Energy Company Rewarding Green Initiatives
The Budapest Business Journal takes a look at the 2019 Energy Globe awards for Hungary.
Zsolt Jamniczky, of E.ON Hungaria Zrt. presenting the award to the overall winner, Hernádszentandrás Municipality.
If being sustainable is a must today, it is even more so for companies in the energy industry. Beyond financial considerations – just think about carbon price increase – or offsetting the emissions companies create, customers increasingly demand their service providers are as green as possible.
A large part of CSR today is focused on green efforts or, in E.ON’s case, rewarding such efforts. For 20 years, the German energy utility has been acknowledging the green initiatives of both individuals and companies through its Energy Globe award in 182 countries, including Hungary.
This year’s ceremony, held at the recently renovated Museum of Fine Arts, was all about sustainability. The event (and elements around it including the invitations to the ceremony) was carbon neutral and paperless; no plastic was used either.
The dinner tables were decorated with leaves and some of the finger foods were held in baskets filled with straw. Food came from local suppliers no farther away than 80 km.
In between the announcements of the various winners of the different categories, the audience was entertained with performances by sustainable artists and bands.
Professor Diana Ürge-Vorsatz, Director at Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy, Central European University and member of the awards jury.
Bélaműhely Sound Art played popular pieces of classical music, including parts of Carmina Burana, on instruments made from waste materials and various objects such as a watering tube, a bicycle and a sheet-iron barrel.
A sand graphic artist drew the history of industrialization live on a glass, with the changing drawings were projected on a large screen. In the hall, sustainable works of art were put on display, all proving that sustainability serves as an infinite inspiration for artists.
And not only for them, evidently. More than 150 entries were submitted to the competition. The finalists were selected by a professional jury, while category winners were selected by public vote.
The problems they seek a solution for are endless. Among the winners were the creators of a community garden, tiles that serve as solar panels, and a pilot project that uses floating solar panels to generate energy.
The winner of the “Building” category, for example, was a climate-neutral resort in Irota (218 km northeast of Budapest in Borsod-Abauj-Zemplén County), that is built entirely from used or recycled materials. It uses solar panels to generate electricity and even the water of the swimming pool is cleaned with plants.
A community garden created on an abandoned lot in Pécs was the winner of the “Individual category”. The creators of the Zöld Folt Közösségi Kert (Green Patch Community Garden) believe that an apparently mundane task such as gardening can help bring a community together while helping sustainability goals as well.
The winner of “Company” category was Hungarian tile-manufacturer Terrán. The company integrates solar panels into its tiles almost seamlessly, so the finished product looks like a traditional tile.
The winners of the “Idea” category also worked with solar panels. Sol-Art uses a special coating on that enables it panels to be floated on the water. This way, they can be used to charge electric boats or saving lives; on open water, for example, it can be used to help convert seawater into potable water and will even send GPS-signals of its location to lifeboats.
The winner of the “Municipality” category and the overall winner was the Municipality of Hernádszentandrás (210 km northeast of Budapest, 37 km beyond Miskolc). The village, like the earlier resort in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, has developed an organic farming system, where locals grow vegetables, fruits and herbs, make syrups, jams, desserts, handicraft products, and build services based on them.
The economic model is run by a municipal nonprofit and a social cooperative, and provides a livelihood for disadvantaged members of the local community as well.
“To succeed in business, sustainability is key,” said Zsolt Jamniczky, board member of E.ON Hungaria Zrt. “It is very important that, with the Energy Globe Award, we joined an international platform that connects and inspires every one wishing to act for the sake of an energy- and environmentally-conscious future,” he added.
The winners of the Energy Globe Award Hungary will qualify for the international finals.
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