News in Brief – 2/12/16

Alpha Programme delivers £290k cash boost to NI projects

Seven community-based and biodiversity projects in Northern Ireland are set to receive a funding boost from the Alpha Programme.

Since 2008, the waste management company Alpha Resource Management has run the initiative with the aim of aiding local grassroots and environmental regeneration projects within a 10-mile radius of Mullaghglass Landfill site outside Lisburn, Co. Antrim, with funds drawn from the Landfill Tax Credits Scheme and Alpha Resource Management Ltd.

News in Brief – 2/12/16
Ross Glover and Micah Cleland from Lisburn plan their stay at the Boys Brigade headquarters at Culcavy.

The latest funding package of £291,252, one of four lots of funding awarded each year, will go to a variety of projects including community centre and play area refurbishments, floodlighting a local football pitch, creation of riverside pathways and building an outdoor classroom nature reserve facility.

Richard Rogers from Alpha Resource Management said; “As an industry leader within the waste management sector, it’s important for us to build an effective structure to distribute landfill tax credits near our Mullaghglass site.

“Tax on landfill waste was introduced to reduce the amount of this type of waste and to encourage a shift to more environmentally sustainable methods of waste management. This innovative programme now in its eighth year is setting industry standards. And, by reinvesting back we are strengthening local communities.”

Minister for Communities, Paul Givan MLA, welcomed the funding announcements: “It’s great to see so many local initiatives benefit from the successful Alpha programme, not just in my local area but across Northern Ireland. It is positive to see local projects getting the help they deserve to continue their good work for their local communities.”

You can find out more about the Alpha Programme on its website.

UK mattress company awarded social impact accreditation

The online luxury mattress company Leesa Sleep UK, has become the first mattress company to become a Certified B Corporation, the ethical business movement that arrived in the UK from the US in September 2015.

To receive ‘B Corp’ accreditation, profit-making companies have to commit to achieving social and environmental goals while making a profit, aiming to demonstrate the positive impact the way a company makes its profit can have on people and the planet.News in Brief – 2/12/16

The certification is awarded by the not-for-profit organisation ‘B Lab’, which rewards those companies that reach the threshold level of social and environmental action and meet high standards of performance, accountability and transparency. There are currently 110 certified B Corp Corporations in the UK, including Ben and Jerry’s, JoJo Maman Bebé, Patagonia and environmental consultancy Resource Futures.

Examples of the programmes run by Leesa that brought it the accreditation include: The Leesa One-Ten programme which gives one mattress to homeless shelters for every ten they sell and has donated 8,000 mattresses globally; the Leesa One-community programme which encourages employees to participate in monthly community service at local homelessness organisations; and the Leesa One-Earth programme where the company plants one tree for every ten mattresses it sells, with a formal commitment to plant 1 million trees by 2025.

Speaking about the accreditation Leesa Co-Founder and CEO David Wolfe said: “We are very proud to be a new member of the B-Corp community. Giving is a privilege we never take for granted. It's humbling to be recognised in this way. We are honored to be joining forces with a global movement of businesses who recognise our collective responsibility to be an unstoppable force for good.” 

You can find out more about B Corps on the movement’s website, while you can discover more about Leesa’s social and community programme’s on its company website.

Waste Aid UK launches Christmas jumper swap

Waste Aid UK has launched a Christmas jumper swap to raise funds for its waste management projects in the developing world.

The initiative seeks to reduce clothing waste after the UK spent £300 million on Christmas jumpers last year and 40 per cent of the 10 million people that bought one said they would only them once or twice, according to the Love Your Clothes campaign. By encouraging people to donate their unwanted Christmas jumpers, Waste Aid hope to reduce the amount of clothing going to landfill and raise money for its work.News in Brief – 2/12/16

The campaign requires supporters to send a photo of an old Christmas jumper that they want to get rid of to Waste Aid by e-mail. Waste Aid then post the picture online where others can browse the photos and, when they see one they like, send Waste Aid £10 via JustGiving. Waste Aid then give the buyer’s details to the person donating the jumper, who then pops it in the post.

All donations go to support Waste Aid’s work in developing countries providing waste management skills and expertise to mitigate health hazards caused by waste and to allow people to become self-employed recycling entrepreneurs.

Find out more about Waste Aid UK’s Christmas jumper swap on its website.

New Liverpool Recycling facility a double prizewinner

Liverpool’s newest recycling facility, the Old Swan Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC), won first place in the Materials Use category and gained a Highly Commended Award in the Community and Stakeholder Relations category at the CEEQUAL Outstanding Achievement Awards 2016.

The awards scheme, which assesses, rates and rewards sustainability best practice in civil engineering, held its special event at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London on Monday (28 November).

News in Brief – 2/12/16
Professor Tim Broyd from the Institute of Civil Engineers, Mike Goodier and Gemma Fenn from Cheetham Hill Construction, Tony Byers from MRWA

The Old Swan HWRC, run by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), gained first place in the Material Use category after the MRWA took care to ensure that 95 per cent of the materials used in its development can be reused at the end of its life, taking a whole life approach to the facility’s development. The facility was awarded an 'Excellent' CEEQUAL rating of 86.5 per cent upon its completion by contractor Cheetham Hill Construction, making it one of the greenest and most sustainable facilities in the country.

The judges also awarded the Old Swan HWRC a Highly Commended prize in the Community and Stakeholder Relations category for its local community engagement programme, designed with key stakeholder involvement, which ran initiatives such as enhancing the experience of the HWRC for people with disabilities, burying a time capsule made by the local Brownies group, and setting up the ‘Big Mosaic Challenge’ with a local artist where residents made a mosaic swan out of broken ceramic pieces.

On winning the awards, Carl Beer, Chief Executive of MRWA, said: “The Outstanding Achievement Awards are a significant national achievement so we’re absolutely delighted with this news. It’s a real boost to the team and a validation for the amount of time and effort which goes into designing and constructing these types of facilities.”

Meanwhile, CEEQUAL Managing Director Chris Broadbent said: “Many congratulations to all of the winners as well as to those shortlisted. These awards are a well-deserved celebration of the commitment that project teams have to improving and championing sustainability in civil engineering and of their pride in making a tangible difference. All of these projects are vital drivers of innovation in materials, procedures and engagement, which are achieving more sustainable outcomes and delivering greater value for people, places, economies and the environment.”

Visit the MWRA website for more information about its operations and programmes.

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