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    EU Commission Reappoints RPS to European Green Capitals Project

    19 December 2013

    EU Commission Reappoints RPS to European Green Capitals Project

    RPS has recently been reappointed by the European Commission to manage the European Green Capital Award (EGCA) project for another rolling four years. “We have managed the EGCA for the past three years on behalf of DG Environment across the EU’s 28 Member States operating in the 24 official EU languages. The award is made to a city each year which is a role model for sustainable urban living” says Dr. Katie O’Neill, Project Manager for the project.

    Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. congratulates Dr. Katie O'Neill Project Manager and PJ Rudden Project Director RPS on being reappointed by the EU Commission to manage the European Green Capital City Award at the Sustainability Gathering in Dublin Castle

    Last June Bristol, England was named European Green Capital for 2015, succeeding Copenhagen, Denmark who will hold the title in 2014. Previous European Green Capital cities were: Nantes, France (2013), Vitoria Gasteiz, Spain (2012), Hamburg, Germany (2011), and Stockholm, Sweden (2010). Criteria for the prestigious award, now in its fifth year, are climate change, urban mobility, biodiversity, air quality, noisescape, open spaces, water consumption, wastewater treatment, waste management, energy efficiency, eco innovation and environment management systems. The winning city must demonstrate high environmental standards and have an ambition to be a role model for other cities.

    EU Environment Commissioner Dr. Janez Potocnik stated that “the European Green Capital Award has been very successful in attracting a wide range of interest throughout Europe. It is a celebration of cities that are rising to the challenge of successfully combining respect for the environment, excellent quality of life and economic growth”.

    “Our reappointment confirms our strong management performance as EGCA Secretariat for the European Commission in technical environmental and communications terms. Apart from the benchmarking of major cities across Europe in environmental terms, we have pioneered and developed social media as a key communications channel to EU citizens especially to the younger generation who are a growing audience” states RPS Director PJ Rudden who is also Director of the European Green Capital Secretariat.

    Contact:
    PJ Rudden: pj.rudden@rpsgroup.com
    Katie O'Neill: katie.oneill@rpsgroup.com

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    RPS holds Inaugural Water Breakfast Briefing

    10 December 2013

    RPS holds Inaugural Water Breakfast Briefing

    RPS held its inaugural water sector breakfast briefing on Wednesday 20th November in the Clarence Hotel, Dublin.

    A wide range of clients and colleagues from the Irish water sector attended the event including Irish Water, Dublin City Council, EPA, Wicklow County Council, Laois County Council, PwC, Deloitte, and Ronan Daly Jermyn.

    Alan Curran, Director Network Management presented “Meters Do Not Save Water… Customers Do” which considered the impact that the roll out of domestic water metering and charging will have on water use. Alan outlined current best practice in the implementation of water efficiency strategies, household water use, market trends and technology developments, customer attitudes and behavioural change and recent international research and experience. “I was very impressed with the turnout for an early morning event. This meant that attendees had a real interest in the topics covered and the cross section of clients, colleagues, legal and financial specialists provided real networking opportunities,” said Alan.

    Adrian Duggan, Director Asset Management presented on ‘Building a Water Resilient City – Limerick City Leakage Reduction’ which provided an overview of the ongoing “find and fix” contract in Limerick. The project has been very successful, reducing leakage by 8.5Ml per day over eighteen months, which is equivalent to a reduction in UFW of 30% in the city. Adrian outlined how the RPS developed Waternet asset management reporting and analysis tool facilitated and enabled the successful management of the contract. This is part of an integrated water management strategy designed and implemented by RPS for the City. Adrian felt the format worked very well allowing contrasting technical areas be covered which demonstrated the breadth of our capability and the value of active engagement.

    Gerry Carty, Managing Director RPS, who hosted the event noted that, “This event is a great way to raise the profile of RPS, demonstrate our leading edge specialist skills, our knowledge of current best practice, technological progress and the value of integrated water systems management in achieving real measurable and quantifiable improvements to consumers”.

    Contact:
    Alan Curran alan.curran@rpsgroup.com
    Adrian Duggan adrian.duggan@rpsgroup.com
    Gerry Carty gerry.carty@rpsgroup.com

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    RPS Appointed to Develop Green Procurement Guidance for the Public Sector

    03 December 2013

    RPS Appointed to Develop Green Procurement Guidance for the Public Sector

    RPS has recently been appointed as lead consultant to develop Green Procurement Guidance for the public sector. Working with Achilles Procurement Services, we will produce a guidance document for the Environmental Protection Agency.

    The European Commission has proposed an initial target of 50% of all public tenders within the EU to include core green criteria. However, in the recent study on “The uptake of Green Public Procurement in the EU27 “, the inclusion of green criteria in procurement appears to be lower than 20% in as many as twelve Member States, including Ireland. The development of a Green Procurement Guidance for the Public Sector will assist the public sector to overcome barriers to Green Public Procurement and implement best green procurement practices.

    The guidance will provide:

    Definitions and examples of core and comprehensive criteria

    Standard green clauses for use in public sector green tender documents

    Comprehensive procedures on the implementation of award criteria for green tenders

    Contact:
    Olivier Gaillot
    E: olivier.gaillot@rpsgroup.com

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    RPS Award Winning BIM Infrastructure Paper

    28 November 2013

    RPS Award Winning BIM Infrastructure Paper

    RPS was awarded top prize for their Building Information Modelling (BIM) technical paper ‘The Evolution of Digital Data during the Design and Construction of a Large Infrastructure Project’ at the recent CITA International BIM Conference. 78 papers in three categories were delivered over two days during the conference which was held at the ‘Guinness Store House’ in Dublin.

    Authors of the paper: David Ward; Ciarán Butler; Bryan Coyle and Saeed Khan

    RPS won top prize in the Industry Category which was strongly contested by 44 national and international consultants, contractors and suppliers.

    “This project demonstrates the true value of BIM; collaboration across disciplines and sectors to deliver added value for the client” says David McBratney, Operations Director and Chairman of the RPS BIM Working Group.

    The award recognises RPS’ innovative use of technology in a collaborative process that combined the inputs from over twenty of our multi-disciplinary designers and numerous external specialists and contractors.

    Abstract from the award winning paper

    RPS was appointed by Shell E&P Ireland Ltd (SEPIL) in January 2007 to find a modified route for the Corrib Onshore Gas Pipeline, located in North West Co. Mayo, Ireland. A wide range of disciplines and organisations have been involved on the project from initial design and pre-planning stages through detailed planning, environmental impact assessment, detailed engineering design and construction. This has required specialist environmental, engineering and legal expertise. Throughout the project the design team has endeavoured to collaborate and maximise the use of the most appropriate technology and software applications available. The team utilised digital data in the most interoperable and effective manner possible in a process that is now being referred as BIM. Harmonisation and integration of spatial datasets from heterogeneous sources has been challenging. A number of data acquisition techniques were utilised during the project lifecycle to create a task specific Digital Terrain Model (DTM). These included LiDAR ground survey, Orthorectified LiDAR Aerial Survey and traditional survey techniques. A three dimensional ‘Single Integrated Model’ was developed which proved to be an invaluable resource during the planning, design and construction of the tunnelling compound for the Corrib Onshore Pipeline. This facilitated efficient engagement and communication with SEPIL staff, specialists and relevant contractors on various aspects of the design. Creating a Single Integrated Model and implementing a BIM process on the Corrib Project has enhanced the design, communication and timely delivery of this complex infrastructure project and is relevant to a wide range of individuals and organisations within the AEC Industry.

    Contact:
    David Ward
    E: david.ward@rpsgroup.com
    Ciarán Butler, Technical Director
    E: ciaran.butler@rpsgroup.com

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    Launch of the Bioenergy Implementation Plan 2013 - 2020 for the South-East Regional Authority

    05 July 2013

    Launch of the Bioenergy Implementation Plan 2013 - 2020 for the South-East Regional Authority

    A new Bioenergy Implementation Plan for the South-East Region was launched by Minister of State, Fergus O’Dowd, T.D., at the Department of the Environment Offices in Wexford on Wednesday.

    The South-East Regional Authority Bioenergy Implementation Plan was developed to provide a structured framework for all stakeholders in the Region to utilise for coherent development and progress in the area of bioenergy, to gather data in relation to the scope and potential for bioenergy development in the Region based on the availability of resources and technology and to identify and reduce barriers to the development of bioenergy in the Region.

    From left to right – Angela Treanor, RPS; Cllr. Larry O’Brien, Cathaoirleach, South-East Regional Authority; Minister of State, Fergus O’Dowd, T.D.; David Sutton, RPS; Sheevaun Thompson - South-East Regional Authority

    RPS initially undertook a review of the baseline information contained in the Plan and planned to update this information where necessary. This encompassed information such as the regional energy consumption and the proportion of which that is derived from biomass, typical technology types and potential outputs (e.g. % heat and electricity outputs from CHP), energy and carbon emission factor assumptions, national renewable energy and bioenergy specific targets etc. The review of the existing plan was carried out in the context of legislation, policies and guidance influential to the bioenergy sector at a European, National, Regional and Local level.

    RPS established the current state of the bioenergy sector in the South-East region, from feedstock producer level up to facility development, with a particular focus on the spatial distribution of developments since the original plan inception.

    In welcoming the publication of the South-East Bioenergy Implementation Plan 2013-2020 Cllr. Larry O’Brien, Cathaoirleach of the South-East Regional Authority stated that: “Renewable energy development in Ireland is central to our becoming a more competitive and self-reliant society”.

    The South-East has a competitive advantage in so far as the region has ample resources of forestry and suitable land for growing energy crops such as oilseed rape, willow, miscanthus etc.

    “This updated Implementation Plan for 2013-2020 presents challenging targets for the bioenergy industry within the South-East Region. The revised targets and implementing actions contained within the Plan are set in the context of the challenging bioenergy market conditions that exist today and the progress made within the region thus far. Energy policy is continually evolving and thus, in addition to the normal growth scenario, a second alternative scenario is also considered in the plan to reflect potential market developments with increased supports from the Bioenergy industry” said Cllr. O’Brien.

    “The Regional Authority will work with the local authorities, local energy agencies and all relevant stakeholders to implement the many actions contained within the Plan and will seek the necessary support and resources from central government to ensure its successful implementation” concluded Cllr. O’Brien.

    Contact:
    Angela Treanor
    E: angela.treanor@rpsgroup.com
    Dave Sutton
    E: david.sutton@rpsgroup.com

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    RPS organise European Green Capital event at EU Environment Council in Dublin

    20 May 2013

    RPS organise European Green Capital event at EU Environment Council in Dublin

    RPS led the management of the European Green Capital Award event on behalf of the EU Commission in Dublin Castle at the EU Environment Council under the Irish Presidency recently.

    RPS currently have the contract for the EU Secretariate to manage the award process across the 27 Member States. The European Green Capital Award similar to the European City of Culture is awarded by the EU Commission to a different city each year for outstanding environmental performance.

    Pictured at EU Council of Environment Ministers at Dublin Castle chaired by the Irish Presidency last week were Federico Ramos Spanish Environment Minister, P J Rudden RPS Director of European Green Capital Award (EGCA) Secretariate, Dr Katie O'Neill RPS Project Manager EGCA Secretariate, Dr Janez Potocnik EU Environment Commissioner, Javier Moroto Mayor of Vitoria Gasteiz Spain (European Green Capital winning city 2012), Phil Hogan TD Irish Environment Minister, Angela Treanor RPS and EGCA Secretariate, Karl Falkenberg, Director General DG Environment EU Commission and Ciara Murphy RPS and EGCA Secretariate.

    Winning cities to date have been Stockholm (2010), Hamburg (2011), Vitoria Gasteiz (2012), Nantes (2013) and Copenhagen (2014). Stockholm was awarded in 2008 as each city gets two years to prepare for hosting the award with events, conferences and generally acting as a European role model from whom other cities can learn. The 2015 winning city will be announced in Nantes, June 2013. The four shortlisted finalists are Bristol, Brussels, Glasgow and Ljubljana.

    Cities are judged technically on 12 different environmental criteria by an international panel of experts appointed by RPS - climate change, mobility, biodiversity, sustainable land use/open spaces, air quality, noisescape, water consumption and management, wastewater treatment, waste management, energy efficiency and eco-innovation. A shortlist is then drawn up and submitted to an EU Commission appointed Jury representing the Commission, Committee of the Regions, Covenant of Mayors, European Environmental Agency and European Environmental Bureau (NGOs) who pick the winning city./p>

    The competition is open to all European Cities with a population over 200,000. Vitoria Gasteiz has a population of 242,000 and is the capital of the Basque Country in Northern Spain.

    The event in Dublin Castle was hosted by the Irish Presidency led by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan who chaired the Council Meeting. Presentations on the European Green Capital concept were made by EU Environment Commissioner Dr Janez Potocnik, Director General of DG Environment and Mayor of Vitoria Gasteiz the European Green Capital in 2012 - Javier Moroto Aranzabal. All three spoke about the importance of the Award as three out of every four EU citizens live in an urban area, big or small.

    The Commissioner stated the importance of sustainability of cities as underlined by the soon to be adopted 7th EU Environmental Action Plan - ’Cities define our future’ he said ‘as most environmental pressures arise in cities from traffic congestion to water and waste issues’. Director General Falkenberg said the European Green Capital stood for the principal issues which dominate the work of DG Environment. He compared the 12 technical criteria on which cities were judged by experts as representing the 12 stars on the EU flag.

    On the following day EU Commissioner Potocnik and PJ Rudden addressed the Dublin Chamber of Commerce 'Green Economy Forum' - the Commissioner on general EU environment policy and how it had to make economic sense to be workable for business and PJ Rudden on the European Green Capital policy and implementation gearing towards sustainable urban living.

    Contact:
    Katie O’Neill
    E: katie.oneill@rpsgroup.com

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    rx3 wins the Green Public Sector Award at the National Green Awards

    04 April 2013

    rx3 wins the Green Public Sector Award at the National Green Awards

    rx3; rethink, recycle, remake has recently won the Green Public Sector Awards at this year’s National Green Awards which took place at the Burlington Hotel, Thursday, 18th April.

    Pictured accepting the Green Public Sector Award from L to R: Louise Connelly, Olivier Gaillot, Department of Environment rx3 Steering Group Chairperson Margaret Daly, PJ Rudden, Brenda McEvoy and Conor McGovern.

    RPS manages ‘rx3’, a Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government (DECLG) programme. ‘rx3’ is designed to promote the development of new markets for waste resources similar to the ‘WRAP’ initiative in the UK.

    ‘rx3’ – Rethink, Recycle, Remake when set up in 2008 fundamentally refocused our national waste management approach towards ‘resource efficiency. To encourage prevention, reuse and recycle a new front end ‘Rethink’ was introduced to embed resource conservation principles and a new back end ‘Remake’ to show that recycling had not been achieved until a new product was made from the waste material.

    Over the past 5 years ‘rx3’ has grown in national stature with major stakeholders in the waste and material resource area – NCAD in industrial design, Science Gallery in exhibiting ‘Trash to Cash’ and has assisted many start-up companies in the household and agricultural sectors.

    ‘rx3’ has also developed and obtained NSAI accreditation for a new national compost standard and we are currently conducting compost trials in partnership with agricultural research institutes.

    Contact:
    Brenda McEvoy
    E: brenda.mcevoy@rpsgroup.com

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