Islands looking to adopt sustainable solutions to improve quality of life can draw inspiration from the projects winning the 2019 Greening the Islands Awards. The awards, now in their 5thedition, recognise the most innovative solutions as voted by a prestigious, international jury based on qualitative and quantitative criteria. The winners of the 2019 edition of the awards were:
In the Energy category: PANTELLERIA (Italy) for its study of a renewable-powered system for an electrodialysis (ED) desalination plant. The objective of the project was to propose an electrodialysis (ED) desalination plant directly powered by a hybrid photovoltaic/ wind turbine system, without the presence of an intermediate energy storage. The ED unit can in turn be used as drinking water production device as well as salinity gradient energy storage system.
In the Mobility category: MALTA for its Sustainable Multi-Intermodal Transport Hubs (SMITHs). The SMITH concept links a number of sustainable inter-modal transport services concentrated in a given area to reduce use of ICE vehicles and cut pollution (involving for example bus, ferry services and sharing of e-cars, electric-cargo vans, electric motorcycles and bikes).
In the Waste category: NAXOS (Greece) for the Green Kiosk project. The initiative involved the installation and demonstration of nine prototype units for recycling municipal solid waste in remote locations. The innovative system was tailored to fit into the local area’s needs and increase recycling rates by fine sorting, compression and baling of different types of recyclable waste.
In the Water category: HELGOLAND (Germany) for its optimization of drinking water supply. As part of the island’s target to become a Zero Emission island by 2020, the local utility carried out a holistic energy optimization of the drinking water supply that led to energy use being almost halved and saving 204t of CO2 emissions a year.
In the Public Awareness category: MALTA for CSR Institute-Together for Sustainability. With funding from HSBC, the initiative brought together stakeholders to better understand the ideals and principles of sustainability in a one-day course covering water conservation, energy consumption, waste management and reduction, and sustainable development.