Kiwi ingenuity feature in energy awards

Friday 5 Oct 2018

Winners of the 2018 EECA Business Awards are world leaders in energy saving.

Red Stag Timber, now on the world stage in sustainability, scooped the Large Energy User of the Year category at the EECA Business Awards 2018. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), which hosts the Awards, say they were more targeted this year, recognising those businesses making big reductions in carbon emissions through saving energy or switching fuel types.

The theme this year was 'innovation and leadership' and only the largest of New Zealand's energy users were eligible to enter. This call was answered by Red Stag Timber, which was recognised for its carbon-neutral wood processing plant. The company now generates all its own electricity from biomass boilers and steam turbines. Waste wood from their timber mill is used to fuel the boilers, instead of being trucked to landfill, so they no longer need to worry about the power bill.

As the largest timber mill in the Southern Hemisphere, the move puts the Kiwi business on the world stage with regards to sustainability. EECA Chief Executive, Andrew Caseley, presented the Large Energy User of the Year category at the Awards and said he was blown away by the broad mix of entries submitted by both private and public sector organisations in the finals: "There are no losers here; least of all our environment and economy.

"Every entry to the EECA Business Awards demonstrates the effort that New Zealand organisations are making in their daily work to bring the low-emissions future that we must have closer to becoming a reality for the country.

"Those businesses commended, highly commended or that won their category are some of the smartest business leaders that New Zealand has to offer. Their success can be drawn on by others for solutions in energy-efficiency and emissions reduction. "Through the awards, we have seen innovative technology put to work, the establishment of long-term energy and emissions reduction goals and staff engagement and empowerment that, collectively, demonstrates a Kiwi workforce with energy efficiency at its heart."

According to the University of Waikato's Engineering Energy Research Centre, who gave their world-leading expertise to the judging process, an outstanding selection of energy efficiency and low emission stories were submitted by New Zealand industry, health and education providers and the public sector. Awards judge Dr Martin Atkins said that "an eclectic mix of energy efficient, low-emission stories contributed to the stellar line up."

"Businesses thinking long term and setting targets for energy and emissions reduction are what counts for New Zealand. Important environmental decisions sitting alongside financial ones improve a business' durability, and it was this that we wanted to reward."

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Source: NZ Herald

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