The Charles Labatiuk Awards for Environmental Excellence recognize the types of environmental leadership, innovation and continuous improvement that happen routinely across the City of Edmonton. The awards honour not just the finalists who received awards, but also the thousands of City employees who care about the environment and reflect this care in their everyday work. The awards were given out on June 4, 2014.
So what made the winners of this years awards stand out? Ludmilla Rodriguez, a Labatiuk award judge who is also a member of the City of Edmonton’s Environmental Advisory Board, felt it was the winners’ passion that shone through. “Although many of these projects are supported by the city, the winners are clearly passionate about the environment and making Edmonton a better city,” said Ludmilla. She added that it is easy to go to work every day and just do what is asked of you, but the Labatiuk award winners extended themselves, which inspires others to do the same.
Trena MacGillivrary received the award for Environmental Leadership for helping her fellow peace officers take small but important environmental actions. Her own actions make it easy for her colleagues to recycle and learn about vehicle idling.
The Environmental Innovation award was given to the Street Lighting Team (Vlado Cicovski, Ben Yarmuch, Gary Ursulak, Mike Rowell, Shawn Jacobs, Janusz Januszczak, Kevin Romans, Dhafir Hameed and Gord Cebryk, all in Transportation Operations). This group introduced a number of innovations, such as LED lighting and adaptive light dimming, to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the city’s street lighting.
The team behind the Groat Road Basin End-of-Pipe treatment facility (Fayi Zhou, Wendy Laskosky, Liliana Malesevic, Arbind Mainali, Siri Fernando and Leonora Lumabi, all with Drainage Services) earned the award for Continuous Environmental Improvement. The facility uses a series of filtering systems to stop pollutants from entering the North Saskatchewan River, the first use of this technology in Alberta.
The awards are named in memory of Charles Labatiuk, an engineer with the Waste Management Branch who was dedicated to environmental protection and preservation. During his 16-year career with the City of Edmonton, Charles worked for both Drainage Services and Waste Management as a senior environmental engineer. He was a leader in establishing one of the City’s first ISO 14001 environmental management systems and continually advocated for environmental considerations to be a routine part of City business.