The team behind the SMILE Resource Exchange, were delighted to bring home the Waste Prevention Business of the Year Award at the recent Pakman Awards, hosted by Repak Ireland.

The Pakman Awards seek to recognise complete excellence in the environmental approach taken by a business, organisation or community group in all aspects of their operations, from recycling and energy use to waste management. The awards ceremony took place at the InterContinental Dublin Hotel and under the watchful eye of MC Claire Byrne of RTE, saw 400 representatives from leading businesses, organisations and community groups come together to celebrate their positive impacts on our environment.

Other winners include Raidió Teilifís Éireann, who took home the overall Pakman 2017 award, Thorntons Recycling, Clean Ireland Recycling, WasteMatters Ireland, Matthews Coach Hire Ltd., Sligo University Hospital, ReCreate, Recycle IT, Lidl Ireland GmbH, Galway City Council and LauraLynn Ireland’s Children’s Hospice.

SMILE Resource Exchange is a national programme that connects businesses that can reuse each other’s waste, surplus materials and offcuts. Established in 2010 by Macroom E Enterprise Centre, with the support of Cork County and City Councils, the Local Enterprise Offices and the Environmental Protection Agency, the programme now has over 1,500 business members nationally, over 500 successful synergies recorded to date, equating to an estimated 22,000 tonnes of material diverted from landfill or recycling and a combined cost saving for businesses of over €4.4 million.

Michelle Green, project manager with SMILE Resource Exchange says of the win “the entire team is delighted to be recognised by Pakman; we have worked hard to raise awareness of waste minimisation, upcycling and reuse amongst businesses all over Ireland. These events are so important – not only for raising the profile of environmentally conscious businesses – but also for those who are playing their part well to meet and create an opportunity for future collaboration”.

2017 marks the third annual Pakman Awards and the largest number of applicants to date. With the judging panel actively looking for measurable impacts, all nominees and winners can clearly demonstrate the benefits of their environmental good practices. Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Mr. Denis Naughten officiated at the event and noted “The Pakman Awards is an excellent initiative and seeing the development and success of the event year on year brings great hope and optimism for the future of recycling in Ireland”.

Sean O’Sullivan, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office South Cork and Chairman of the SMILE Resource Exchange project comments “Cork County Council is proud to support this innovative project and delighted to see the hard work of the team behind it being rewarded by the prestigious Pakman Awards. We have seen first-hand the economic benefits to businesses of engaging with the SMILE Resource Exchange and strongly encourage others to get involved”.

SMILE is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Local Enterprise Offices, Southern Region Waste Management Office, Eastern Midlands Waste Management Office, Connacht Ulster Waste Management Office and South Dublin County Council.

Source: SMILE Resource Exchange