North Island Gazette Published: March 02, 2010 5:00 PM
I don’t usually write letters to the Gazette, but this time I thought something should be mentioned.
Marine Harvest Canada does a great deal for our community and we are never shy in asking them for favours.
I was tasked the other day to make a delivery to Marine Harvest Canada. I wondered where are they located? What is their parking like? Will I have problems parking? I hate parking.
Will I find the office? Will it be noisy and smelly? What if they are just annoyed that I am using their office to leave posters?
Off I go and follow the road to Marine Harvest. What a surprise. The company is easy to find, it has a great looking parking lot so there is no problem parking and a path led me to the door.
I walked past a group of workers enjoying the great weather while they sat and chatted at a most delightful gazebo perched by the ocean with a great view of Port Hardy.
I proceeded up a flight of stairs, feeling a little better, but now for the tough job – asking to leave a poster for someone else to pick up. I read the notice, took my shoes off at the top of the stairs and turned left.
I was met by a most courteous staff member who made me feel like a million. No problem, she said, “I believe he will be here later this afternoon and I will give it to him.”
Well, I said to myself, isn’t that nice. Everything about this place is top notch and their staff should be proud to work here – know I would be.
It’s been a decade since Marine Harvest began recycling and the program has since become a critical part of the company’s ISO14001 Environmental Management program.
“The site and office recycling actually started in 2000. Without ISO certification in 2001, we stepped up our recycling efforts to include waste oils and other ‘wet products’.” said Josee Migneault, Health, Safety & Environment Systems Manager.
A critical step to reaching and maintaining ISO certification is the ability to look at all areas of the business and identify “significant aspects” of operations that could have environmental impacts. At Marine Harvest, the decision was made to include recycling in the ISO program because of the variety and amount of equipment and goods used.
“I’m really proud to say all the sites, the office and the processing plant are on board with our recycling. We’re recycling everything that we can, using current technologies.” commented Josee.
When feed deliveries are made to the sites, feed bags, plastic barrels, pipes and all household items are barged to Vancouver by Gemini Marine. Upon arrival in Vancouver, the barge is met by several different recycling companies that take away everything to their own plants.In the office, cardboard, newspapers, glass, and all other household goods are regularly picked up. Confidential documents are shredded first and then picked up by World-Wise Recycling.
Starting this year, the management-approved Energy Management Plan (EMP) commits the company to a program to reduce energy consumption and lower green house gas emissions from hatcheries, office, and processing facilities.
“It’s important that every effort is made to conserve energy and our natural resources. Energy efficient operations will not only reduce operating costs but also help reduce our carbon footprint.” Josee stated.
These efforts continue to find new ways of reducing the company’s carbon footprint. The installation of alternative power sources such as wind mills, solar panels and on-demand generators at marine sites and the purchase of energy-efficient appliances will help the company reach its environmental goals. In addition, staff is encouraged to come up with their own ideas to reduce energy consumption decreasing carbon dioxide emissions.
“The adoption of the EMP means that come year end, we’ll have the data (kilograms carbon/tonne of fish produced) to be able to calculate how much we reduced Marine Harvest’s carbon footprint during 2010.” said Josee.
By Gina Forsyth