Environmental Initiative sponsored by Sustainable Ireland

AES UK (Joint Winners)

AES UK & Ireland marks 25 years of operating in Northern Ireland in 2017 as the largest electricity generator in the country, providing 61% of generation capacity last year alone.

AES is also a major employer in the Mid & East Antrim area, as the owner and operator of the Kilroot and Ballylumford power stations. The company has made a significant commitment and contribution to protecting and enhancing biodiversity on its sites across the UK and Ireland, locally supporting environmental education programmes, delivered with its charity partner Ulster Wildlife. Through ‘Energy in Nature’ sessions with local primary schools, hundreds of children have learned about sustainable energy use in the future. AES has also supported the development and delivery of an Environmental Leadership Programme with Secondary Schools in the vicinity of Kilroot and Ballylumford stations.

In 2017, it launched a Biodiversity Action Plan, which outlines AES’ environmental conservation strategy for the next five years, taking steps to encourage Northern Ireland protected and priority species including Irish hares, barn owls, sand martins, black guillemots, cowslips and of course, the bee orchid. It has also included actions to protect a range of habitats present on its sites, such as species-rich grassland, woodland and coastal areas.

These initiatives are implemented by the Ballylumford and Kilroot Power Stations’ Green Teams – groups of AES employees who coordinate activities, including wildflower planting, wildlife garden building, tree and hedgerow planting, building bat and bird boxes, and beach cleans. Commented Ian Luney, AES President UK & Ireland: “We are delighted to have won this award, not just for the company but also for our people as it recognises all the work they do, along with Ulster Wildlife, delivering a really good message on sustainability and biodiversity.

“AES is proud to be emerging as a local biodiversity champion and are looking forward to making a further significant contribution toward nature conservation in Northern Ireland.”

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THE FINALISTS:

  • Northern Ireland Water – Ballynacor Wildflower Meadows
  • Farrans Construction – Connswater Community Greenway
  • WYG
  • Northern Ireland Water – Seagahan Weed Wiping Project
  • ATG& AES UK & Ireland