Climate Alliance recognises business leadership

At its National Conference held in Melbourne today, Climate Alliance announced the Business Leadership Award winners for outstanding achievements in climate response within the business community. From a number of highly commendable submissions, three entries stood out in the categories of Board Leadership, Executive Leadership and Business Innovator.

Qenos Pty Ltd., the largest polyethylene manufacturing company in Australia, is the winner of the Board Leadership award. The Qenos Board has supported resource efficiency priorities and has consistently demonstrated a willingness to invest in viable technologies with excellent commercial and environmental returns.

Qenos investments have been significant and their outcomes substantial. Highlights include a $43.4M industrial co-generation facility at its Altona factory. The plant will have a nominal capacity of 21MW and is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100,000 tonnes per annum, the equivalent of two billion black balloons or 24,390 cars off the road.

Qenos has also responded to constraints due to water restrictions by identifying water use reduction opportunities, including a 35% reduction in consumption over the last decade. Qenos has also partnered with City West Water to develop a large water purification facility in Altona.  The $48M plant will produce Class A water and Qenos will draw 2Billion litres/year to use in its manufacturing operations. As a result of this initiative, Qenos will be responsible for 2Billion litres/yr more drinking water to be available for CWW customers.

The 2011 Climate Alliance Executive Leader is Mr Ben Waters, a Director of GE’s Ecomagination business.

The selection panel felt that Ben Waters demonstrated active, visible and progressive leadership in the Australian business community. He has started some important initiatives and encouraged other firms to support the introduction of a carbon price.

On behalf of GE, Ben signed a $20 million agreement with the CSIRO to invest in local R&D to accelerate the delivery of clean technology in Australia. In June 2011, Ben was also instrumental in signing a Memorandum of Understanding with electric vehicles infrastructure company Better Place to accelerate the delivery of electric vehicles locally. As part of this agreement, GE committed to purchase at least 1,000 electric vehicles in Australia by 2015.

Ben provided a positive role model for other leaders in the business community. Most importantly, this leadership was demonstrated through action!

The 2011 Business Innovator is Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited, a Melbourne-based company that is a world leader in developing fuel cell technology. This innovative Melbourne based company, exports highly efficient fuel cells that generate electricity from natural gas and potentially renewable fuels.

The selection panel commented that Ceramic Fuel Cells demonstrated determined innovation since its inception in 1992. It has invested over $250M in R&D towards the development of an innovative fuel cell technology that delivers power and heat to households in a very efficient manner. It has developed strong commercial relationships with some of the largest utility companies in Europe.

Last year’s winners were: Board – NAB Bank, Executive: Mr Rob Grant CEO, Pacific Hydro, Innovative Company: Hepburn Wind and Special Award: Sydney Water.

Climate Alliance Limited is a not-for-profit, membership based company that engages with business leaders and communicates the opportunities and risks of climate change.

Climate Alliance organises events where business leaders can exchange experiences and ideas. In addition, it publishes independent, business-oriented information for business leaders to help them inform themselves about the issues. It focuses on the opportunities resulting from climate change, through practical, real-life examples of best practice in Australia and elsewhere.

Press contact: Mr Ben Scheltus, CEO, Climate Alliance 0414 914 262