Waste projects win at the Premier’s Sustainability Awards

This year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards showcased projects across a diverse range of categories, from e-waste recycling to food waste and repurposed asphalt material.

Hosted by actor Stephen Curry and presented by Victorian Government Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, the awards recognise individuals, organisations and businesses working to create a more sustainable Victoria.

Ms D’Ambrosio said the nominees illustrated how industry and government could work together to position Victoria as a state of the future.

“These projects and initiatives are brought together by very important frameworks — frameworks that really set the direction and demonstrate what we want to be as Victorians, where we want to go and how we want to get there,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“We should all rejoice in making our state sustainable and much of that is brought about by the people in this room — tonight you should celebrate and acknowledge this achievement,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

In a video message, Premier Daniel Andrews congratulated and thanked all the finalises for their hard work helping achieve sustainability across diverse sectors.

Melbourne company Enable Social Enterprises won the top honour of the night, the Premier’s Recognition Award, for their work employing disadvantaged people in a successful e-waste business.

Enable works to break unemployment cycles by helping jobseekers connect with community and environment via commercial ventures including Enable IT Recycling, an online shop, fulfilment and storage services.

In 2018, Enable’s IT Recycling business created 10 employment pathways, while diverting 133,046 kilograms of e-waste from landfill.

Enable Founder and Managing Director Julie Mackay said the award was an incredible acknowledgment for a small enterprise out of Broadmeadows, and congratulated the Victorian Government on their recent e-waste to landfill ban.

“Hats off to the Victorian Government for banning e-waste from landfill, it has had a significant and immediate impact on our enterprise — to say we’re getting pummelled is an understatement,” Ms Mackay said.

“We’re all here as a growing sector and tonight is an example of that — let’s not underestimate the massive potential and leadership that we can all play in supporting jobs for the future. From everyone at Enable, I promise you that we will lead that fight and hope you will join us.”

Enable also took out the Innovative Products and Services award.

In the Health Category, Melbourne Health was recognised for its Reducing Hunger and Food Waste in Our Community program.

Melbourne Health, through a partnership with OzHarvest, collect surplus patients meals for processing and redistribution.

Since February 2018, over 4000 meals have been redistributed each month, removing nine tonnes of food from landfill and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17 tonnes.

In the Large Business category, Downer was awarded for its recycled asphalt product Reconophalt, which incorporates non-traditional repurposed materials such as soft plastics, glass, toner and reclaimed road.

Downer General Manager Strategic Development Michael Jackson said Downer is on a journey to change the way society deals with waste.

“We have invested significantly in our research and development, and over a long period of time, we’ve been able to bring game changing and market leading products to light such as Reconophalt, which even after it has been laid on the road, is perpetually recyclable, providing a truly circular solution,” Mr Jackson said.

“It takes courage to make change, and we’re starting to see this courage across all levels of government, to this end, the Hume City Council needs to be called out and applauded for their first use of Reconophalt on their road network”

Sustainability Victoria interim Chief Executive Carl Muller said the awards showed that environmental management was a growing concern for all Victorians.

“Each year, the Premier’s Sustainability Awards continue to discover the best and most inspiring Victorian individuals, organisations and businesses who are developing and implementing new sustainable practices,” Mr Muller said.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. Your contributions will have positive long-term benefits for all.”

The 2019 Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards winner are: 

Built Environment

Gillies Hall by Monash University: Monash University’s new Gillies Hall is a six level, 150-bed residential accommodation complex, the first large scale building in Australia to achieve Passive House certification.

Community

Hepburn Z-NET by Renew: Partnering with Renew, the Hepburn Shire has a bold plan to be the first zero-net energy shire in Australia and to reach zero-net emissions in 10 years.

Education

Sustainability across VCAL Curriculum by River Nile School: The River Nile School offers programs delivering the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning curriculum to re-engage refugee and asylum seeker school-aged women, embedding the topic of sustainability.

Environmental Justice

Working Beyond the Boundaries by AMES Australia and Parks Victoria: Migrant and refugee settlement agency AMES Australia partners with Parks Victoria to regenerate an historic garden, providing work opportunities, social, physical and mental health benefits to refugee and other local communities.

Environmental Protection

Greening the West One Million Trees Project: Greening the West is a massive collaboration that aims to deliver positive health, social and liveability outcomes in Melbourne’s west by a project to plant one million trees.

Environmental Volunteering

Electrifying Industry by Electrifying Industry Volunteer Working Group: Electrifying Industry is a report by Beyond Zero Emissions’ expert volunteers – a world’s first that shows how to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing.

Government

Victorian Renewable Energy Target Reverse Auction by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning: Victoria’s first renewable energy auction is supporting the development of more than 900 megawatts of new clean energy and will ensure that 25 per cent of our electricity generation comes from renewable sources by 2020, 40 per cent by 2025 and 50 per cent by 2030.

Health

Reducing hunger and food waste in our community by Melbourne Health: Melbourne Health’s surplus patient meals are collected and delivered to community food hub, Northpoint Centre, helping people in need and mitigating food waste.

Innovative Products or Services

Enable IT Recycling by Enable Social Enterprises Limited: An innovative social enterprise integrates environmental, social and economic impact, creating employment opportunities and positive customer results through an e-waste recycling business.

Large Business

Reconophalt by Downer: This project has created an asphalt pavement material that incorporates non-traditional repurposed materials to reduce environmental impact without compromising product performance and is perpetually recyclable.

Small and Medium Enterprises

E.S.P. Wool Production by BP, SS, JP & N Finnigan Kia Ora: E.S.P. or Ethical, Sustainable, Profitable wool production is now a feature of this family farm and features practices such as reducing chemical use, changing the genetic selection of sheep and sowing permanent pastures.

Premier’s Regional Recognition Award:  E.S.P. Wool Production by BP, SS, JP & N Finnigan Kia Ora

Premier’s Recognition Award: Enable IT Recycling by Enable Social Enterprises Limited

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Premier’s Sustainability Awards finalists announced

Sustainability Victoria has announced finalists for the 2019 Premier’s Sustainability Awards, after a record number of entries.

The awards celebrate sustainability in 11 categories, as demonstrated by educational institutions, businesses in every sector, health organisations, government and community groups.

Sustainability Victoria Interim CEO Carl Muller has congratulated finalists, describing the 2019 entrants as exceptional.

“Not only is the quality impressive, but we’ve had the largest number of entries in the program’s 17 year history,” Mr Muller said.

“As sustainability becomes increasingly important for communities, businesses, industries and governments, the Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards has never been more significant to share learnings and inspire us all.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will personally select two winners for the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award and the Premier’s Recognition Award, to be presented at a ceremony on 10 October in Melbourne.

Waste finalists include:

Education category: Ballarat Tech School for their Precious Plastic Program, which empowers students, other schools and businesses in the battle against plastic waste, encouraging them to consider the long-term effects of waste on our environment and to use circular economy thinking.

Large Business category: Veolia for their Waste Pioneers Program, which teaches school students about waste and recycling in an interactive way, covering waste hierarchy and circular economy principals, environmental stewardship and community leadership.

Innovative Products or Services category: Hotel to Hands by Soap Aid, which collects discarded soap from hotel and travel industry partners, then sorts, cleans, and reprocesses it into fresh, hygienic soap bars. In 2018, Soap Aid distributed over 301,440 bars of soap to communities without adequate sanitation in Cambodia, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda and the Philippines, as well as remote Australian Indigenous communities.

Community, Environmental Justice and Innovative Products or Services categories: Enable Social Enterprises, whose mission is to break unemployment cycles by enabling disadvantaged jobseekers to connect with community and environment, improving their prospects of participating in gainful employment through supportive work and learning programs. In 2018, their IT Recycling business created 10 employment pathways while diverting 133,046 kilograms of e-waste from landfill.

Small and Medium Enterprises category: Smart Recycling, which has been operating on a 35-acre former landfill site in Dandenong South for the past 22 years, recycling roughly one million tonnes of waste. It has developed a Smart Pallets App, used by their fleet of collectors to locate timber pallets from building sites all over Victoria, ensuring that pallets are collected efficiently, repaired effectively and returned for re-use.

Small and Medium Enterprises category: retub, a modern reusable take-away food container that reduces waste in up to three different ways and uses a unique, built-in container exchange program, Reswap. It endeavours to eliminate single-use take-away food-containers through product and process design with a focus on supply chain and marketing.

Health category: Drukshini Dissanayake, for her role as Associate Nurse Unit Manager and leader of the Green Team at the Alfred Hospital, where she established a successful program saving 45-60 kilograms of pure aluminium from disposal into landfill via free collection bins and hospital pick-ups in a dedicated waste recycling program.

Melbourne Health, for tackling food waste by having surplus patient meals collected daily by OzHarvest, who deliver them to community food hub Northpoint Centre for processing and distribution, helping community members in need. Since February 2018, over 4000 meals per month have been redistributed, removing nine tonnes of food from landfill and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17 tonnes CO2 per year.

Western Health for its Equipment Reissue Program for Hardship, which re-homes potentially useful second-hand pieces of allied healthcare equipment, such as crutches and shower chairs, to patients who would have struggled to obtain them otherwise.

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2018 winner encourages Premier’s Sustainability Awards entrants

Previous entrants in the Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards say that their participation has helped their organisations build better customer and community relationships.

Previous winners and finalists in the Premier’s Sustainability Awards say that their involvement has led to better staff morale, improved profiling with their customers and stronger community relationships.

Recent research by Sustainability Victoria says that entrants not only demonstrate increased energy efficiencies and reduced bills through their sustainability projects, by telling their stories through the awards they enjoy a range of other benefits.

The diverse array of historical entrants has comprised councils, government organisations, not-for-profits and businesses across categories such as innovative products and services, environmental protection, government and health. Many of these organisations document their sustainability performance as part of their standard operations, so developing an entry can be a streamlined process.

Last year’s winner of the Premier’s Recognition Award was Yume Food – Australia’s first online platform that connects producers of quality surplus food with buyers. The platform enables food suppliers, such as manufacturers, primary producers and importers to sell their products at a discount to commercial buyers in the food service industry comprising caterers, wholesalers, restaurants, hotels and event centres.

IKEA Richmond won the Large Business category.

Yume won three awards in total, including Innovative Products or Services and the Small and Medium Enterprises categories.

The company’s exceptional results will lead to nearly 850,000 kilograms of food diverted from landfill; 1,682,000 kilograms of CO2 saved, 58 million litres of water saved and more than 23,000 kilograms of food donated to rescue organisations.

Yume’s Founder and CEO, Katy Barfield said that the organisation is asked to enter a lot of awards’ programs but have to be quite selective and the Premier’s Sustainability Awards program was appealing.

“One of the reasons why we go for a small amount of awards is because as a start-up we have limited band

width and put our energy to awards that will further our mission of creating a world without waste,” Ms Barfield said.

She added that the Premier’s Sustainability Awards was simple to enter for multiple categories.

“One of the best results for us has been the recognition. Through our hard work and acknowledgement of programs like this, we have a respected voice in media.

“I’m often asked to speak at conferences and other industry events. It gives us a great opportunity to spread the word even further,” Ms Barfield said.

She said the prestigious awards recognise the groundbreaking innovations emerging out of Victoria and provided Yume Foods with an audience in front of government – the largest procurer of food in the country.

She advised others to put forward nominations and enjoy the benefits of the evening such as networking with important stakeholders, as Yume was able to connect to IKEA the previous year.

“Enjoy the night because it can be a hard road being in this space and the opportunity to celebrate are few at times.”

Western Health won in 2017.

Last year, the Department of Justice and Regulation was a finalist in the government category, after developing a Recycle, Reuse, Donate Woodwork Program for offenders serving Community Correction Orders. The program was established as an environmentally sustainable project that contributes to waste avoidance, while teaching offenders valuable new skills and creating an avenue for them to give back to the local community.

IKEA Richmond won the Large Business category after conducting a refurbishment of its store and rebuilding its showroom, installing a café and improving its in-store navigation, leading to about 85 per cent of all construction materials recycled.

In 2017, Western Health won an award for its single-use metals instruments program, with around 500 kilograms of steel recycled in 2016, representing about 80 per cent of all single-use metal instruments.

In 2016, the City of Booroondara on behalf of the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action Councils, a network of seven councils in Melbourne’s east, won the government award for its work with a variety of organisations to develop and trial a framework for monitoring biodiversity.

Sustainability Victoria (SV) assists entrants throughout the nomination process, then finalists and winners are provided with media releases, social media graphics, professional photos and other promotional collateral.

SV Interim Chief Executive Officer Carl Muller said the 2018 finalists and winners demonstrate that the awards process improves engagement and marketing opportunities at every stage.

“From the time they complete their entries through to the announcement of finalists, then at the prestigious ceremony to announce winners and beyond, entrants report a really positive experience,” Mr Muller said.

“Now is the time for any group doing good sustainability work to highlight their sustainability through the Premier’s Sustainability Awards.”

In the awards’ 17-year history, businesses, schools, organisations and community groups have enjoyed the chance to not only demonstrate their sustainability success, but to promote it.

Entries close at 5pm Thursday, 13 June, 2019.

To find out more, click here

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Entries open for Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards

The Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards is now open for entries and features a new category to celebrate outstanding contributions made by volunteers.

The new environmental volunteering category will recognise the impact made by thousands of dedicated individuals and groups who give their time to sustainability projects and environmental protection.

Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan said as the most prestigious program of their kind in Victoria, the awards are a terrific showcase of leading edge sustainability practices.

“Through these awards we proudly showcase the businesses, government, schools, institutions and community groups that are leading the way helping to stop the effects of climate change, developing more integrated circular economies and creating a more liveable, engaged, prosperous community for us all,” Mr Krpan said.

According to Mr Krpan, recent research shows that while sustainability remains an important concern for most Australians, only half believe they are doing enough.

“Joining the program’s existing ten categories, the new environmental volunteering category will make the awards more accessible to more people who take environmental action in real, practical and tangible ways,” Mr Krpan said.

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards includes the categories built environment, community, education, environmental justice, environmental protection, environmental volunteering, government, health, innovative products or services, small to medium sized businesses and large business.

2018 winners include small business Yume Food, who won for building a marketplace exclusively for surplus food, the Caulfield to Dandenong level crossing removal project and a campaign by Zoos Victoria and Phillip Island Nature Parks that addressed the threat of plastic debris to marine life.

Entries in the Premier’s Sustainability Awards close on Thursday 13 June.

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Yume Food wins three Premier’s Sustainability Awards

Yume Food has won three awards at the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards, including the esteemed Premier’s Recognition Award.

The company was recognised for its efforts in developing an online marketplace for quality surplus food, reducing waste and landfill impact.

Earlier at the awards’ ceremony, Yume won the Innovative Products or Services, and the Small and Medium Enterprises categories.

The Premier’s Regional Recognition Award was presented by Victorian Government Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio to Gannawarra Shire Council for a program that puts sustainability at the heart of its local economic future, featuring the first large scale solar farm and battery storage in Victoria.

Yume Food connects suppliers with buyers to help mitigate the 9.5 million tonnes of food that annually goes to landfill in Australia.

Primary producers, wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers can be left with tonnes of surplus food for a variety of reasons, and a lack of time or the contacts to re-sell it. When they provide product details and information to Yume, it is then uploaded to the marketplace and made available to a growing network of buyers.

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Yume Food aims to facilitate a seamless transaction between the buyer and supplier, helping to arrange the delivery of goods and can also manage donations to registered food rescue organisations, helping ensure edible food gets to the people who need it most.

Now in their 16th year, the Premier’s Sustainability Awards recognise individuals, organisations, governments and businesses working to create a more liveable Victoria for us all.

Sustainability Victoria (SV) Chief Executive Stan Krpan said year-on-year SV sees more Victorians showing leadership and advocating for a cleaner, healthier environment.

“Entrants continue to delight us with new and better ways to manage waste, water and energy – the Premier’s Sustainability Awards is an ideal showcase to celebrate their success,” Mr Krpan said.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the range of work these organisations demonstrates that sustainability is alive and well in every kind of community, business and government group right across Victoria.

For more information on this year’s finalists and winners, click here.

The 2018 Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards winners are:

Built Environment:

Lendlease, CPB Contractors, WSP, Aurecon, Level Crossing Removal Authority and Metro Trains Melbourne– Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project. Clayton South. The Caulfield to Dandenong level crossing removal project will ease traffic congestion on Melbourne roads through the removal of rail crossings while also providing 22.5 hectares of greenfields linear parkland to local communities.

Community:

Kelly Mrocki: The Girl Who Saved the Frogs Incursion. Glen Iris. Kelly Mrocki runs an incursion for Early Childhood Education Services, reading from her books ‘The Girl Who Saved The Frogs’ and ‘The Boy Who Saved The Whale’, and providing hands-on sustainability experiences for our youngest citizens.

Education:

Beeac Primary School – Brolga Pathways. Beeac. Students from Beeac Primary School worked with environmental artist Peter Day to develop a project that educates the community about the brolga – a local threatened species – using the arts as a focus.

Environmental Justice:

GWMWater – Memorandum of Understanding with Dja Dja Wurrung – South West Loddon Pipeline. Horsham. A Memorandum of Understanding between GWMWater and Dja Dja Wurrung clans proves that respect for country and major infrastructure development can work hand in hand.

Environmental Protection:

Zoos Victoria and Phillip Island Nature Parks – When Balloons Fly. Parkville. A campaign by Zoos Victoria and Philip Island Nature Parks known as When Balloons Fly, Seabirds Die encourages people to use bubbles instead of balloons at outdoor events, reducing plastic pollution and saving marine life.

Government:

City of Melbourne, City of Moreland, City of Port Phillip, City of Yarra – Melbourne Renewable Energy Project. Melbourne. The Melbourne Renewable Energy Project marks the first time in Australia that a group of local governments, cultural institutions, universities and corporations have collectively purchased renewable energy from a newly built facility.

Health:

Beaconsfield Dental – Beaconsfield Dental Health. Berwick. A dental practice in Berwick leads the way in sustainability through features such as 126 solar panels, water tanks, energy efficient fittings, indigenous garden, dental product recycling programs and an electric car charger for patients’ use.

Innovative Products or Services:

Yume Food – Build a Marketplace Exclusively for Surplus Food to Reduce Food Waste. Windsor.  Yume is an online marketplace for quality surplus food products that connects suppliers with buyers – the business model ensures that all good food is enjoyed, which is better for consumers’ pocket and for the planet.

Large Business:

IKEA Richmond – IKEA Richmond Refurbishment Project. Richmond. A major refurbishment of the IKEA Richmond outlet has been achieved using key sustainability and energy saving principles, and is now used to teach the value of sustainability principles to customers, staff and the broader community.

Small and Medium Sized Business:

Yume Food – Build a Marketplace Exclusively for Surplus Food to Reduce Food Waste. Windsor. Yume is an online marketplace for quality surplus food products that connects suppliers with buyers to help mitigate the 9.5 million tonnes of food that annually goes to landfill.

People’s Choice: 

Compost Revolution is an online community education and logistics platform designed to scale household organics recovery.

It provides residents with composting, worm farming and bokashi fermentation skills and access to subsidised equipment, delivering products to their door on behalf of councils.

The platform helps councils meet landfill reduction targets, and divert money that would have been spent on tip fees, haulage and other costs, into organics recovery infrastructure. This delivers long-term cost savings and other benefits, while building more resilient communities and generating a more positive profile for councils.

Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2018 finalists revealed

The finalists have been announced for the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards, which recognise individuals, communities, organisations and businesses that are driving a sustainable future.

Winners will be announced at the Premier’s Sustainability Awards gala dinner at The Forum on Melbourne on 11 October.

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There are ten different categories for the awards with Premier Daniel Andrews selecting two overall winners of the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award and the Premier’s Recognition award.

Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the finalists in this year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards are an especially diverse group from every sector in Victoria.

“I congratulate all finalists for their innovative work – using resources wisely and promoting sustainable practices here in Victoria,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

The Finalists for 2018 are:

Built Environment

  • City of Greater Bendigo, Lovell Chen, Nicholson Construction – Bendigo Soldiers’ Memorial Institute Passive House
  • Lendlease, CPB Contractors, WSP, Aurecon, Level Crossing Removal Authority and Metro Trains Melbourne – Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal
  • RMIT University – RMIT Sustainable Urban Precincts Program

Community

  • Enable Social Enterprises – Expansion – Greener Futures Employability Program
  • Kelly Mrocki – The Girl Who Saved the Frogs Incursion
  • Kensington Compost – Kensington Compost

Education

  • Albert Park Preschool Centre – Keeping Our Promise to Bunjil
  • Beeac Primary School – Brolga Pathways
  • Dunkeld Kindergarten – Educating Future World Leaders

Environmental justice

  • Department of Health and Human Services – Elenara House Sustainable Rooming House Upgrade
  • GWMWater (Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation) – Memorandum of Understanding with Dja Dja Wurrung – South West Loddon Pipeline
  • Moreland City Council and Moreland Energy Foundation – Cooling Communities

Environmental protection

  • Extreme Dents – Eso-friendly Automotive RepairPOD
  • Yume Food – Build a Marketplace Exclusively for Surplus Food to Reduce Food Waste
  • Zoos Victoria, Phillip Island Nature Parks – When Balloons Fly

Government

  • City of Melbourne, City of Port Phillip, City of Yarra, City of Moreland – Melbourne Renewable Energy Project
  • Department of Justice and Regulation – Recycle, Reuse, Donate Woodwork Program
  • Gannawarra Shire Council – Gannawarra Large Scale Solar

Health

  • Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Victorian Branch – Nursing for the Environment
  • Beaconsfield Dental – Beaconsfield Dental Health
  • Western Health – Changing Anaesthetic Gases at Western Health

Innovative products or services

  • BCH – Whole Garment Design
  • PonyUp for Good – PonyUp for Good
  • Yume Food – Build a Marketplace Exclusively for Surplus Food to Reduce Food Waste

Large business

  • IKEA Richmond – IKEA Richmond Refurbishment Project
  • Telstra Corporation – Murra Warra Wind Farm harnessing long-term renewable energy supply

Small and medium enterprises

  • Extreme Dents – Eco-friendly Automotive RepairPOD
  • Revolution Apps – Compost Revolution
  • Yume Food – Build a Marketplace Exclusively for Surplus Food to Reduce Food Waste

Western Health’s single-use metal instruments recycling program

Dr Forbes McGain and his sustainability colleague Catherine O’Shea explain some of the challenges surrounding the recyclability of medical waste in Australia.

Read moreWestern Health’s single-use metal instruments recycling program

The winners of the Premiers Sustainability Awards 2017

This year’s Premiers Sustainability Awards has seen winners across a diverse range of categories, from medical recycling to the recovery of shellfish reefs and water recycling.

Hosted by comedian Charlie Pickering and presented by Victorian Government Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, the awards recognise individuals, organisations and businesses working to create a better world.

In the area of waste management, The Nature Conservancy’s Shuck Don’t Chuck took out the Community category, while Western Health’s Single Use Metal Instruments Recycling Program was recognised in the Health category. Kingfield Galvanizing won the Small and Medium Enterprises category for the development of a large, automated galvanising plant with some of the lowest emissions of any similar plant in the souther hemisphere.

Melbourne company, eWater Systems, won the night’s top honour – the Premier’s Recognition Award – for developing water splitting technology which was used to clean and sanitise facilities such as hospitals, schools, manufacturing businesses and restaurants chemical free.

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Sustainability Victoria’s interim Chief Executive, Stephanie Ziersch, said the Premier’s Sustainability Awards recognised Victorians who had made a difference to the environment by implementing measures to better manage their waste, water and energy.

“Victoria has an excellent track record of delivering innovative projects that benefit our environment and the community, particularly in relation to efficient waste management, resource recovery and new technologies for clean energy.”

The 2017 Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards winners are:

Built environment

Nightingale Housing – Nightingale 1 (Brunswick)

The Nightingale model is a new housing development system that enables like-minded architects to develop design-led, multi-residential housing that is environmentally, financially and socially sustainable.

Community

The Nature Conservancy Australia – Shuck Don’t Chuck Recycling Project (Greater Geelong)

A reef restoration project that is regenerating the natural environment by rebuilding shellfish reefs with leftover oyster shells collected from local seafood restaurants.

Education

CERES – Sustainability and Alternative Pathways (East Brunswick)

This sustainability leader celebrates 35 years of community-based learning and action. CERES’ work aims to benefit the environment, remain socially just, economically and culturally satisfying and helps to deliver better ways of living together.

Environmental Justice

Friends of the Earth – Coal and Gas Free Victoria (Collingwood)

An awareness campaign run across regional Victoria through more than 100 forums alerts communities to the potential threat of fracking and addresses the question of unconventional gas drilling.

Environmental Protection

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park – Orange-bellied Parrot Breeding for Recovery Program (Mornington Peninsula)

Development of a 20-aviary complex for up to 40 breeding birds resulted in 25 offspring from 12 pairs in the first season. This project is helping to save this endangered species from extinction.

Government

Moreland City Council – Moreland Urban Heat Island Effect Action Plan (Moreland)                            

The council’s 2016–2026 maps out vital projects needed for Moreland to transition to a cooler, greener and more resilient and liveable city.

Health

Western Health – Single Use Metal Instruments Recycling Program (St Albans)                                

This program recycles single-use metal instruments (SUMIs) which a waste of high-quality metals. The program has recovered around 500kgs of recycled steel, representing approximately 80 per cent of all SUMIs purchased. This project can be used in any hospital.

Innovative Products or Services

eWater Systems – eWater Systems (South Yarra)                                                                            

eWater Systems is a world-recognised company that has developed a water-splitting technology that is used to clean and sanitise facilities like hospitals, schools, manufacturing businesses and restaurants.

Large Business

Exemplar Health (NBH) Partnership – New Bendigo Hospital (Bendigo)

Victoria’s largest regional hospital integrates sustainable thinking into all elements of its design, construction and systems to create a healing and therapeutic environment.

Small and Medium Enterprises

Kingfield Galvanizing – Sustainable Hot Dip Galvanizer (Somerton)

A large, sustainable and highly automated galvanizing plant produces significantly low emissions through a fully enclosed facility that re-uses waste, reclaims furnace heat and recycles.

Pictured: Catherine O’Shea, Sustainability Officer, Western Health, Victorian Government Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, Andrew McGavin, Operations Manager Engineering Services, Western Health,

Premier’s Sustainability Awards finalists detailed

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards finalists have been detailed with a range of diversion from landfill projects, from waste to energy to medical and water recycling.

The winners from 10 categories will be announced at the awards ceremony on October 26, along with two overall winners selected by the Premier of Victoria in two categories. These include the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award for a finalist who has demonstrated notable benefits for regional Victoria and the Premier’s Recognition Award for a winner who showcases exemplary innovation and determination in overcoming obstacles in sustainability.

The 29 finalists come from a diverse range of backgrounds, and include:

  • Enable Social Enterprises – Greener Futures Employability Program

A social enterprise program which provides employability skills programs that enables disadvantaged jobseekers to connect with community, improving their employment prospects and community cohesion. One of enable’s businesses is in eWaste.

  • Soap Aid – Hotel to Hands Soap Recycling Program

A partnership with Rotary that collects, sorts, cleans and reprocesses discarded hotel soap and produces fresh, hygienic bars of soap for re-distribution to poor, disadvantaged communities around the world and remote Indigenous communities.

  • Yarra Valley Water – Waste to energy facility

A waste to energy facility that saves food waste and processes it into biogas via anaerobic digestion, with plans to divert 33,000 tonnes of waste per year from landfill and power two treatment plants.

  • Epworth Hospital Richmond – Perioperative services going green 

A range of initiatives aims to address the excessive production of waste materials by ensuring reduced use of materials, reusing materials and recycling.

  • Western Health – Single use metal instruments recycling program

Replicable program that recycles the hospital’s single-use metal instruments (SUMIs) – equating to approximately 500kgs of recycled steel, and representing 80 per cent of all SUMIs purchased.

  • eWater Systems – Water recycling 

eWater Systems has developed a ‘water-splitting’ technology used to clean and sanitise environments and facilities such as hospitals, schools, manufacturing businesses and restaurants.

  • Sustainable Salons Australia – Beauty waste 

A comprehensive resource recovery program that collects up to 95 per cent of waste from hundreds of hairdressing and beauty salons, then redirects all material for reuse, recycling and repurposing.

  • TIC Mattress Recycling – Mattress recycling 

Automated mattress recycling technology which addresses the growing problem of more than one million mattresses that go to landfill each year in Australia.

Featured image: Rebecca Pascoe, Nurse at Epworth Richmond Operating Theatres, shows off the hospital’s PVC and aluminium canister recycling program.

Premier’s Sustainability Awards finalists outlined

The Victorian Government has announced the finalists for the Premier’s Sustainability Awards.

This year’s finalists included a campaign to save the orange-bellied parrot, a project that regenerates shellfish reefs using leftover oyster shells from a local restaurant, and a highly automated steel galvanising plant that produces significantly low emissions.

The winners from 10 categories will be announced at the awards ceremony on October 26, along with two overall winners selected by the Premier of Victoria in the following categories:

  • Premier’s Regional Recognition Award for a finalist who has demonstrated notable benefits for regional Victoria and
  • Premier’s Recognition Award for a winner who showcases exemplary innovation and determination in overcoming obstacles in sustainability.

The state government is working to reduce Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions by 15 to 20 per cent by 2020, and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

This year it unveiled a $146 million Renewable Energy Action Plan, aimed at delivering more renewable, affordable and reliable energy for Victorians.

 

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