A Night to Remember at the Annual Sustainable Ireland Awards of 2016
There was much to celebrate at the annual Sustainable Ireland awards, and it was certainly a night to remember, especially for those who were recognised for their part in maintaining and protecting our environment.
With 16 separate categories, the record breaking awards ceremony attracted leading figures from right across the waste management, environmental and energy sectors.
Commented Sustainable Ireland General Manager Golda Burrows: “All those who submitted entries certainly raised the bar this year. The standard was of such a high level that it made a difficult task in choosing the winners even more difficult for our distinguished panel of judges, sourced from government bodies, industry institutions and academia, and to whom I say a big ‘thank you’ for taking the time out of their busy schedules.
“A big ‘thank you’ too to all who entered, because without them, and our generous sponsors, these awards would not be happening.”
Meanwhile, in her opening remarks to a packed auditorium at the Ramada Hotel in South Belfast, Golda referred to some of the pressing issues of the day.
“It’s great to see that the world is finally waking up to the significance of climate change and global warming. It is a pivotal moment in the world’s history when the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases – China and the USA – have announced they will formally ratify the Paris climate change agreement in a move, campaigners immediately hailed as a significant advance in the battle against global warming,” she said.
When the Paris agreement comes into force, the 200 or so governments that are party to it will then be obliged to meet emissions-cutting pledges made before the deal last December.
The EU has a “national determined contribution” of cutting emissions by 40% by 2030 on 1990 levels, and the US by up to 28% by 2025 compared with 2005.
“It is also good to know that the UK government is to ratify the Paris climate change deal by the end of the year,” said Golda. “But why the delay? And talking about delay, we are still waiting for the government’s long anticipated carbon plan which was due last year but postponed until late this year following the chancellor’s sweeping cuts to subsidies for clean energy.
“It’s up to People Power to keep this at the forefront of the agendas of our politicians and decision makers. Indeed, more often than not, businesses are better placed than policymakers to drive the green economy.
“The role of sustainability professionals can influence commercial operations and therefore bring about a cultural shift away from unsustainable behaviours and attitudes to ensure environmental issues become an integral part of business decision making.”
So, who won what and why on a night when guests generously donated £2,680 to our chosen charity, the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice? Over the following pages, all will be revealed. But even if you weren’t among the winners, remember life is not always about winning, it’s about taking part – and there’s always next year…