The Partners for Environmental Progress, or PEP, held their 12th Annual PEP Environmental Stewardship Awards ceremony last month commending members on the progress they achieved last year.
PEP is a coalition of business and education leaders who all share a vision of having cleaner water and air in the Mobile and Baldwin county areas.
PEP has more than 200 members, collectively employing about 22,000 local individuals. Alabama Power’s Barry Steam Plant was the winner of a PEP award in 2012 for their Carbon Capture and Sequestration project. This year they won an award again for further developments of that project.
The project at Plant Barry captures carbon dioxide emissions to heat boilers. The benefits of the process lead to cleaner air and reduces water consumption by 50 percent. Being the first of its kind and the largest in the world, it could potentially become incorporated on all coal burning power plants, eventually leading to a decrease in power cost to customers.
Another winner was EnviroChem, who was selected by the city of Mobile to tackle its Blighted Homes Demolition Project. They have identified more than 1,000 abandoned blighted homes in need of demolition. EnviroChem has carried out the demolition of several homes already, and the city has approved the funds for several more.
Honeywell UOP also won an award for forming partnerships with local recyclers to eliminate a significant amount of solid waste generated by their production. Instead of a trip to the landfill, the waste is recycled to be used again.
“Our winning projects often demonstrate real innovation and environmental best practices,” PEP Director Jennifer Denson said.
Denson believes people often blame industry for a lot of environmental ills, but said the Mobile area is very fortunate to have environmental stewards in local plants and businesses willing to take a stand for the environment.
Notably, many of PEP’s members are small businesses trying to do their part in our community, stressing the importance of recycling and sustainability.
“We’re trying to recognize smaller companies as well, and the past award winners you’ll see that some of our companies have been small businesses, who through very thoughtful and considerate actions, reduced their carbon footprint by reducing delivery routes or by encouraging their employees to bring their recycling to the office,” said Denson.
One of PEP’s core beliefs is that a clean environment is crucial to the health and prosperity of this area, and Denson stresses the importance of business, industry and communities working together to continually improve the quality of our air and water.
“That’s why we have our environmental works, to recognize our members who are engaged in doing the right thing above and beyond compliance and regulation in many cases. We recognize members who are making a significant and very positive contribution to the Gulf Coast region, not just economically, but also environmentally and through social responsibility.”