Annual Environmental Awards 2023

We are excited to announce our Annual Environmental Awards 2023, which are now open for nominations.

We depend on our members and on you the public to submit nominations. Often you will be more aware than us of some great work being done by an individual, a group, a public body, a business in their committment to protect the environment, to restore it or to have a greater commitment to sustainability. Or an initiative that supports our new Award category, the Circular Economy, by demonstrating how to rethink how we use materials and minimise waste.

Awards are nominated under the four main pillars of the Forum , Public Sector, Business and Commercial Sector , Community & Voluntary Sector and our Outstanding Individual Category. Our Award for Circular Economy is a new addition since 2021 for initiatiatives that demonstrate circular economy principles to rethink how we use materials and minimise waste.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given from time to time at the discretion of the CEF Management Committee.

To inspire you, check out all the amazing Award Winners over the past 20+ years.

The process is very easy and we can get back to you if we need more information but the main request is to think of the projects and initiatives you are aware of that mean something to you and whom you would like to be recognised and acknowledged by making a submission via this easy to complete NOMINATION FORM.

The deadline for nominations is extended to Sunday 5th November 2023

Cork Environmental Forum Awards honours cross sectoral Environmental Action at Annual Awards Ceremony 2022  

At a packed ceremony at the Firkin Crane Centre, Shandon, Cork Environmental Forum honoured Award winners across the sectoral pillars of the Forum and it’s recent Circular Economy category. The Awards are a fitting tribute to the people taking positive action and honours the effort, long-term commitment and work being done from recording of birds, to tacking plastic in our ocean, energy efficiency in business, providing parks that deliver multi-functional public space and circular social enterprises.     

All Pics Diane Cusack: Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr. Damien Boylan , Patrick Smiddy, Winner Outstanding Individual Award and Martha Cashman, Nominator.

Deputy Mayor Cllr. Damien Boylan presented the Awards under the Outstanding Individual category, ornithologist Pat Smiddy who has spent a lifetime recording, researching and writing about birdlife in Cork and beyond was the well deserving winner, with a heatfelt introduction by nominator Martha Cashman. Joined by family and friends from East Cork Pat emphasised the danger of accepting the shifting baselines from one generation to the next which can mask the real declines of our bird populations. Niamh Guiry received a commendation in this category, in her introduction Catherine O’Mahony detailed the considerable work Niamh has undertaken as a student in UCC and more recently in the Green Campus in helping to imbed sustainability within the University, the learnings of which she has brough to the process of establishing the Nature Forum. 

Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr. Damien Boylan with Niamh Guiry recipient of Outstanding Individual Commendation & Catherine O’Mahony, Nominator.

Kay Quinn, Schull Community College, who was the nominator of the Community & Voluntary Award winner expressed her own love of the ocean and how wonderful it is for their school and 5 other West Cork schools to be able to engage in such a hands on way with Rory Jackson and the Oceans Plastic Project.  The students go out to the local beaches, cleaning the litter, collecting and logging it and the students learn about marine waste, pollution and gain a better understanding of  coastal biodiversity and marine life. The school has benefited too from a repurposed fibre glass board that is now a table and chairs. Rory in his acceptance highlighted the importance the ocean has played in his own life and that through this project he is able to engender care and protection to this younger generation who are so keen to be involved.

Deputy Mayor of the County, Cllr. Anthony Barry, Rory Jackason, Oceans Plastic Project Winner Commuity & Voluntary Award & Kay Quinn Nominator

One of the lengthiest applause of the evening was for the Maedhbh Furlong and the participants of the L’Arche Cork, Go Green Project, which provides short courses and workshops on horticulture and sustainability specifically tailored for people with Intellectual Disability focusing on food security, biodiversity and recycling. Deputy Mayor of the County Cllr. Anthony Barry was very impressed by both projects and keen to engage more so in the future.

Darren McAdam O’Connell’s introduction to the Public Sector Award recognised that the City Council may often be judged in a critical way but that when projects are delivered well it is important to acknowledge them. Marina Park Phase 1 is receiving the Award for the way in which accessibility, mobility, space for recreation together with space for nature have been considered and consciously blended in the delivery of this public green space. Liam Casey, Director Parks & Recreation, Cork City Council stressed that this was the result a team effort of many people and that the consultative phases of the project with feedback from many quarters including CEF helped to shape what was implemented. Phase 2 will build on what has been achieved with even more care for nature. Presenter, Anna Hill, River Cycleway Europe, reiterated the importance of the creation of such spaces in the urban environment.

Anna Hill, River Cycleway Europe, Liam Casey, Cork City Council, Parks & Recreation & Nominator Darren McAdam O’Connell

The food business partnership of Denis O’Mullane and Marianne Delaney of Liberty Grill and Café were acknowledged in the Business and Commercial Award Category for their investment to  energy efficiency as well as consciously implementing circular economy practices and choosing to omit out of season and/ or environmentally damaging ingredients and products from their menus. Youenn Lowry, SE Systems who contributed to sponsorship of the Awards gave credit to the partnership for showing leadership in the way they are transitioning to low carbon and sustainable businesses.

Denis O’Mullane & Marianne Delaney of Liberty Grill & Cafe Gusto, Winners of the Business & Commecial Award with Presenter Youenn Lowry, SE Systems

Introduced by Katie Mann the Circular Economy category winner was Cycle Sense based in Skibbereen. Evolving from a cycle training initiative into a fully fledged social enterprise whose focus is on reuse projects which help to reduce the need for raw materials by reclaiming discarded existing products and giving them an extended life through repair and repurposing that include bicycles, paint and an evolving food area. Jerry Murray, City View Wheels and Award sponsors presented the Award commenting on how important active travel has become again and the transitions being made in all businesses.  

Jerry Murray, City View Wheels presenting the Circualr Economy Award to Ruth Bullough & Katie Mann, Cycle Sense

Ellie Donovan made the introduction to Meitheal Mara who received a commendation in this category for the many ways they build circularity into everything they do from the building of the traditional Irish Currachs from natural, renewable materials. They create beautiful tote bags from ‘end of roll’ materials from Acme Blinds whilst handles are made from materials salvaged during river clean-ups. 

Jerry Murray, City View Wheels with Cathy Buchanan, Meitheal Mara recipeints of a Commendation in the Circular Economy Category with Nominator Ellie Donovan.

A common thread from all those honoured was working in a collaborative way with others and having a strong conviction of making a broader societal contribution. 

The Ceremony was attended by the first recipient of a CEF Award and a founding member of the Forum, Terry O’Regan. Terry referenced the longevity of the Forum and the importance of it retaining the process of working in adherence to Local Agenda 21.

Terry O’Regan, Founding Member & 1st recipient of a CEF Award speaks about the origins of CEF & the importance of working through the Local Agenda 21 process.

“The Awards are a joyous occasion as we celebrate all these well deserving winners whom we offer our congratulations to and thank for giving hope and showing leadership in their actions and work which make an important impact on addressing our climate and biodiversity challenges” said Bernie Connolly, CEF Coordinator.

CEF wishes to acknowledge the kind sponsorship of the Awards by the SE Systems, City View Wheels, Paul Merriman of Pax and Ask Paul, and our main funders Cork City Council and Cork County Council.

The Awards themselves are beautiful bog oak and bog yew herons by sculptor Kevin Casey with commendations created by Don O’Sullivan & Martha Casj=hamn, More Clay Less Plastic.

The Four Liars Restaurant and My Goodness were thanked for the food. Diane Cusack for the photography and Ann Rea and team at the Firkin Crane for all their assistance & hosting of the event.

We are excited to announce our Annual Environmental Awards 2022, which are now open for nominations.

We depend on our members and on you the public to submit nominations. Often you will be more aware than us of some great work being done by an individual, a group, a public body, a business in their committment to protect the environment, to restore it or to have a greater commitment to sustainability. Or an initiative that supports our new Award category, the Circular Economy, by demonstrating how to rethink how we use materials and minimise waste.

Awards are nominated under the four main pillars of the Forum , Public Sector, Business and Commercial Sector , Community & Voluntary Sector and our Outstanding Individual Category. Our Award for Circular Economy is a new addition since 2021 for initiatiatives that demonstrate circular economy principles to rethink how we use materials and minimise waste.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given from time to time at the discretion of the CEF Management Committee.

To inspire you, check out all the amazing Award Winners over the past 20 years.

The process is very easy and we can get back to you if we need more information but the main request is to think of the projects and initiatives you are aware of that mean something to you and whom you would like to be recognised and acknowledged by making a submission via this easy to complete form .

The deadline for nominations is 11th November 2022 .

Who wouldn’t love one of these beautiful sculptures by artist Kevin Casey?

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