City of Gent receives International Polar Foundation prize at Belgian Energy and Environment Awards

To mark UN World Environment Day on June 5th, International Polar Foundation president Alain Hubert presented the City of Gent with our annual award for initiatives making a significant impact against climate change, for its project 'From aerial thermography to roof insulation', as part of the 7th Belgian Energy and Environment Awards, held in Brussels landmark venue Tour & Taxis.

Since 2006 the Belgian Energy and Environment Awards has honored more than 1000 projects developed by citizens, corporations, institutions, associations, schools and administrations that have provided exceptional contributions to the construction of a sustainable future, at a local, regional and national level. A total of 12 prizes were awarded at this year's ceremony.

 The City of Gent, recipient of our award, aims to become climate neutral by 2050, and is paving the way by addressing the energy challenge and reducing energy consumption in housing. The project involved the production of aerial thermography pictures based on plane flights over the city, which showed in a simple visual and attractive way the extent of insulation in each home. Gent residents then received guidance - based on interpretation of the aerial thermography picture of their roof  – to assist them in taking practical steps for installing effective roof insulation.

Foundation Executive Director Thierry Touchais was also invited by the awards organisers to present the Eco-Booster Awards, which promotes a promising project that is not yet implemented but is proven to be feasible. This year, the EEawards Jury awarded the prize to Elia, Belgium’s high-voltage electricity transmission system operator, for its plan to build a new office building for its personnel that will meet both the criteria for a passive building and the (Breeam) criteria which take into account all aspects of eco-construction including energy, water, waste management, biodiversity, the well-being of the people working in the building and transports.

Congratulations from the International Polar Foundation to all the 2012 laureates!

More about the Belgian Energy and Environment Awards