LEO announces first Glas Award winners!

Pictured at the Waterford Glas Awards are Kieth Molloy, Molloy’s Butchers, Ardkeen with his daughter NinaCllr with Cristíona Kiely Deputy Mayor Waterford Metro, Mags and Brid Kirby Waterford LEO Head of Enterprise. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Local Enterprise Office, Waterford celebrate the inaugural Glas Award winners, Molloy’s Butchers Ardkeen and Coffee House Lane

The awards, in association with Waterford City and County Council recognise and celebrate micro businesses in County Waterford who have made significant advances in bringing green principles into their business model. None more so than Molloy’s Butchers Ardkeen and Coffee House Lane, who exemplified the kind of role models the Waterford business community needs.

The Green Micro Enterprise of the Year, open to all with employees of 10 or less was won by Molloy’s Butchers Ardkeen, who impressed the judges with, “Their advertising campaign that gave customers 25% discount for reusing packaging as well as their lobbying and influence of associated craft butchers.”

Molloy’s Butchers Ardkeen initiated policies with their suppliers whereby they were only approved to deliver produce in reusable crates – no single use cardboard or plastics were accepted. All packaging used on their products are either 100% home compostable or infinitely recyclable. They encourage their customers to bring their own reusable containers and offer an incentive of 25% off to encourage this practice. They have also made significant operational changes throughout the store including reducing the amount lighting used within the shop and replacing all remaining fittings with LED lighting. They replace their fridge system to more efficient system that included doors (reducing energy costs by over 50%) and removing open top ‘coffin’ fridge due to its inefficiency. They are also optimising hot water consumption so that time spent heating water has been reduced by 70%.

The Green SME of the Year, open to those between 11 and 20 employees was won by Coffee House Lane. The judges were extremely impressed with the quality of entries, saying, “The detailed understanding of carbon footprints and policies regarding sustainability highlighted the depth of knowledge and understanding of the issues.”

Coffee House Lane fully upgraded its circuit board and electric panel in its production area and introduced energy monitoring in majority circuits so that we could identify times of day when machines were left running unnecessarily and thus wasting energy. They then replaced all outdated inefficient storage heaters with energy efficient temperature controlled smart radiators. Following this they replaced all the outdated florescent and halogen lights with energy efficient LED lighting throughout the building. The crown jewel of their investment has been the introduction of a 24KW peak 54 panel Solar PV array which has reduced their alliance grid to electricity by 90% since the installation in early summer 2023.

Deputy Metropolitan Mayor Cllr. Cristiona Kiely spoke at the event and presented the trophies, saying, “These awards are the kind of progressive initiatives that should be praised and replicated the length and breadth of the country.

“Business today is more than just sales, it is about a company’s position in the community.  To that end, it’s about putting responsible and sustainable practices in place to safeguard the future for generations to come.”

Mark Bergin, Owner/Founder of Coffee House Lane was thrilled to win, “We’ve worked hard on our sustainable policies for several years now, creating a culture change within the business. So, it’s gratifying to have all this hard work recognised today.”

Each winner received a cash prize of €2,500 and a Glas trophy, designed and created by Brendan O’Donnell who reclaimed a mix of HDPE plastic from milk bottles, bottle caps, sweet containers and detergent containers from local café, farm and households to make the Awards.

Acting Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office Waterford, Brid Kirby was thrilled with the interest in the inaugural Awards, “We wanted to recognise the work that’s going on within Waterford companies and hopefully inspire other businesses to add green policies to their list of priorities.

“This is just the first year, so we obviously hope to grow the entries and increase the levels of conscientious practices in future years.”

For further information on the Glas and other Local Enterprise Office Awards, follow this link www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford, contact LEO Waterford at 051 849905 or email info@leo.waterfordcouncil.ie