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The Observer Ethical Awards 2009 – creative award

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The Brief:
As environmental issues top agendas worldwide, The Observer Ethical Awards 2009 highlights the individuals and companies that have gone the extra green mile in the UK.  At an award ceremony at London’s Kensington Roof Gardens on 3rd June 2009, winners of 10 ethical categories were presented with personalised ‘Habbit’ awards, based upon their own carbon footprint.

The ‘Habbits’ were the brainchild of Rob Holdway of Giraffe Innovation Ltd, Brighton. One of the UK’s leading eco experts, Rob created the concept of humanoid forms that are distorted relative to the environmental impact of common activities. Each body part is assigned to an impact, for example the feet relate to travel; the hands to home energy; the mouth to water usage; the stomach to food; the buttocks to packaging waste and the head to electrical goods. The relative body part is ‘grown’ where an individual’s impact on the environment is higher.

The Solution:
With the UK’s largest plastic AM facility, 3T has the capacity and flexibility to produce anything from a one-off model to a production run of components. Rapid Prototyping is being adopted by more and more industries to assist in their product development, and 3T work with a vast range of sectors including Automotive, Aerospace, Defence, White Goods, FMCG and Architectural.

The Result:
Stuart Offer, Sales Manager at 3T, says “We were delighted to work with Rob on this project, as we are always looking for new and innovative ways in which our technology can be used effectively. As a company we employ various recycling programmes, including our nylon materials. The nature of the plastic AM process means that when each build chamber comes out of the machine, it contains a certain amount of ‘unsintered’ powder, i.e. loose powder supporting the parts that have been built (or ‘sintered’) by the laser. This powder could be considered simply as ‘waste’, however, most users implement a recycling programme to re-use a proportion of the powder. With our dedicated Research & Development team, we have refined the process to make it more efficient, thereby making the whole manufacturing process more environmentally friendly and economic, whilst reducing material disposal.”

Extra bits:
Now in its fourth year, the award ceremony was the culmination of a voting and judging process that launched in January, attracting thousands of votes and nominations. The judging panel was made up of some of the country’s top sustainability experts, along with well-known environmental and social justice enthusiasts such as the comedian Steve Punt, the model Erin O’Connor and the billionaire David de Rothschild. The actor Colin Firth presented the 10 winners with their ‘Habbit’ trophies, together with a lifetime achievement award to Britain’s best-loved naturalist, Sir David Attenborough.

Related links:
Giraffe Innovation Ltd
Guardian Observer Ethical Awards 2009

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