Established by Sir Peter Parker 35 years ago, the Business Commitment to
the Environment (BCE) Environmental Leadership Awards continue to showcase
best practice among UK business.

The 2010 contest delivered some fantastic case studies, not least the
winner of the Sir Peter Parker Award, Kingfisher (profiled in the July
edition of SB).

The WRAP-sponsored Management for Resource Efficiency trophy was
awarded to Diageo – one of the world’s biggest drinks companies, whose
collection of brands include Guiness, Johnnie Walker and Captain Morgan –
and in particular its Shieldhall plant near Glasgow. The production
facility runs eight high-speed lines, the fastest of which produces 600
bottles of whisky a minute.

The company’s overarching strategy commits it to reducing environmental
impacts across sites. At Shiedhall, water use has come down 16% in the past
year (largely thanks to the introduction of smart meters).

The amount of waste going to landfill was reduced by 38% between 2006
and 2008 and the recycling rate is now 95%, with ambitions to get to 100%
by 2011. No doubt with the CRC in mind, there has been a 27% reduction in
energy use, achieved by scrapping the central heavy fuel oil boiler in
favour of local gas central heating.

The site has also saved around £200,000 by collaborating with suppliers
and reducing spirit processing losses by improving processes.

This year’s Product Premier Award went to Glebe Cottage, a greetings
card publisher that produces more than 500,000 cards a year on a turnover
of £300,000. In fact, it was the first direct-to-retail card publisher to
gain Forest Stewardship Certification (FSC) for its products and the first
to use compostable packaging for its cards.

In formed by its
Greener Greetings project, the company has made a series of environmental
commitments designed to encourage and inspire the industry – putting
pressure on suppliers of paper, print, envelopes and bags to offer green
choices to card publishers.

As the chairman of the Greeting Card
Association noted recently: “They punch well above their weight and are
leading the sector in eco-friendly publishing.”

DWR Cymru Welsh Water is another great example. The sixth largest of
ten water and sewerage companies in England and Wales, the company’s
success lies in its pilot project at Cog Moors treatment works which proved
that ultraviolet (UV) disinfection of effluent from wastewater plants
consistently reduces bacteria and viruses in intermittent storm overflows
to well within current and future microbiological standards. And that
knowledge avoids the environmental and economic impact of installing new

Last April, a full-scale UV plant was commissioned on an intermittent
storm discharge at Cog Moors and confirmed the efficacy of the process
during the subsequent bathing season.

A carbon account comparing additional storage tanks and the UV plant
showed the former would have ten times the carbon footprint of the latter
over the plant lifetime. UV has the lowest whole-life costs, and minimal
construction and operational impacts in an environmentally- and socially-
sensitive area.

Winner of the SME Premier
Award, Quantum4 provides solutions to shops, such as merchandising systems,
service counters, furniture and point of sale units.

New Ecosmart tools help retailers develop fixtures that save resources
and money and reduce waste. Quantum4’s research work influences others in
developing design and development policies.

The company’s aim is to develop, lead and partner others to improve the
use of materials, processes and practices in terms of the impact the
industry has on the environment.

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