other finalists in this new category were Cleantech Venture Network and The Ethical Funds Company.

Finally, the Globe Award for Excellence in Brownfield Redevelopment was presented to Canada Lands Company for its Moncton Shops project. The award is presented to a local government or private sector company or consortium which has demonstrated outstanding leadership in transforming a brownfield site into a thriving, revitalized community or business area.

Canada Lands Company is a self-financing, commercial Crown corporation. Its mandate is to manage, develop or sell federal government properties no longer required for program purposes so as to optimize financial and community value for the government. Over the past decade, Canada Lands has built a national reputation in brownfields restoration and revitalization, providing unique green urban spaces while creating lasting legacies for Canadian residents.

The Moncton Shops project in New Brunswick has transformed one of Canada's largest brownfield properties into a multi-use complex incorporating new housing, refurbished institutional units and a municipally-owned recreational sports facility. In carrying out this project, Canada Lands has created value and stimulated employment and private-sector investment.

The other finalists in this category were Low-level Radioactive Waste Management Office's Port Hope waterworks remediation project and Nexen Chemical's Squamish chemical plant site (ELW February 2).

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