UEPG Sustainable Development Awards Ceremony 2013

The European Aggregates Industry supports the principles of sustainable development and is committed to operate with care and concern for the environment, for its neighbors and society as a whole.

The tri-annual UEPG Sustainable Development Awards illustrates this commitment by encouraging best practice and by promoting projects that go well beyond what is required by planners or regulators; set new standards of Excellence and provide inspiration for others to follow. UEPG launched the first European Restoration Award Scheme in 1997; in 2005, they enlarged the scope to all aspects of sustainable development with the UEPG Sustainable Development Awards. In 2010, a special award was dedicated to Biodiversity.

The 2013 Awards Ceremony was hosted by Sirpa Hertell (EPP, Finland), Member of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and Member of the CoR Natural resources and Environment Committee.

The ceremony took place in the prestigious Brussels Centre of Fine Arts (Bozar). The event gathered honorable Members of the European Parliament, Representatives from the European Commissionand Partners; and special guest as the Catalan Minister of Agriculture and Natural Environment, Josep Maria Pelegrí. The Master of Ceremonies, Jim O’Brien, UEPG Past-President, in a remarkable performance presented the entries to an audience of almost 130 participants.

This year, the independent Jury had to make a selection out of a record number of 52 excellent entries from 14 countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and UK.

Representing the Jury - from left to right: Theodor Bülhoff, Peter Moser, Luc Bas

Jury was composed of

  • Gerard Bos, Head of IUCN's Global Business and Biodiversity Programme, responsible for the implementation of IUCN’s Business Engagement Strategy and serving as focal point for all business and biodiversity related matters at IUCN.
  • Gerard Bos was represented at the Ceremony by Luc Bas, Director of the IUCN European Union Representative Office in Brussels.
  • Theodor Bülhoff, President of International Social Security Association focusing on Prevention in the Mining Industry, former Director of "Berufsgenossenschaft Rohstoffe und chemische Industrie", Germany.
  • Jean Claude Lefeuvre, Professor Emeritus at the National Natural History Museum - Chair of the Permanent Committee of the National Council for the Protection of Nature, he also chairs the Scientific Council of the Coas Conservatory as well as the Regional Scientific Council of Natural Patrimony of Brittany. He chaired the French Institute of Biodiversity (2000-2008).

  • Peter Moser, Professor for Mining, Engineering & Mineral Economics and since 2011 deputy director and responsible for International activities and University infrastructure at Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Austria.

The special feature of the 2013 Awards was that in addition to the three pillars of Sustainable Development (Environment, Social and Economic) and the Biodiversity Award, companies were also rewarded for Education, Employees Involvement, Communication and Innovation.

At the Ceremony, UEPG President Arnaud Colson gave an introduction and handed over, together with Secretary General Dirk Fincke the 32 Certificates. The host of the event, Sirpa Hertell and the Jury Members handed over the 19 Awards. The Conclusion was made with a poetic touch by UEPG Vice-President Elisabeth Gammelsæter.

All nominees and awardees can be seen on the UEPG website and a touring exhibition starting in 2014 in different EU Institutions.

After the Awards Ceremony, UEPG had arranged a Gala Dinner for UEPG Members, company representatives and key EU decision makers in the Kwint Restaurant with the participation of the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Alejo Vidal Quadras, (EPP, Spain).

The objective of the Sustainable Development Awards Ceremony was to reward aggregates  companies that have successfully integrated the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development into their operations by precise achievements well beyond what is expected; creating a more positive understanding and appreciation of the key role played by the European Aggregates Industry, in order to ensure sustainable access to resources and to encourage SMEs (small medium enterprises) to implement best practices in all three pillars of sustainable development.

The UEPG SDA 2013 Ceremony was supported by Golder Associates. The UEPG SDA 2013 Gala Dinner had the tasty wine's contribution of La Gravera.