Mining services provider ESS Support Services Worldwide (ESS) has been awarded the prestigious Golden Gecko Award for Environmental Excellence in partnership with biodiesel refining business, Ashoil, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation (AAC).
ESS – which provides catering and support services to the mining, oil and gas industries – has an exclusive agreement with Ashoil and AAC giving them access to 100 per cent of its used cooking oil from its mining accommodation villages throughout Western Australia. Ashoil recycles the used cooking oil into the renewable fuel biodiesel which is then sold to mining companies for drilling and blasting operations in the Pilbara.
This landmark agreement sees in excess of 200,000 litres of used cooking oil recycled into biodiesel every year and ESS is currently working with Ashoil to develop a range of environmentally friendly products from the by-product of the refinement process, glycerol. This includes a soap wash, dust suppressant and truck wash; ESS is trialling these products in a commitment towards zero waste in its operations and providing its clients with innovative, sustainable environmental solutions.
However, as Paul Nugent, ESS Executive Director Operations explains, the benefits of this agreement go beyond the environmental outcomes.
“By recycling all of its used cooking oil, ESS is not only demonstrating leadership in environmental initiatives and excellent environmental outcomes, but the Golden Gecko win also recognises the contribution ESS is making to the Pilbara’s Indigenous community through our support of Ashoil,” Mr Nugent said.
“Guaranteeing Ashoil access to 100 per cent of our used cooking oil means Ashoil is able to continue to produce commercial quantities of biodiesel, therefore helping to secure AAC’s business model.
“This is turn means AAC can continue its Indigenous engagement programs and develop them further, ensuring employment, education and training and enterprise opportunities for the local Indigenous community.
“Winning the Golden Gecko Award for Environmental Excellence in partnership with Ashoil and AAC, not only shows that ESS is driving cultural change in the industry by using refined waste products in everyday operations but it demonstrates the importance ESS places on ensuring its partnerships provide wider benefits for the communities in which it operates,” Mr Nugent said.
AAC’s CEO Janet Brown said, ”The Golden Gecko award is due recognition of the agreement AAC, Ashoil and ESS signed in 2010. With the support of AAC’s Directors the establishment of this relationship demonstrates the capacity of Indigenous organisations to build viable, sustainable, commercial operations.
“The Golden Gecko Award recognises the products of development arising from this relationship and will hopefully serve as a template for future commercial relationships.
Ms Brown also added “The Award is also vindication for the strong support the AAC board has demonstrated in the development of Ashoil and the seven years of hard work in establishing this novel and important Indigenously-owned company.”
Above: The team from AAC, Ashoil and ESS celebrate the Golden Gecko win
For more information about the partnership between ESS and Ashoil, please view this video.
About the Golden Gecko Award for Environmental Excellence
Awarded by the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum, the Golden Award recognises leading practice and innovation in environmental management.
About Ashoil and Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation
AshOil Ptd Ltd is based in Tom Price and was created in 2010 as a fully owned subsidiary of Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation (AAC), of which all directors are Traditional Owners of differing language groups found in the shire of Ashburton. AAC’s purpose is to provide direct services to enable Aboriginal people to participate in training, employment and economic opportunity. Since 2005 AAC has assisted over 1000 people in the Pilbara transition into full time employment through various programs including the Community Development Employment Program (CDEP), Job Services Australia (JSA), the Indigenous Employment Program (IEP) and through AAC’s own training organisation Pilbara Training Services.
Cooking oil and biodiesel combine for Golden Gecko win
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