Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Using sport to save energy wins top award

A trust that helps sport to spread the energy saving message has won the top honours at the EECA Awards.

Also winner of the Community Award, the Project Litefoot Trust was recognised for its LiteClub project which helps community sports clubs become more efficient with energy, water and waste. The money saved on energy is then freed up for equipment, coaching and facilities. So far the trust has achieved $3.9 million worth of energy savings.

"The LiteClub project is reaching everyday New Zealanders and changing their attitudes to sustainability through their involvement in sports clubs. This is an innovative and well-executed project that makes use of sports stars to get attention and support," said EECA chief executive Mike Underhill.

Former All Black Conrad Smith, ex-Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum, golfer Michael Campbell and the Evers-Swindell rowing twins are some of the 10 New Zealand sporting stars who are helping Project Litefoot Trust link sport with the environment.

More than 710 community sports clubs have signed to LiteClub's free service, and there is now international interest in replicating the model.

Collectively, the 2016 awards entries will save or generate 1.1 petajoules (PJ) of energy, equivalent to the annual energy use of all households in New Plymouth, and avoid 120,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, about one-fifth of the annual emissions of all households in New Zealand.

Other winners included Orora Beverage Cans NZ, which won the large energy user award for an energy management plan which has seen the company's least efficient site increase productivity by 30 per cent, while the small to medium energy user award went to organic food distributor Ceres Organics, whose new state-of-the-art warehouse and office building has shed 40 per cent off the company's energy use.

The energy-saving achievements of ANZCO Foods were rewarded with the company taking out the Energy Management Award. ANZCO has achieved a 17 per cent reduction in overall energy use, saving the company $2.6 million each year, a result award judge's put down to ANZCO's company-wide commitment to be more energy efficient.

Specialised business service companies were recognised in the Awards, with Auckland based Energy Solutions Providers (ESP) winning the Business Service Excellence Award for energy management programmes that have saved the company's clients more than $18.5 million.

The work of urban planner and sustainability strategist Viv Heslop, sustainability manager at Panuku Development Auckland won the energy leadership award. Dr Heslop is credited with pioneering energy efficiency in the regeneration of Auckland's waterfront.

The Public Sector Award went to Te Puni Kōkiri and Argosy Property for the retrofit of historic Te Puni Kōkiri House in Wellington.

Fast-changes in the transport sector saw Charge Net NZ awarded the Transport Award for its moves to increase the number of charging stations for electric vehicles in New Zealand.

Butchery company Hellers and Active Refrigeration took out the innovation award for a heat recovery project which produces hot water from waste heat generated by the factory's cooling system. The renewable energy award went to Antarctica New Zealand for Kiwi-designed and built wind turbines which are generating enough energy to power both New Zealand and America's Antarctic research stations.

Underhill described this year's winners as trailblazers in their effort to find innovative solutions that tackle energy use head on.


The winners:

• Supreme winner: Project Litefoot Trust
• Business Service Excellence: Energy Solution Providers
• Community Award: Project Litefoot Trust
• Energy Leadership: Dr Viv Heslop, Panuku Development Auckland
• Energy Management: ANZCO
• Innovation Award: Hellers and Active Refrigeration
• Large Energy User: Orora Beverage Cans
• Public Sector: Te Puni Kōkiri and Argosy Property
• Renewable Energy: Antarctica New Zealand
• Small to Medium Energy User: Ceres Organics
• Transport: Charge Net NZ

- NZ Herald

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