On February 21st 2017 at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin, over 500 industry figures gathered for the 9th annual Green Awards, to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of those individuals and businesses who are leading the way within Ireland’s green industry sector.
25 trophies were presented to very worthy winners. Many of the categories were very closely contested, reflecting just how dynamic and competitive this sector has become in recent years.
Green Leader 2017
The expert panel of judges chose environmentalist and Green Party Senator, Grace O’Sullivan as this year’s Green Leader in acknowledgement of her activism and commitment to green issues, over the past two decades. Grace was specifically commended by the judges for her outstanding contribution to tackling climate change and environmental issues here in Ireland.
Castletownbere Fisherman's Co-op
Amongst the competing businesses, the big winner on the night was Castletownbere Fisherman's Co-op, who won the ‘Green Seafood Business’ category, and later awarded the overall ‘Green Business of the Year’.
Founded in 1968 by a group of fishermen who came together to purchase fuel in bulk, the Co-op soon grew into a sales company and by 1983 it had opened its first fish processing unit at the pier in Castletownbere. In 1990, they purchased a fish processing plant which they substantially extended in 2004.
Today, Castletownbere Co-op employs 250 people and enjoys a turnover of over €55m, making it the biggest fish processor in Ireland. The fact that it processes its own catch reduces the number of links in the supply chain from fisherman to customer.
With a fleet now numbering over 70 vessels, these fishermen have access a to some of the richest fishing grounds in the world and land a high quality product. Over its 49 years of trading, this dynamic Co-op has built markets for its products all over the world and in doing so has underpinned Ireland’s credentials as a supplier of sustainable, high quality, premium seafood.
Other winners at this year’s Green Awards included SSE Airtricity, who took home the prestigious ‘Green Energy Provider’ award, which was presented on the night by T.D. Eamonn Ryan of the Green Party. SSE Airtricity is Ireland’s largest provider of 100 per cent green energy to customers, and also the country’s largest generator of wind power.
SSE Airtricity is investing in new green energy generation to help protect Ireland’s energy into the future and as part of that programme of investment it is currently building the 169MW Galway Wind Park in partnership with Coillte, which will be Ireland’s largest wind farm when completed later this year.
Flahavan’s may be one of Ireland’s longest established brands but they proved that they never rest on their laurels when their commitment to sustainability, quality and continuous innovation was rewarded with three major Green Awards on the night.
Flahavan’s won 'Green Medium Sized Organisation of the Year' and the 'Green Food & Beverage Award', while John Flahavan, Managing Director of Flahavan's, collected the 'Sustainable Energy Achievement Award'.
The Green Awards 2017 were judged by a panel of 15 domestic and internationally based experts with Dr. Louise Dunne, School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy, UCD, in the guiding role of judging co-ordinator.
This event was kindly sponsored by the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment, Ecocem, Energia, Calor, BIM – Ireland Seafood Development Agency, Green Business, Vayu Energy, Thorntons Recycling, Sirus, Verde LED and Amárach Research.
For a full list of winners, click here.