A project at construction camps on the Northern Gas Pipeline that halved the cost of waste food disposal and reduced greenhouse gas emissions has now earned the 2018 APGA Environment Award.
Ahead of working on the Northern Gas Pipeline, construction company McConnell Dowell considered how to deal with the 0.5kg of food waste that would be generated per person every day in the construction camps. Food waste disposal at remote sites usually means trucking it out at significant cost, using large volumes of diesel which is both expensive and has environmental consequences..
The solution McConnell Dowell’s environmental team came up with was the Plant to Plate to Plant project which used a large food dehydrator. The dehydrator reduces the volume of the waste by 85 to 90 per cent, and the high temperatures sterilise the mix so that it can be used as a fertiliser.
The dehydrator heats the waste to around 700 degrees Celsius. While it took seven hours to dry the food waste, the energy used was less than what would be required to transport the solid waste elsewhere, thus reducing the construction project’s carbon footprint.
Read more in the Innovative waste disposal reduces costs and carbon footprint media release.
2018 Safety Award
An employee-led health and wellbeing program that involved staff members from across an entire construction company, both in the field and in corporate offices, has won the 2018 APGA Safety Award.
Construction company MPC Kinetic realised in April 2017 that while it was delivering safe workplaces, there was still something missing: its programs did not give a picture of the everyday physical and mental health of all employees.
A Health and Wellbeing Committee was formed with employees from across the company’s projects and staff were quizzed on their views and on what incentives would encourage participation in a program. The Committee developed a tailored health and wellbeing program that would encourage participation from across the company, by addressing their wants and needs and that were aligned with the varying levels of engagement that employees had indicated they would be willing to provide.
The workforce was interested in becoming healthier and mentally fit, and they had specific areas of concern including heart health, diabetes, weight and blood pressure. They were keen to clarify some misconceptions about health and nutrition, wanted to lose weight and become mentally and physically stronger, but were worried about time, and they showed varying levels of commitment to physical participation.
The plan was delivered in phases, with employees asked whether they wanted to participate at each phase. Some phases, such as the weight-loss phase, The Biggest Loser, included competition between projects.
Read more in the Well-designed and employee-led key ingredients for health and wellbeing media release.