On Wednesday, May 05, representatives from the Department of the Environment, Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology, Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Central American Commission for Environment and Development launched the Fifth Edition of the Cleaner Production Regional Awards here in Belize.
Cleaner Production is an environmental strategy applied to products, processes and services in order to increase eco-efficiency and reduce risks on the environment. The awards program is an initiative of the Central American Commission for Environment and Development and it seeks to bring recognition to firms that have made efforts to continuously improve their products, processes and services to achieve better environmental performance.
Martin Alegria, Chief Environmental Officer, gave the opening address. He emphasized the importance of sustainable development in a country like Belize which depends so heavily on its natural resources. The awards program holds in high regard businesses that make efficient use of energy; reduce water consumption and reduce the generation of waste and re-use residue. While doing these the businesses actually increase profitability margins; improve productivity and competitiveness and change the attitude of future generations.
The local coordinating agency of the awards program is the Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology (BEST). Dennis Jones, Managing Director of BEST, said that Belize has been unable to enter a company into the program for the first four editions. However, he said, “Several companies in Belize have made significant progress in promoting environmental awareness over the last couple years.” He said that there are at least five companies that can win awards in this edition of the program.
There are four themes of focus in the Cleaner Production Awards: Materials, Water, Energy and Environmental Management Systems. There are three categories of enterprise: small business which has less than 50 employees; medium size business with less than 100 employees and large enterprise with more than 100. There is an award for each category in every team. An example of a project that can be presented under the theme of materials is a program or technology that promotes better use of raw materials and/or reduction of waste at the origin. A project that can be presented under the theme of water is one for the optimization of water resources. Under energy, a program that uses renewable energy is ideal. A dedication to the incorporation of environmental management in policies and mechanisms that show effective and continuous improvement in relevant environmental issues is the focus under the theme of Environmental Management Systems.
Application forms for the awards program are available at your local Department of the Environment or you can apply online at www.ccad.ws/premio.
In addition to a very prestigious trophy, the winner will receive free of charge promotion and advertisement as companies committed to environmental and social responsibility.