Previous RCBC Award Winners

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2019 | 2018 2017 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

The 2019 Winners

The 2019 awards were presented at the 2019 RCBC Conference on May 9, 2019 in Whistler, BC. 

  • Private Sector: Organizations or their employees with outstanding initiatives to preserve and protect our environment. 
  • 2019 RecipientSea to Sky Removal

Since 2016, Sea to Sky Removal has been working to reduce or eliminate the amount of construction waste being sent to landfills. They have pioneered a system of on-site recycling stations so that recyclable materials can be source-separated at the construction site, and provide training to staff on site. Their process ensures that materials can be recycled or reused to their greatest capacity, and reduces the volume of material that is sent to landfill. In 2018, they moved 1,796,360 pounds of material and diverted 1,152,790 pounds of that material from landfills. A Certified B-Corporation, Sea to Sky Removal is dedicated to using their business as a force for good, and to meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance. 

Metro Vancouver launched the Think Thrice About Your Clothes Campaign in February 2019 as part of a multi-year communication, awareness, and behavior-change campaign. The goal of the campaign is to introduce residents to circular economy principles by encouraging them to reduce, repair, and reuse their clothing. The campaign encourages residents to “Reduce, repair, reuse your clothes to minimize waste” and provides resources on how to choose better quality items, repair damaged clothing, and options for reuse and repurposing of unwanted clothing. Campaign messaging has been delivered through a number of formats, including in movie theatres, online banners, through in-person engagement, and their campaign website www.clothesarentgarbage.ca. 

  • Innovation Award: Individual or company that achieves an outstanding technical accomplishment in design or development of a product or process that improves its sustainability or advances zero waste practices.
  • 2019 Recipient: FoodMesh Exchange Network

The FoodMesh Food Recovery Program was launched in 2018 in partnership with the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Fraser Valley Regional District, and Save-On-Foods. Since its launch, FoodMesh has helped divert 100% of unsold perishables from participating Save-On-Foods stores away from waste streams. Since its launch in Chilliwack the program has expanded to Kelowna, with plans to expand throughout the province. The food is separated by the retailer into bins denoting edible and in edible product, and safely directed to local charities, farmers, and composters. The food recovery program has provided more than 200,000 meals for BC food insecure residents, and more than 26,000kg of free animal feed to 110 BC small and medium sized farmers.  

The Departure Bay Eco School has been a designated Eco School for 4 years. Their curriculum focusses on nature based learning, including principles of waste management and energy conservation. The school has made strides in reducing the amount of classroom waste that they produce by focusing on diversion of paper, plastics, aluminum, and organic wastes. They held a school-wide waste challenge in October, as well as a school-wide beach clean-up event in September. The school emphasizes the development of environmental literacy, and encourages students and their families to take steps towards integrating environmental sustainability into their everyday lives. 

  • Youth Achievement Award: Youth who demonstrates outstanding commitment and leadership in environmental stewardship. 
  • 2019 Recipient: Stephanie Quon

Stephanie Quon is the founder of Sprout-Save-Share, a youth-led environmental organization with the goal of reducing waste and promoting youth environmentalism. Their projects include diversion of end-of-day food for donation to the First Nation’s Housing Society, and distribution of reusable straws to promote avoidance of single use plastics.  She is the co-chair of the Vancouver School Board Sustainability Conference, a student-led event targeted to high school students. The conference includes a full day program of speakers and workshops for over 200 annual attendees. Stephanie has also led her school’s environmental club for more than 4 years, and has consistently advocated for a greater focus on sustainability in her school. This has included contributing to the creation of a school garden, a Meatless Monday program in the school cafeteria, and recycling programs like a battery recycling initiative that collected more than 600 batteries. 

  • Public Sector Award for Environmental Leadership: Awarded to an individual/organization who has made significant lasting contributions to the protection and stewardship of British Columbia's environment.
  • 2019 Recipient: Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

This award is in recognition of the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy's continued leadership in Extended Producer Responsibility policy and legislation in Canada over the last quarter century. Those initial acts here in BC in 1994, facilitated a 25 year process that established Canada’s first full EPR programs. Since then, BC’s Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy continued to lead Canada’s move towards EPR, with the Recycling Regulation in 2004, legislation that can be more easily amended through orders in council, to add products as schedules. It is now cited as an example for other jurisdictions to follow. 

We thank all those who submitted their organizations for consideration. We congratulate all the recipients and nominees for their contributions to environmental stewardship in British Columbia.

In Memoriam: Mike Hennessy

At the awards ceremony, RCBC remembered Mike Hennessy, former Executive Director of Tire Stewardship BC. Mike first got involved in the recycling business in 1990 as a consultant to the Ministry of Environment, when he helped launch the first tire recycling program in Canada. Mike was the recipient of a RCBC Personal Achievement award in 2013 for outstanding personal commitment to environmental stewardship. He would be pleased to know that so many others are continuing that work.

The 2018 Winners

Congratulations to our 2018 Recipients!

  • Private Sector: Organizations or their employees with outstanding initiatives to preserve and protect our environment. 
    2018 Recipient: Tymac Launch Services

Tymac Launch Service has been providing services to coastal British Columbia since 1930, and in 1991, expanded that service to include waste removal for the cruise ship industry. Their recycling and composting programs divert hundreds of thousands of tonnes of metal, plastics, glass, paper, cooking oil, grey water, and electronic waste to name a few annually! Tymac’s composting program began in 2013, 2 years prior to the food scraps ban coming into effect, and to date they have diverted more than 1500 tonnes of food waste from 30 cruise ships travelling to Alaska. They are currently exploring opportunities to expand materials they can divert to include mooring rope, crockery and carpet. Tymac also gives back to their community by donating services, as well as donating reusable items from the ships to support charities both locally and abroad. 

  • Educators: ​​​Outstanding achievements by organizations or individuals working in the field of public education.
    2018 Recipient: Artist Response Network

Headed up by Holly Arntzen and Kevin Wright, they produced their first program "Cycle Of Life" in 2003. The songs and curriculum resources make the connections between recycling, reducing waste, lowering your carbon footprint and helping endangered species and their habitats. Over the past 15 years ART has produced school programs, concerts and tours throughout BC--into the Skeena and Fraser watersheds, and currently in coastal communities for the Rock the Salish Sea tour. Over the last 3 years, the "Rock The Salish Sea" tour in partnership with Tire Stewardship BC, has resulted in the recycling of over 10,000 tires in all communities involved. Since inception, the Artist Response Team has had more than 100,000 students, teachers, and parents involved! We’re excited to see how many more they are able to reach in the next 15 years. 

  • Media/Journalism: ​​​Outstanding achievements by organizations or individuals working in the field of public education.
    2018 Recipient: Basel Action Network

The Basel Action Network has been working to bring international attention to issues surrounding exported electronic waste for 20 years. BAN is the leader in raising international attention to the risks of illegally exported e-waste with a focus on the associated health and safety risks to workers in developing countries. They believe that true recycling should be both environmentally and socially responsible, and they continue to campaign for everyone’s right to a clean environment. 

  • Non-Profit: Organizations providing services beyond expectations in environmental stewardship.
    2018 Recipient: Pacific National Exhibition

In 2014, the PNE launched their Zero Waste Initiative, and their first Zero Waste Day. Since then, the initiative has grown and developed into a sustainability strategy which encompasses everything coming through the site with a diversion rate goal of 75% by 2020. As a measure of success -- the PNE’s diversion rate for refundable beverage containers increased from 50,000 in 2015 to over 296,000 containers in 2017 over the 15-day fair, as well as providing over 260 income opportunities for the Binner’s Project. Other initiatives include installing water refilling stations, repurposing barrels as planters, and building a canoe from reclaimed wood that is used when cleaning the fish sanctuary. The PNE has partnered with a number of organizations to support their program, including Encorp Pacific, Waste Control Services, VanCity, and the Binner’s Project. The PNE continues to focus on zero waste, green buildings, and green lifestyles. 

  • Innovation Award: Individual or company that achieves an outstanding technical accomplishment in design or development of a product or process that improves its sustainability or advances zero waste practices.
    2018 Recipient: Quupe

Quupe (pronounced “koop”) has taken the idea of borrowing items from your neighbour, and expanded it to your community! Koop is a web-based platform that allows members to rent little-used household and recreational items. The app aims to both reduce waste and build community by streamlining the rental process. They believe that when rentals are convenient, people will choose to purchase fewer occasional-use items. By partnering with corporate and retail partners they have been able to expand the pool of items, with their inventory worth almost $700,000. To date, they have saved their users $100, 000 in new item costs. Koop continues to grow with over 1800 users across Canada, and in 25 other countries…we’re excited to see where they’ll be next year!

  • Youth Award: ​​Individuals or groups under the age of 25 who have made extraordinary contributions to environmental issues.
    2018 Recipient: Jason Pang

Jason Pang, is a grade 11 student at Richmond Secondary School. Jason has participated in and been involved with many sustainability groups, programs and projects, and I only have time to name some. Jason is a Team Leader with Richmond Green Ambassadors, he is the co-founder of The Plastic Connection, a youth-led initiative on sustainable plastic use. He is involved with the Richmond Earth Day Youth Summit, RHS Green Team, Green Initiative Canada, he volunteers at the Vancouver Aquarium Wet Lab, Metro Vancouver’s Youth-4-Action program, and the British Columbia Youth Parliament. 

The 2017 Winners

Congratulations to our 2017 Recipients!

  • Private Sector: Organizations or their employees with outstanding initiatives to preserve and protect our environment. 
    2017 Recipient: Clover Earthkind Salon

Clover Earthkind Salon has been actively reducing their solid waste and diverting recyclable materials away from the landfill for 8 years, and has been zero waste since 2013. Last year the diversion rate at the salon was 99.3% and they only generated 2kg of garbage. Clover Earthkind Salon has found diversion solutions for materials commonly found in the salon, including 43kg of hair clippings each year through composting. Recycled and reclaimed materials were used in the salon's construction; and in their operations they focus on recycled, reusable, biodegradable, non-toxic, and renewable wherever possible. Through all these efforts, the salon was able to save 1.9 tonnes of GHGs last year.

  • Public Sector: Governments or their employees who have demonstrated excellence in the environmental field. 
    2017 Recipient: Coast Mountain Bus Company

Coast Mountain Bus Company provides bus service operation and maintenance within Metro Vancouver, as a subsidiary of Translink since 1999. Coast Mountain has made many strides in reducing their environmental impact. Some initiatives include repurposing old uniforms into rags through a textile recycler. Monitoring idling time, which has reduced idling by 35% since 2009 and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 1.5 million kgs. Other environmental efforts include switching from chemical cleaning products to biodegradable ones, recovering spilled bus fluids through the installation of trapping hoods in stormwater catch basins, and utilizing a water recycling system for exterior bus washing, reducing the amount of water used by 75%. Coast Mountain Bus Company continues to make efforts in reducing their environmental footprint by adding 26 Hybrid-diesel buses, which use 17% less fuel, to their fleet this past Earth Day. 

  • Non-Profit: Organizations providing services beyond expectations in environmental stewardship.
    2017 Recipient: DreamRider Productions

DreamRider Productions traces its beginnings to 1997, when they partnered with the City of Vancouver to create plays about environmental issues for kids. Since 2002, DreamRider has brought live theatre performances to over 200 Metro Vancouver elementary schools and 50,000 children per year at no cost to schools. Starting in 2009 the company began to translate its programming into digital formats, to expand its reach throughout BC, across Canada, and beyond. In particular, DreamRider has developed a suite of digital and online classroom programs called The Planet Protector Academy these focus on engaging children from grades 3 through 6, as well as their teachers and families, with the critical environmental issues of consumption and waste on a planet with finite resources. Specifically, PPA: Zero Heroes motivates kids to prevent waste, recycle food scraps, learn what it means to “buy smart”, and inspire others to take action!

  • Innovation Award: Individual or company that achieves an outstanding technical accomplishment in design or development of a product or process that improves its sustainability or advances zero waste practices.
    2017 Recipient: Dell Canada

Dell Canada has shown ongoing commitment to a circular approach in the way they produce their products and packaging. In the summer of 2014 Dell launched its closed-loop plastics supply chain: recovering obsolete technology through take back efforts, processing the plastics and molding them into new parts for new computers and monitors. Since then, Dell has created more than 2.5 million kilos of parts from closed-loop plastics globally. Dell is also looking at how other materials can be reused, including the introduction of products made with recycled carbon fiber. These innovative programs supplement their ongoing use of post-consumer recycled-content plastics and, since 2013 have used a cumulative total of 36.2 million pounds of sustainably sourced materials – well on their way to their goal of using 50 million pounds by 2020! Not only is Dell Canada focusing on sustainability, but also social change through their Legacy of Good Plan.

  • Lifetime Achivement Award: Individual who shows a career commitment to environmental leadership and stewardship.
    2017 Recipient: Alan Stanley

A lifetime achievement award was presented to retiring Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) General Manager of Environmental Services Alan Stanley remotely via Facebook Live. Mr. Stanley, who retires this summer after more than 20 years serving the communities of Nanaimo and RDKB, is also a two time former RCBC board president. His contribution on public policy through his involvement in the RCBC policy development process helped shape the progressive instruments BC now uses to conserve resources and eliminate waste province-wide.

The 2016 Winners

Congratulations to our 2016 Recipients!

  • Private Sector: Organizations or their employees with outstanding initiatives to preserve and protect our environment. 
    2016 Recipient: Green Coast Rubbish

Green Coast Rubbish was the recipient of the 2016 RCBC Environmental Award for the private sector category. They use sustainable waste diversion practices to maximize the reuse and recycling of materials for commercial, residential, construction, and property management clientele.  Green Coast Rubbish has recycled over 4 million pounds of materials while striving to innovate the way that waste is managed within the community. Working with Habitat for Humanity, Green Coast Rubbish partnered with them to support their deconstruction program by diverting architectural waste from landfills. This program also creates valuable opportunities for volunteers and raising money to build affordable housing in the Greater Vancouver area.

  • Public Sector: Governments or their employees who have demonstrated excellence in the environmental field. 
    2016 Recipient: Metro Vancouver -- National Zero Waste Council

Metro Vancouver was the recipient of the 2016 RCBC Environmental Award for the Public Sector category.  Metro Vancouver has been the frontrunner in calling for changes in waste management. In 2012, they called upon governments, businesses and community leaders to work together to come up with ideas to modify the current thinking of waste management in a linear economy to waste prevention and sustainable materials management in a circular economy. Metro Vancouver worked with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to for and launch the National Zero Waste Council in 2013. This innovative approach shifted the focus from “managing the issue of waste” to tackling the root of the issue of the take-make-dispose mentality. 

  • Non-Profit: Organizations providing services beyond expectations in environmental stewardship.
    2016 Recipient: Product Care Association

Product Care was the recipient of the 2016 RCBC Environmental Award in the Non-Profit category. Over the past 15 years, Product Care has been one of the leaders in post-consumer paint recycling in Canada. They are now involved in the recycling of seven other material categories: pesticide, fertilizers, flammable liquids, smoke and CO alarms, solvents, lamps and light products, as well as appliances. Product Care went from post-consumer paint recycling in BC in 1994 to expanding to eight more provinces in the past 21 years. They have created multiple robust networks of collection sites, materials transporters and processors leading to lower costs for other industry stewards as well as consumers.

  • Innovation Award: Individual or company that achieves an outstanding technical accomplishment in design or development of a product or process that improves its sustainability or advances zero waste practices.
    2016 Recipient: BC Technology for Learning Society

BC Technology for Learning Society was the recipient of the 2016 RCBC Environmental Award in the Innovation category. BCTFLS’ mission is to improve learning and protect the environment by refurbishing and recycling used technology. They provide increased access for students and learners of all ages to technology, where they might not have had a chance to before. BCTFLS practices ethical recycling of computer waste and promotes environmental stability through effective computer re-use models. Their vision is for a British Columbia with universal and sustainable access to technology to facilitate life-long learning.

The 2015 Award Winners

The 2014 Award Winners

  • Private Sector Achievement Award - Tymac Launch Service Ltd.
  • Public Sector Achievement Awawrd - Granville Island (CHMC) 
  • Educators Award - Gayle Bates 
  • Innovation Award - The Plastic Bank 
  • Media Excellence Award - Larry Pynn 
  • Personal Achievement Award - Colin Smith & Cameron Gandevia (developers of the BC Recyclepedia Mobile App)

2013 RCBC Award Winners 

  • Private Sector Achievement - ABC Recycling
  • Public Sector Achievement - City of Campbell River
  • Non-Profit Achievement - Nothern Environmental Action Team (NEAT)
  • Non-Profit Achievement - Vernon & District Association for Community Living
  • Youth Achievement - Together Against Plastic (TAP)

2012 RCBC Award Winners

  • Private Sector Achievement:  Brewers Distributor Ltd. & Columbia Brewery
  • Public Sector Achievement: City of Vancouver
  • Educators Award: Capilano University
  • Youth Achievement Award: Tesicca Truong
  • Personal Achievement Award: Emmie Leung

2011 RCBC Award Winners

  • Public Sector - North Shore Recycling Program
  • Private Sector - Deloitte
  • Innovation - Vancouver Whitecaps FC & Greenzone Sustainability Kick
  • Journalism/Media Excellence - The Midway Journey
  • Personal Achievement - Jill Ackerman

2010 RCBC Award Winners

  • Non-Profit - Friends Uniting for Nature (FUN) Camps
  • Public Sector - Vancouver Convention Centre 
  • Youth Recognition - The H2O Canada Team Leaders - Kara, Katie, Michael and Matthew Warnock
  • Education - Erma Stephenson Elementary School in Surrey, BC
  • Private Sector - Urban Impact Recycling 
  • Innovation - Jan Kobylka - IATSE Local 891
  • Journalism/Media Excellence - The Clean Bin Project
  • Personal Achievement - John Richards

2009 RCBC Award Winners

  • Youth Recognition Award: Bench Elementary School's Make a Difference Club
  • Non-Profit Achievement Award: Developmental Disabilities Association
  • Private Sector Award: Staples Advantage
  • Public Sector Award:  BC Liquor Distribution Board
  • Education Award: Debbie Smilth and Jane Amstutz -- Bench Elementary School

2008 RCBC Award Winners

  • Youth Recognition Award: THRIVE Program - Nootka Elementary School
  • Non-Profit Recognition Award: Free Geek Vancouver
  • Private Sector Recognition Award: London Drugs
  • Public Sector Award: The North Shore Recycling Program
  • Educator Recognition Award: The North Shore Recycling Program
  • Media and Journalism Recongition Award: Patricia Graham and the Vancouver Sun Editorial Team
  • Personal Recognition Award: Don Hamilton, Waste Reduction Manager, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

2007 RCBC Award Winners

  • Personal Recognition AwardRaymond Gaudart, RDKB
  • Public Sector Recognition Award: City of Chilliwack
  • Private Sector Recognition Award: Urban Impact Recycling Ltd.
  • Youth Recognition Award: Promontory Elementary School, Chilliwack
  • Educator Recognition Award: Vancouver Community College
  • Journalism and Media Recognition Award: Erin McKay, Township of Langley

2006 RCBC Award Winners

  • Personal Recognition Award: Brian D. Grant
  • Public Sector Recognition Award: Town of Ladysmith
  • Private Sector Recognition Award: Hewlett-Packard (Canada)
  • Youth Recognition Award:  Monique Smith
  • Educator Recognition Award: Holly Arntzen
  • Journalism and Media Recognition Award: Judy Stevens

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