Lee Strand receives Environmental Pioneer Award for Ireland
December 2015 | by Lee StrandLee Strand attended a celebration of 20 years of premium environmental management at a High Level Conference on European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) in the European Central Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt. At the conference Lee Strand was recognised for its environmental excellence and was presented with a National Pioneer Award for Ireland. The award recognised the “Outstanding commitment to Performance, Credibility and Transparency in Environmental Management”. More than 200 EMAS users and experts gathered in the new, sustainable ECB building with participants from Member States of the European Union and China. In the presence of the ECB Vice President Vítor Constâncio, 17 organisations who were among the first to register EMAS in their countries, received recognition certificates for their outstanding commitment to continuous environmental improvement through EMAS. Following the ceremony, Jerry Dwyer, Milk Operations Manager, Lee Strand commented “Lee Strand is delighted to accept this award. Lee Strand has a strong commitment to producing high quality products while also adhering to environmental excellence in our milk operations. EMAS is a voluntary environmental management tool that organisations use to increase resource efficiency and savings, reduce environmental impacts, ensure legal compliance and report to stakeholders in a transparent manner.” Speaking at the conference Kestutis Sadauskas, Director for Green Economy at the EU Commission's DG Environment stated “The Commission is currently finalising a new Action Plan to help Europe develop a more circular economy. It is a highly ambitious step, which we take with a view to making the EU a more competitive, low carbon and resource-efficient economy. By boosting and greening environmental management capacities, EMAS has the potential to be a springboard towards additional circular economy initiatives." The conference participants also looked to the benefits gained from EMAS but also at the EMAS's role in the years to come in three panel sessions. The sessions focused on the following topics: environmental management in a circular economy and the demonstrated opportunities, benefits and challenges for the private sector; EMAS as an instrument for making cities, municipalities and offices “greener” and “smarter”; and the crucial role of public bodies in promoting advanced environmental management. The discussions reaffirmed EMAS's ability to make a meaningful contribution to a circular economy and to support cities' and municipalities' important roles as examples of environmental protection and innovation. They also demonstrated the key role of policy support in helping EMAS to promote sustainability among both private and public organisations.