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Waikato contractor scoops national energy award

EECA Awards 2010 Transport winner

Ruakuri Contracting Director Warren Holden accepts the Transport Award

A small earth-moving and transport company from Te Kuiti was praised for ‘putting larger peers to shame' when it took top honours in the Greenstone Energy Transport category in the 2010 EECA Awards.

Five years ago, Ruakuri Contracting decided to take steps to reduce its environmental impact. Since then it's succeeded in cutting fuel use by 13%, and displacing over 90,000 litres of diesel with biodiesel. Between 2006 and 2009 its CO2 emissions reduced by more than 140 tonnes.

The company switched to biodiesel in its vehicles, upgraded equipment to gain better control over emissions, and trained staff in how to drive and operate the machinery more efficiently to save fuel and reduce emissions.

The award judges said Ruakuri Contracting showed ‘strong leadership from a small firm, putting larger peers to shame'. A wide range of other companies across New Zealand could replicate their methods to get good results, they said.

"This shows that you don't have to be a big company to benefit from using energy well. Transport is our biggest national energy user, and our reliance on fossil fuels is growing, not declining. So it's great to see companies like Ruakuri Contracting not only reducing its environmental impact but also improving productivity and cutting costs," said EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill.

"It's not complex - they simply made a commitment then took a systematic approach to tackle fuel use as well as supply. I hope other Kiwi companies see the benefits and follow suit. Fuel savings go straight to the bottom line."

The title of Supreme Winner went to Downer NZ. It won the Large Business category for its comprehensive programme to tackle energy use across the company, and it won the Innovation category for its fuel efficiency programme combining driver behaviour change with technology such as GPS and in-cab cameras.

The EECA Awards celebrate organisations and individuals who have demonstrated excellence and innovation in energy efficiency or renewable energy. This year, nearly 100 entries were received across the nine categories. Entrants ranged from small businesses to large corporates to outstanding invididuals, spanning public and private sectors and community-based organisations.

arrow iconDownload the Winners Booklet to find out more about the winners and finalists.

Other category winners:

  • Christchurch City Council achieved a double win, taking the Public Sector title for its civic building which is a model of energy efficiency, and the Renewable Energy category for its city-wide system which uses various forms of bioenergy. The council was also Highly Commended in the Innovation category for a world-first tri-generation system which uses biogas to produce heat, electricity and refrigeration.
  • Westpac won the Energy Management category for the energy component of its company-wide Our Tomorrow sustainability programme, which has cut energy use by 21% and CO2 emissions by 28%.
  • Taranaki pig farm the Lepper Trust won the Small - Medium Business award for its innovative use of biogas from effluent ponds to generate electricity.
  • The Community award was won by the Energy Efficiency Community Network for an energy advice line for householders that gave expert, tailored advice.
  • Professor Ralph Sims, who leads the Centre for Energy Research at Massey University, won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.