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.
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.”
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.
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