The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) has opened the call for nominations to the 2016 Low Carbon Champions Awards. The deadline for submissions is Friday 13 May. The Champions Awards celebrate organisations that have made a real difference in the area of low carbon road transport. There are seven Award categories, ranging from cars to innovation, from fuels to publications, and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner that will take place alongside Cenex’s Low Carbon Vehicle Event (Cenex-LCV) on Wednesday, 14 September 2016.
The LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards celebrate examples of outstanding and innovative practice in accelerating the shift to lower carbon vehicles and fuels and reducing road transport emissions. There are seven categories of Awards, reflecting the diversity of those engaged in encouraging the shift to lower carbon vehicles and fuels. There are also two special Awards. The Award categories are:
- Low Carbon Car/Van Manufacturer of the Year
- Low Carbon Heavy Duty Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year
- Low Carbon Vehicle Operator of the Year
- Low Carbon Fuel Initiative of the Year
- Award for Low Carbon Innovation by an SME
- Low Carbon Road Transport Initiative of the Year
- Outstanding Low Carbon Publication or Report
Special Awards include:
- Outstanding Individual in Promoting Lower Carbon Transport
- Grand Prix Award (“winner-of-winners”): Outstanding Achievement in Low Carbon Transport 2015–16
(Any organisation or initiative that has made a contribution to the low carbon vehicle or fuels agenda in road transport is eligible to enter the Champions Awards. Entrants that are uncertain about which category they can enter should contact the LowCVP Secretariat.)
The LowCVP Awards winners will be assessed by a panel of expert judges drawn from the LowCVP’s wide range of stakeholder organisations. Awards are for contribution to the low carbon road transport agenda with significant activity taking place from January 2015 to date. Shortlisted nominees will receive a complimentary place for a representative at the Cenex-LCV2016 dinner, courtesy of the LowCVP.
Andy Eastlake, the LowCVP’s Managing Director, said: “I agree with Oliver Letwin (Head of Government Policy in the Cabinet Office) that low emission vehicles and fuels represent a colossal opportunity for British industry. Last December’s Paris agreement has helped to confirm that we’re in the early stages of a new industrial revolution as some extraordinary technological developments begin to be incorporated into mainstream products.
“The LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards celebrate organisations that are in the vanguard of this revolutionary change.”
Robert Evans, CEO of Cenex, said, “We are pleased to be hosting another Networking Dinner at Cenex-LCV2016, and that the dinner will feature the LowCVP Champions Awards for the third consecutive year. The Cenex-LCV Dinner attracts a large audience of exhibitors and visitors, including many senior industry and government figures. The LowCVP Champions Awards has proven to be a popular feature within the dinner format, and we are excited to be collaborating with the LowCVP once again.”
Winners of the last (2015) LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards included: Optare; Scania; Mitsubishi Motors; Dundee City Council; Convert2Green; United Biscuits; Wirth Research; Avid Technology; GENeco and Urban Foresight. Dr Doug Parr, Chief Scientist at Greenpeace, and Prof Neville Jackson of Ricardo were joint winners of the Outstanding Individual Award, while Optare was the Grand Prix winner.
The LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards are accredited by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), which means the winners are eligible to enter the prestigious biannual European Awards for Business and the Environment (EBAE). One of the winners of the LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards 2015 has been nominated by the RSA to compete in the 2016 EBAE Awards.
Some of the Awards categories already have confirmed sponsors – including Millbrook (‘Grand Prix’ sponsor) the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and BAE Systems HybriDrive. The LowCVP is interested in hearing from potential sponsors for other 2016 Awards categories. All sponsors will receive a guaranteed table (seating eight people) at the event, which was a sell-out in 2014 and 2015.
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!