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NEIA recognizes business excellence and outstanding individual contributions with its Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Awards

For Immediate Release
April 30, 2021

ST. JOHN’S (NL) – The Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) is celebrating the achievements of four members who are the winners of the province’s Environmental Industry Awards.

“What these companies and individuals have been able to do in the midst of a global pandemic is remarkable,” said Kieran Hanley, NEIA’s Executive Director. “From Nunatsiavut to the Bahamas, our award winners have made a difference – bettering both the environment and our economy in the process.”

Watch the NEIA Industry Awards Ceremony

“Leaders like those that we have highlighted today are going to help lead Newfoundland and Labrador out of the fog and into the bright future that we know is within our grasp,” said Hanley.

“Congratulations to our award winners, and thank you for your work accelerating the clean growth economy in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

NEIA’s Industry Awards program features winners in four categories:

The Environmental Industry Business Excellence Award recognizes a significant initiative, project, or achievement of a business engaged in Newfoundland and Labrador’s green economy. 2020’s Environmental Industry Business Excellence Award has been presented to Heave Away Waste Management.

“Heave Away Waste Management has experienced substantial growth in the short time that it has been in business,” said Hanley. “This, in combination with the company’s focus on reducing the environmental impacts of commercial waste – and its commitment to increasing its competitiveness through the adoption of new technologies – make Heave Away Waste Management a deserving recipient of NEIA’s Business Excellence Award.”

The Cleantech Innovation Award recognizes achievement in research and development, commercialization, and/or refinement of products, services, or processes that can mitigate effects to, protect, or enhance the environment. 2020’s Cleantech Innovation Award has been presented to SmartICE.

“Not only has SmartICE created a new technological solution to an environmental challenge, it has done so via an innovative business model,” said Hanley. “The social enterprise is committed to expanding opportunities for economic and social development within the Indigenous communities that they operate in, and we are very pleased to recognize SmartICE’s excellent work with our Cleantech Innovation Award.”

The Cleantech International Business Award recognizes a significant initiative or achievement of Newfoundland and Labrador business engaged in international business activities relating to cleantech or environmental services. 2020’s Cleantech International Business Award has been presented to BEHI Engineering and Environmental.

“BEHI has secured contracts throughout the Caribbean – from Barbados to Jamaica – and has continued to succeed despite the challenges posed to international business by the pandemic,” said Hanley. “Dr. Eid is always willing to share the information, intelligence, and contacts he creates abroad, and many other NEIA members have benefitted as a result.”

The Environmental Industry Champion Award recognizes the contribution of an individual to the growth of Newfoundland and Labrador’s environmental industry. 2020’s Environmental Industry Champion Award has been presented to Edmundo Fausto.

“Edmundo has fostered a spirit of collaboration among his colleagues and within his practice, with a dogged determination to achieve progress of improve the City’s environmental performance,” said Hanley. “The City of St. John’s has taken enormous strides this past year in the fight against climate change; this is a team effort, but Edmundo’s peers have recognized him for being a major driving force in these accomplishments.”

More information on the award winners can be found in the attached backgrounder. NEIA is a not-for-profit association of businesses that promotes the development of clean technology and the growth of the green economy in Newfoundland and Labrador. NEIA has over 200 members. More information can be found at https://neia.org.

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Media Contact:
Kieran Hanley
kieran@neia.org

BACKGROUNDER

Business Excellence Award

Heave Away Waste Management
heave-away.ca

Heave Away Waste Management was created in 2019. It is a locally owned and operated company that provides professional waste management solutions to residential, commercial, and construction clients in the greater St. John’s area. Its services include: front load dumpster rental and general waste removal; roll-off bin rental and construction waste removal; cardboard, paper, and plastic recycling; composting; and special waste such as international waste and asbestos removal.

In just over a year in business, Heave Away is servicing hundreds of customers with plans for continued growth. In line with the company’s core values of reliable, sustainable, and local solutions, the company is focusing efforts on creating waste diversion programs for its clients to help businesses improve their management of waste and reduce their carbon footprint. Its first step in this regard will be through conducting waste audits for its customers. These waste audits will identify areas of improvement for businesses to turn their waste streams into more environmentally sustainable processes with a focus on food and organic waste – one of the province’s greatest waste management challenges.

While the reduction of waste might seem to be a counter intuitive objective for a waste management company, Heave Away believes that the movement towards a more circular economy is the right thing to do – and that the waste hauler is ideally positioned to have a positive impact. The waste management, audit, and diversion model that Heave Away Waste Management offers affords business the opportunity to view waste through a different lens and improve their environmental performance.

Meanwhile the company has set a goal to adopt new technologies for the digitalization of traditional processes and plans to leverage technology to adapt to the current industry environment and protect the core functions of the business from future disruptions. Heave Away believes that the increased productivity stemming from embracing new technologies will set the company apart from its competitors. Their fun, energetic, and professional team of experts focus on keeping informed, communicating, having fun, educating one another, and researching innovative ways to keep evolving the waste sector.

The growth that Heave Away Waste Management has seen this past year, in combination with its ambitious plans to have a positive impact on Newfoundland and Labrador’s waste streams – and its commitment to increasing its competitiveness through the adoption of new technologies – make the company a deserving recipient of NEIA’s Business Excellence Award.

Cleantech Innovation Award

SmartICE
smartice.org

SmartICE is an award-winning technological innovation for the North. As the world’s first climate change adaptation tool to integrate traditional knowledge of sea ice with advanced data acquisition and remote monitoring technology, the system combines these approaches to provide invaluable, data-driven insights into sea-ice thickness and local ice conditions, in near real-time.

The technology is a tool in the tool box combined with traditional knowledge that can improve planning for safe on-ice travel; it directly benefits public safety, food security, and the health and wellbeing of northern communities that rely on these methods of transportation. In addition, SmartICE enables and supports economic activities for communities and industries alike – for example ice-based fisheries and tourism, and environmental monitoring and emergency response (search and rescue) are typically carried out in the landfast ice zone where SmartICE units are deployed. SmartICE services therefore reduce risk and improve performance especially during highly dynamic freeze-up and break-up periods.

The business model is as important and unique as the technology itself. SmartICE is a not for profit social enterprise, aiming to expand opportunities for economic and social development in northern communities while preserving local cultures and lifestyles. SmartICE works with Indigenous youth to locally manufacture and deliver SmartICE’s advanced sea-ice environmental monitoring systems through the Employment Readiness and Technology Production Program at the Northern Production Centre in Nain.

SmartICE has successfully deployed over 20 units throughout the Artic and has operations in Nain, Pond Inlet, and Nunavut. SmartICE will expand to 30 communities across Inuit Nunangat by 2022, with potential opportunities beyond the Canadian Arctic.

In three short years, the organization has grown to 25 people (including interns) with 50% of staff identifying as indigenous. In Nunatsiavut the company has trained 15 local youth in Nain, 85 skills certificates earned and have surpassed 8500 employment hours. In Nunavut last year, SmartICE surpassed 5600 employment hours, trained 46 operators, employed 33 youth, and engaged with 50+ Elders in the communities.

The success that SmartICE has seen this past year has gained the company international accolades and attention, while it maintains that its greatest achievements are those where they are affecting the communities they work in and those of the individuals they work with. Through the deployment of its innovative technology via an innovative business model, SmartICE is a worthy recipient of the 2020 Cleantech Innovation Award.

International Business Award

BEHI Engineering and Environment
behi-nl.com

BEHI was founded in 2005, with an initial focus on business in China and South East Asia market. Since 2014, BEHI Engineering & Environmental swiftly established itself as a successful exporter of highly specialized engineering and environmental services in North America and the Caribbean Region. With a key focus on the Caribbean market, BEHI has developed a reputation as being a reliable and esteemed source of expertise amongst an enviable network of clients and partners in the region that spans dominant engineering and environmental firms and key IFI’s such as the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), as well as regional organizations such as OECS, CCCCC (5’C’s), CTO, etc.

Since 2015, the company has been an active participant in NEIA’s Caribbean programming and has provided valuable coaching to newer participants as the program evolved. The company continues to leverage trade missions and match-making services to expand and diversify its network of in-market partners and to establish strategic partnerships with other NEIA members.

On a number of occasions the company’s owner, Dr. Bassem Eid, has identified and shared leads and information with fellow delegates and is always quick to promote his home province’s capabilities and offerings to his in-market network. This has resulted in new partnerships between Newfoundland and Labrador companies, and generated leads for other businesses in the province. BEHI’s early engagements in Guyana, for example, provided valuable intelligence that has since helped shape Newfoundland and Labrador’s involvement in the country and its burgeoning economy.

BEHI secured most of its initial contracts in the Eastern Caribbean (Barbados, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and Saint Lucia) but has since expanded its client base to include clients in the Western Caribbean (Jamaica), Southern Caribbean (Guyana) and the Northern Caribbean (the Bahamas).

While BEHI’s offerings align exceptionally well to the needs of the Caribbean region, BEHI’s export success can also arguably be attributed to its sustained and targeted focus on the region and its firm commitment to establishing meaningful client relationships and in-market partnerships.

While the global pandemic has challenged international trade across the world, BEHI was still able to advance its interests in 2020. NEIA is pleased to present its International Business Award to BEHI, and its President Dr. Bassem Eid.

Industry Champion Award

Edmundo Fausto
Sustainability Officer – City of St. John’s

Edmundo Fausto was hired by the City of St. John’s as its first Sustainability Officer in 2019, bringing with him extensive experience as a Climate Change Consultant and Project Manager within the private and public sectors. Edmundo has been instrumental to the City’s team, helping to usher in a new era of proactivity for the City of St. John’s on issues and opportunities related to climate change adaptation and mitigation, environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, and clean growth.

Edmundo’s focus and energy has played a key role in the City’s invigorated action on climate change. Since 2019, the City has declared a climate change emergency, affirming that climate change mitigation and adaptation would take their place among its strategic priorities; undertaken an assessment of climate risks and vulnerabilities, and identified actions to increase local adaptation and resilience; developed a corporate and community energy and greenhouse gas inventory; instituted an environmental and sustainability experts panel to provide the City with strategic advice and engagement; developed reporting systems for energy utilization, greenhouse gas emissions, and weather impacts to inform policy and budgeting choices; and drafted a community climate change plan that is now going through a public engagement processes, to be finalized and released in the months ahead – identifying a 30-year strategy to reduce GHGs across the community.

These are enormous accomplishments for a municipality within a very short period of time.

The commendable achievements and undertakings of the City of St. John’s are reflective of the collective efforts and priorities of its elected officials, professional public service, and input of its citizens. This has been a team effort, but Edmundo’s peers have recognized him for being one of the driving forces. He has made meaningful contributions, in both leading and supporting roles, which have propelled the City of St. John’s to the forefront in the fight against climate change.

Edmundo has fostered a spirit of collaboration among his colleagues and within his practice, with a dogged determination to achieve progress of improve the City’s environmental performance. Through his and the City’s efforts, Edmundo has demonstrated leadership in Newfoundland and Labrador’s clean growth ecosystem, creating new partnerships for the City of St. John’s and in the process attracting new investments that have contributed to the City’s climate change advancements.

Congratulations to Edmundo Fausto on being this year’s recipient of the Environmental Industry Champion Award.

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