Best practice the key to BCE Awards success

Diageo, Glebe Cottage, DWR Cymru Welsh Water and Quantum4 are among the winners of the BCE Awards 2010

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 tanks.

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.


| gas | packaging | Retail | smart meters


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