A closer look at some VIBES winners

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Lothian-Buses

There’s still time to get your entries in for this year’s VIBES Awards before the 5 July deadline. We take a look at some previous winners to see what it takes to win one of these prestigious awards.

Enviroco won the VIBES ‘Environmental and Clean Technology’ Award in 2012 for their reduced man-entry tank cleaning system at their Peterhead site. The site’s main activity is waste transfer from ships; including hazardous wastes, liquid wastes, and general commercial and industrial wastes, mostly from oil and gas exploration companies operating in the North Sea.

Materials are identified, processed, stored and dispatched from the site for final disposal or recycling. The facility also has a water treatment plant that is used to treat dirty water from tank cleaning, interceptors and industrial sources.

Enviroco-2 Enviroco’s application

In their application, Enviroco showed a clear commitment to enhancing its product offering and good environmental practice with the development of the Eclipse tank-cleaning system. Research and development lasting two years has resulted in a self-contained, portable, tank-cleaning machine, reducing the footprint on the quayside. The closed-loop recycling system reduces the amount of water used by 22%; it is energy efficient and reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill by 85%. Eclipse reduces the need for man-entry to the system (by more than 70%), therefore reducing the risks associated with using high water pressure in confined spaces.

Eclipse also uses a ‘Euro 3A’ engine, which, at the time of design, demonstrated the minimal emissions. Where the old system required two vans and two large goods vehicles (LGVs), Eclipse only requires one van, one LGV, and a hook-lift vehicle to deliver the unit to the quay side.

Gillian Bruce, VIBES chair said: “The VIBES judges felt that Enviroco demonstrated a forward-thinking, knowledgeable and innovative approach to its product, and were highly impressed with the performance of Eclipse. The judges were also impressed by how employees have been involved—from the initial design onwards.

“The judges were really impressed by the way in which the company approaches the marketing of its product, and the fact that Enviroco has designed a product that will allow it to operate in industries beyond oil and gas, such as the petro-chemical industry, digesters, wet wells and any other industry that requires tank-cleaning.”

Enviroco were so impressed by the benefits of winning a VIBES Award last year, that they are now the sponsors for this year’s Waste and Resources Award.

Lothian Buses plc

Lothian Buses plc won the Transport Award in 2012 and provides an exemplary transport system to Edinburgh and the Lothians. Heavy investment in a new fleet and quality maintenance has provided fully accessible public transport, with around 113 million passenger journeys per year.

Gillian said: “The judges were impressed by their visit to the central depot site. Lothian Buses’ commitment to environmental improvements is taken very seriously and pro-actively.”

Direct improvements to the fleet at the central depot include fitting 44 older buses with advanced Selective Catalytic Reduction Trap (SCRT) exhausts to improve air pollutant emissions, costing £660,000 and entering Scotland’s first 15 diesel–electric hybrid buses on a dedicated route (costing £5 million).

SCRT-fitted buses reduce NOx emissions by 70%, particulates by 95%, and hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide by 99% without using more fuel. The SCRT fitment (which costs only a tenth of the cost of buying a new bus) will help reduce air pollution therefore improving public health.

Dr Steve Johnson, Environmental and Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Lothian Buses plc, said: “We particularly appreciated the VIBES judging process as it involved an on-site visit which allowed judges to see first-hand the actions we were taking.

“Detailed questioning also allowed the company to comprehensively describe its work without being concerned about meeting excessively tight word count restrictions, which can be typical of award nomination forms today.”

The hybrid buses were promoted heavily both before and after their introduction. As a result, strong positive growth has been seen on the bus routes they follow. In real terms, some 150,000 car journeys are being saved annually as a result of the buses, with annual fuel savings of around £250,000. The drivers of the buses have been made aware of the environmental benefits of the buses and have been trained in driving efficiently to ensure they deliver low emissions and save fuel.

Lothian Buses has also researched relevant environmental improvements. These include the use of student placements that report to their environmental manager, which have been sourced via the Green Business Partnership. The business has provided information on its environmental performance through its website, public open-door days, bus stop adverts and community/school involvement. These are useful tools to keep the public informed of their environmental progression.

If these stories leave you feeling inspired and you believe that your business could be a contender for this year’s awards, get your application in by the 5 July deadline. Further details can be found on the VIBES website.

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