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Five young Australian researchers have been selected to complete research at Hanson’s Tweed Sand plant.
Five young Australian researchers have been selected to complete research at Hanson’s Tweed Sand plant.

Award to highlight value of quarry sites

Five young Australian researchers have been selected to compete for an international award that aims to raise awareness of the biological value of mining and quarry sites.
The Quarry Life Award, which is organised globally by Hanson’s parent company HeidelbergCement, is running for the second time after more than 300 projects were entered for the inaugural award in 2012.

“Sustainability is key to running a successful long-term business and will be even more important for future generations; with a global research focus we believe Hanson is taking steps in the right direction to achieve this goal,” Hanson sustainability manager Paul Timmins said.

“Mining and quarry sites can provide a huge variety of landscapes and habitats with low disturbances from human activities so they are valuable research sites. The Quarry Life Awards and participating projects offer a unique opportunity to add true ecological and educational value to a mining environment,” Timmins added.

Almost 400 students, graduates and researchers from 19 countries applied for this year’s award, and five project proposals from each country were selected by a national jury to carry out fieldwork between March and September. 

Selection was based on added value for nature and society, for innovative aspects, feasibility, raising public awareness and involvement of stakeholders. 

The Australian finalists – Jacob Woodruff, Christopher Stewart-Jones, Sophie Malkin, Thea Shell and Kate Stevenson – were each presented with a $500 cheque by Timmins to support the commencement of their outdoor field research at Hanson’s Tweed Sand plant site.

In October, 86 national jury members will evaluate the participants’ project reports – due at the end of September – and reveal the national winners who will vie for three cash grants of up to €5000.

Timmins said it was a privilege to have two “high–calibre” sustainability experts on the Australian judging panel. These include Anne-Maree Huxley, the founder of Models of Success and Sustainability, an industry body for corporate responsibility and sustainability; and Dr Martin Blake, the co-founder and director of the “be sustainable” group of companies and the founder and chair of Carbon Zero Solutions. Hanson compliance officer and former Quarry Life Award coordinator Ken Brown will also be joining Huxley and Blake on the panel.

The same reports will be evaluated from a global perspective by an international jury that will include environmental ministers; representatives of nature and forest ministerial cabinets; university professors in biology, applied ecology, botany and geology; environment and sustainability advisors; and representatives of large non-government organisations such as WWF and national partners of BirdLife International. 

Prize winners will receive €10,000 and the best overall project will win €30,000.

Hanson supplies heavy building materials to Australia’s construction industry, and its parent company HeidelbergCement is a global cement and aggregates producer.

Sources: Hanson  

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Friday, 23 August, 2019 10:52am
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