In the Brussels Concert Hall ‘La Madeleine’ on the evening of Wednesday 20 November, UEPG - the European Aggregates Association - showcased and celebrated its European rock stars.
A record 53 company entries were received from 13 countries for the 2019 staging of the UEPG Sustainable Development Awards. Nine of the 53 received a trophy while a further 21 were specially mentioned for their achievements linked to the environment, social progress, economic contribution, communication and biodiversity.
The event welcomed around 200 participants from 20 countries including high-level representatives from the European Commission such as keynote speaker Peter Dröll, director Prosperity in DG Research & Innovation and William Neal, advisor to the director for Circular Economy and Green Growth in DG Environment. In response to the future policy trends laid out by the two keynote speakers, the companies E-MAK and INFORM presented their innovative products and solutions for the non-energy extractive industry.
UEPG president Thilo Juchem opened the ceremony by saying that aggregates producers too often are holding back their success stories in sustainable development. He said they need to show what they do, communicate it but also learn from each other and from external expertise.
The purpose of this major UEPG event is to reward and showcase the commitment of the European aggregates industry to sustainable development. Moreover, it also creates opportunities to promote and disseminate good practice examples and encouraging projects that go well beyond what is required by regulators, setting new standards of excellence others could follow.
The five fully independent jury members had the difficult task of selecting the best of the best. UEPG is sincerely grateful to Ester Asin, director of the WWF European Policy Office; Jean-Pierre Damm, co-chair of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee Extractive Industry; Anna Ostręga, associate professor at the AGH University of Science and Technology; Slavko Šolar, secretary general of the European Geological Surveys; and Guy Woodford, editor of Aggregates Business Europe magazine.
Antonis Antoniou Latouros, 1st vice-president of UEPG, officially closed the ceremony and stressed that all 53 companies had made him proud of the industry.
UEPG represents the largest non-energy extractive industry in Europe with more than three billion tonnes of sand, gravel, crushed rock, recycled, manufactured and marine aggregates produced on 26,000 sites across Europe operated by 15,000 companies employing 200,000 people.
UEPG would like to express its gratitude to the sponsors of this event: CTC Automotive Ltd – Caterpillar Dealer in Cyprus, E-MAK and INFORM (Gold sponsors) and Austin Powder (Bronze sponsor).