2021 NSW Sustainability Success Stories - Inaugural NSW Sustainability Awards

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Green Eco Technologies Sydney Markets ErinEarth Port of Newcastle 55 57 59 61 NSW Small and Medium Enterprise Transformation Award 53 Contents NSW Biodiversity Award 19 Mulloon Institute Sydney Institute of Marine Science Saving Our Species 21 23 25 NSW Circular Transition Award 27 Auburn Recycling Team Nestle Australia Planet Protector Packaging Lake Macquarie City 29 31 33 35 NSW Clean Technology Award 13 Global Sustainable Energy Solutions Degnan Constructions 15 17 01 Welcome from the Banksia Foundation Board Anna-Jane Linke of Seaside Scavenge Shalise Leesfield of Shalise's Ocean Support 49 51 NSW Youth as Our Changemakers Award 47 Rheem Australia Sydney Opera House 65 67 NSW Large Business Transformation Award 63 Kya’s Bushfire Recovery Community Seed Bank Richmond Agricultural College Hamilton Public School 07 09 11 Minister's Young Climate Champions 05 Sydney Trails Hunter New England Local Health District Port of Newcastle Pablo & Rusty's Coffee Roasters 39 41 43 45 NSW Net Zero Action Award 37

Welcomefrom the Banksia Foundation Board

Coming out of two tough, uncertain and challenging years, our families, friends, local communities right through to our nation have changed the way we see the world. We are emerging into a new era of possibilities. Now more than ever our focus needs to be on encouraging the positive aspects of our lives not only in our communities and cities, but also as a global citizen.

And what better way to do this than by celebrating the outstanding achievements and innovation being displayed through the NSW Sustainability Awards. The stories that you are about to read about the NSW’s finalists are a real catalyst for positive, productive, and the absolutely possible acceleration for change that we are looking for!

At the Banksia Foundation, we have been advocating leadership and innovation for over 33 years, where we now span across the 17 pillars of sustainability, guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We were thrilled to work alongside Treasurer Matt Kean and the NSW Department for Planning, Industry and the Environment, to deliver the Inaugural NSW Sustainability Awards, shining a light on the best that the state has to offer.

Banksia’s long history and our approach is highlighted by the diversity that we work on. Seeking out and rewarding community, government, NFPs, academia, right through to small, medium

Board Members

and large businesses. We pride ourselves on being able to bring all these different sectors together and show everyone in NSW and the rest of Australia how effective thinking and action can be brought about. The tenacity, passion and dedication of our finalists and winners is a real indication that we can build a better world post COVID-19.

The finalists and winners of the NSW Sustainability Awards herald a bright future for meaningful climate, social and environmental action. We were thrilled to see such innovative and inspiring initiatives, with the winners sharing a drive to create a healthy future for people and the planet, which they are doing so in such different ways. They are all leaders in their field and are disrupting the status quo with their thinking.

This edition of the NSW Sustainability Success Stories is a testament to our endeavour, determination and our never say die attitude. More than ever, we need to promote and showcase what is being done to provide inspiration and show how we can battle any disaster that comes our way.

The finalists and winners in this inaugural year of the NSW Sustainability Awards are exactly who we can learn from and be encouraged by. As CEO of the Banksia Foundation, I would like to congratulate our finalists and especially commend the winners of this year’s awards.

You encompass the future for NSW we want to see.

Rick Finlay Treasurer Grazyna van Egmond CEO Andrew Petersen Chair Howard Wigham John Valastro Mark Peterson

Treasurer’s Foreword

The NSW Government is proud to have partnered with the Banksia Foundation on the NSW Sustainability Awards, celebrating winners across the full spectrum of sustainability.

From biodiversity to net zero, and business transformation to clean technology – these awards profile innovation and aspiration.

Human ingenuity is central to our plans for acting on climate change, restoring our biodiversity, preserving our environment and creating a more prosperous future.

The award entries make it abundantly clear that NSW’s future is in good hands.

As a Government, we share with the award winners a sense of ambition and purpose.

We have plans to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emission by 2050 – and a 50 per cent cut in emissions against the 2005 baseline by 2030.

Our targets are backed by the nation’s largest ever renewable energy plan.

We are working with industries to reduce emissions through our $750 million Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program.

We have unveiled our Hydrogen Strategy, to create new opportunities for heavy industry. We’re aiding primary industries in the shift to a low-emissions economy.

NSW plans to make electric vehicles the dominant car on our roads. We’re accelerating the transformation of the built environment to net zero too.

We are pushing transition to a circular economy, cutting waste and fostering sustainable materials. In November we passed the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act to address plastic across its lifecycle.

During my time in the environment portfolio, NSW has added, or has in the pipeline, more than half a million hectares of land for the national parks estate.

This will put us in the best position to achieve another ambitious target – zero extinctions of species in our national park estate. Our plans are as bold and comprehensive as the moment demands.

We want a clean, prosperous future for NSW. But it is ultimately a shared endeavour and will depend in part on the next generation of leaders. That’s why I was particularly pleased to introduce the Minister’s Young Climate Champion Award, recognising innovators aged under 18 who are climate conscious through their bold ideas.

Each of the finalists for this award displayed the drive, passion and commitment needed to shape a greener future for NSW. The task of saving the planet has fallen to this generation – and they are leading the charge.

I was delighted to present the 2021 Young Climate Champion Award to 12 year old Kya King for her Bushfire Recovery Community Seedbank. I encourage you to read her inspiring and delightful story, along with the stories of all the other winners, in this publication.

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NSW Minister’s Young Climate Champion


Kya’s Bushfire Recovery Community Seed Bank

She applied for and received a Roots and Shoots mini grant in 2020 to grow native shrubs and flowers, as well as vegetables, to begin to replace what was lost to the fires.

Her first step was to research native shrub and tree species for the area around Sussex Inlet, NSW where she lives. Using the Roots and Shoots funds she purchased seeds and soil in order to propagate the plants.

They grew very well and by the end of the project she had distributed over:



native to people in the local neighbourhood.

In addition to the native plants, she also gave away nearly

500 herbs, pollinator seeds, and vegetables plants.

These were planted in community members’ gardens around Sussex Inlet and in the community run garden.

Kya is a remarkable 11-year-old. She witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of the 2019-2020 bushfires on people and animals.

She used to see kangaroos and birds in her yard. The bush was so thick, she couldn’t even see through it. It was perfect habitat for the native animals.

After the fires, the hills were black and there was little food or shelter for the animals.

She also felt compassion for the people who lost everything, even their own vegetable gardens. With the support of her mother Amy Fazl, Kya created a plan to help her local neighbourhood recover from the bushfires.

In addition to providing new food and homes for the local animals, the project helped to lift the spirits of people who had suffered so much.

Winning the mini grant also positively impacted Kya’s life. Kya is on the spectrum and has been diagnosed with Tourette syndrome.

Her mother commented on how the grant gave Kya the opportunity to embrace her passion for helping people and for caring for the environment. Kya learned new skills and hopes to be able to do more to help her community in the future.

Kya truly embodies the spirit of Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots.

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Richmond Agricultural College

Team Yr 7 AgSTEM students – participated in a hackathon with Cotton Australia & Australian Wool Innovation to explore sustainable futures for fibre industries, developed teaching resources about sustainable fibre - strong alignment across a range of SDGs (more holistic approach to practical action) from resource use to recycling/circular economy to sustainable food/local farming/regenerative agriculture/transport – positive undertaking of projects with industry/business/community

The student team have engaged in projects aimed at educating themselves and others about issues related to the environment and climate action. In this capacity they have worked with primary school aged children, teenagers and adults from varying generations.

The students continue to further their own learning about climate change and sustainable practices. More importantly, they have increasingly developed the skills to work with people across generations to engage in these conversations. Their role as educators to support the next generation through primary school program development also promotes opportunities for student voice and advocacy both for our students and their younger peers.

Their passion has seen them prepare a formal request to commence a podcasting program through the school to further share their knowledge and raise community awareness of climate change, resilience, local action and sustainable agriculture. This proposal has been approved as a 2022 project for the group.

They participated in a Hackathon with Cotton Australia and Australian Wool Innovation to explore new sustainable futures for the Australian Fibre industries. The students developed possible alternatives for the transportation of fibres from farms to ports/mills and alternate end of life options for Australian Fibre products to reduce landfill that could be utilised in shopping centres and retail outlets.

Following this our students explored more deeply the sustainability and environmental impacts of fibre production in Australian agriculture. They have explored various industry approaches to sustainability andclimate change through industry masterclasses, farm visits and academic research linked to water management, sustainability and biotechnologies.

Their passion for sustainable production evolved into an Archibull project where they developed teaching resources for primary school students about sustainable fibre production in Australia and end of life options for Australian cotton and wool. In completing their project, they have written educational books, learning resources and games for primary aged students. Last week they presented a workshop for primary students across NSW as part of an Ag Week conference, promoting sustainable end of life options for cotton. They have also reached out to community assistance in the creation of their educational products through the use of recycled/ repurposed wool and cotton products, promoting the benefits of better end of life use, rather than increase landfill.

The students have also locally partnered with a community based organic garden to develop ideas for improved composting on the facility. To this end they worked with local farming enterprises to explore small and large scale composting options and to investigate the benefits of composting to farm soils and general production levels, exploring regenerative agriculture models.

As a result, student designed a paper prototype of a new composting system to support the local community garden, that utilised end of life fibres such as cotton, local waste from the surrounding campus and green/brown waste from the gardens.

The student teams also entered the NRMA Challenge to explore new sustainable transport options for NorthWest Sydney. In completing their situational analysis they were disturbed by the lack of electric cars in the area and found that people were nervous about access to charging stations.

The team developed a concept of an e-vehicle concierge at the large Tallawong transport hub in Schofields aligned to the Metro as a way of better utilizing car parking spaces, the use of solar panels to generate electricity for the e-charging stations, and increasing confidence in users to ensure their vehicles were charged and ready for commutes to the regional areas of the Hawkesbury.


Hamilton Public School

Hamilton Public School, inspired by the SDGs, created Blue Gate Garden TV, including lessons on: how to be climate positive, water saving garden beds, soil health, cooking with garden produce, biodiversity and bees.

Year 6 class has used SDGs to inspire activities. With a Sustainable School Grant and lots of passionate students and teachers we were able to drive the creation of Blue Gate Garden TV. Students created episodes all based around “lessons” on how people can make a positive impact on the climate; Water saving garden beds, soil health, cooking using the garden produce, biodiversity in your garden, the importance of bees etc.

We have been using the SDGs at Hamilton Public School (HPS) for the past 3 years. Primarily they have driven our thematic approach to pedagogy. For example, we align units of work and even class novels with a different SDG each term. We also have periods of time (3-4 weeks) where we focus on a different SDG.

This has all provided a springboard for this year in which my class

(Year 6) really launched into the SDGs in a whole hearted way and even pursued a project designed to impact.

The students began by examining climate change and the environment at global level and asking ourselves the simple question:

How can we think global and act local?

Having the SDGs to guide us was critical as we quickly started looking at our urban environment and community. Through student discussion and some surveys of families we came to some conclusions.

1) Most people in our community would like to contribute to positive climate action,

2) Almost no one’s family had even heard of the SDGs,

3) People want simple ideas they can action right now in their home and community to help the environment.

This led us to our garden, which was already a focal point for the community. We talked about ways we can look after our garden and how the simple things we do in our garden can be an example to other people in the community and can inspire them to do the same.

Things we were doing in our garden that we thought we could pass on to families and other schools that had a positive impact on the climate included: preserving biodiversity, eliminating chemicals, encouraging and preserving pollinators, using the garden as a local food source etc.

Therefore, taking action in our school that could be mirrored across the community.


NSW Clean Technology Award


Global Sustainable Energy Solutions

GSES Launches A Complete Solar Asset Management Platform With Enginering And Financial Analysis.

Have you ever taken a car in for an oil change, and the technician tells you a bunch of other things need replacement? What if you didn’t even know the last time the oil was changed? The same type of doubts arise with solar system owners.

The Global Sustainable Energy Solutions (GSES) pilot project worked with a local Sydney Council to prove a new solar technology and value proposition.

They call it Solar Asset Management Intelligence, or SAMI for short.

GSES launches a complete solar asset management platform with engineering and financial analysis.

The council owned multiple solar systems, all of varying age, sizes and technology. Years of poor handover led to no current performance data for the council. Either the original installers didn’t exist, or the inverter manufacturer charged high amounts for the data, and records were fuzzy. During site inspections, GSES noticed most systems experienced surprising amounts of shading, and some had very old technology.

GSES installed 4G data uplink devices for each system, sending data to SAMI’s online platform. The platform includes a clear dashboard for the owner, and detailed data for the engineering team. Within a few weeks, an anomaly was detected by the platform.

On a Sunday afternoon, one inverter voltage spiked to open circuit levels. This inverter tripping could have been caused by numerous changes, and the owner may not have known for months. The GSES team worked with the building manager to first

inspect the circuit breakers inside the building. Finding that one of the AC breakers had indeed tripped, the manager became concerned. Was the inverter faulty or the circuit breaker? Was the wiring the correct size? Is there a potential fire hazard? How much will this cost me? There were many questions to be answered.

GSES engineers analysed all the system components that could have led to the circuit breaker tripping, including temperatures and solar irradiance at the time of fault. GSES found that the circuit breakers and wiring had indeed been installed and sized correctly.

However, high temperatures in the electronics room may have slightly reduced the rating of the circuit breaker to the edge of it’s tolerance window for a few moments. This anomalous situation was strange, but didn’t pose a safety risk. The circuit breaker did its job as designed.

As a result, GSES recommended

the manager reset the circuit breaker, and to continue monitoring it. Essentially, do nothing.

With this inverter not injecting AC power, the council was losing money at a rate of $1800 per year. Without a monitoring system, this can really hurt the accounts, especially on very large systems. In addition, most building managers would have to schedule a physical inspection from an electrician, costing them hundreds of dollars. For the council, this money was saved by remotely making decisions.

With a significant issue, SAMI weighs the cost of non-critical maintenance against return on investment.

When like-for-like replacement parts are hard to find, what is the best option? How much soiling is worth cleaning? Is this installer trying to upsell me? These questions plague system owners, who just want to lower their carbon footprint and their electricity bill.

Image Credit: Lisa Madden/OECC

Degnan Constructions

Degnan Constructions Delivering Challenging Infrastructure Through Innovation.

Degnan's vision was to deliver a project that set a new benchmark for innovation in rail infrastructure, focusing on sustainable design concepts seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the station.

Degnan studied the project scope to identify how it could challenge the norm and conceived a solution where a source of renewable energy could be integrated into an essential piece of infrastructure for the Como Train Station upgrade.

A conventional canopy construction is of structural steel and sheet metal; its purpose is to provide shade and shelter. Degnan's innovative redesign incorporates Photovoltaic Glass (PV) as a building material to generate enough solar power to run the entire station's lighting, communications, and general power requirements, as well as providing the required shade and shelter.

Through the strategic positioning of the PV Glass Canopy over a void in the station platform, the solution also allows natural light to filter into a subway that was a community concern due to its previously dark and unappealing ambience. The design and delivery of a PV glass canopy as a source of renewable energy in this way is a first on any Transport for NSW rail network project.

The realisation and eventual acceptance of the design demonstrated a clear and direct alignment with several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular sustainable cities, industry innovation, clean energy and partnering for success.

For this project, Degnan saw the potential to deliver something new and innovative that offered long term benefits for all stakeholders, including the community.

Degnan is committed to innovation and has many years of experience working with Transport for NSW Transport on the Transport Accessibility Program (TAP). They understand the client's commitment to deliver sustainable transport infrastructure projects across the network, so they knew developing a concept that was scalable and transferable was the key to success.

Degnan's goals were to push the boundaries of innovation and collaborate with Transport for NSW to provide the community an asset that reflected a commitment to sustainability. Degnan also wanted to achieve this in a way where the sustainable outcomes were seamlessly integrated into the structural elements of the station and enhanced the overall safety and security of the station.

Degnan's vision was to deliver a project that set a new benchmark in innovation, focusing on sustainable design and construction concepts. This vision began its formation more than two years ago when the idea was first floated on another Degnan project.

The process was slow because of the constraints from stakeholders and a resistance to deviating from time-honoured methods.

By overcoming the temptation to simply deliver a tried and trusted result, Degnan produced a sustainably viable and highly functional piece of infrastructure. Meeting their goals to provide the client and the community with an innovative, sustainable, highly functional, and aesthetically pleasing outcome. Degnan obtained many important learnings throughout the life of this project, both technically and of their abilities.

Degnan knows how to build and continually seek new methods and innovative construction ideas, but for them, the more important legacy is the affirmation that a small project can deliver innovative sustainable solutions. That to learn, influence, and educate can create change.


NSW Biodiversity Award


Mulloon Institute

Biodiversity Benefits As The Mulloon Institute Rehydrates And Regenerates Landscapes.

The Mulloon Rehydration Initiative (MRI) aims to rehabilitate and rehydrate the Mulloon catchment in southern New South Wales and turn a highly eroded creek into a healthy, vibrant ecosystem capturing flood sediments, recycling nutrients and providing valuable habitat.

The wider catchment will also see improvements in water quality, water yield, and enhanced biodiversity from tackling soil erosion, habitat fragmentation and weed proliferation. The project spans 23,000 hectares and 50 kms of creek and tributaries and involves 23 landholders and is being rolled out in five stages between 2019 and 2023.

Originally, Mulloon Creek was a slow moving, braided chain of ponds that provided important habitat for native flora and fauna and was a reliable food source for local Aboriginal people. With the arrival of agriculture, land clearing and extensive grazing began transforming the creek into a fast moving, highly eroded and continuous, singlechannel stream surrounded by a dehydrating landscape.

The MRI focuses on creek repair and erosion control using small interventions to slow and filter water flow, preventing further erosion and rebuilding soil health.

Interventions are made using natural materials such as rocks and logs and are complimented by holistic agricultural and landscape management practices, including sustainable grazing, slope stabilisation and contouring.

So far, 60 creek structures have been installed across five properties along a 20 km stretch of Mulloon Creek. Over the coming stages of the project, a further 60 structures will be built over another 30 km of the creek.

Around 40,000 trees, shrubs, sedges, grasses, groundcovers and wetland plants have been planted, transplanted and naturally regenerated.

Sections of the creek have been fenced off from livestock and kangaroos and, with the weirs now in place, the water flow is gentle and spreading with newly formed ponds bursting with plant and animal life.

By helping rebuild the functionality and resilience of Mulloon Creek, its riparian corridor, tributaries, floodplains, wetlands, hills and woodlands, the project is also supporting several threatened and vulnerable species, including the Scarlet Robin, Diamond Firetail, and Dusky Wood Swallow.

Other species being reintroduced to the area by Taronga Zoo include the locally extinct Yellow-spotted Bell Frog while the floodplain has been assessed as a potential site for future translocations of the Green and Golden Bell Frog.

The MRI has won various awards including:

the Conservation Landscape category, National Heritage Trust (NSW) Awards (2020); and the Response to Climate Change category, Australian Sustainable Communities Awards (2020).

Various State funding has supported the MRI: to improve water quality in Mulloon Creek; to benchmark biodiversity (fish, aquatic invertebrates, soils mapping, vegetation and stream); to restore the Mulloon catchment and protect its ecosystems; to improve creek condition and functionality (habitat quality, water quality and flow); to improve habitat connectivity.

While, Federal funding has been received to improve the resilience and ecological connectivity of threatened species habitat along the Mulloon Creek corridor; to recreate frog habitat in the Mulloon catchment; and to conduct comprehensive planning and scientific evaluation of hydrology, flora and fauna.


Sydney Institute of Marine Science

Living Seawalls Bring Marine Developments Back To Life

Based on 20 years of scientific research, the team have developed Living Seawalls -- a modular system by which critical habitats for marine life can be added to marine constructions.

Through innovative design that combines ecological and engineering know-how, a team at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Reef Design Lab is reviving marine life on concrete coastlines globally.

Structures such as seawalls, pilings, and pontoons are built in growing numbers for shoreline protection, recreational activities, energy generation and to facilitate communications. These structures destroy and replace natural habitats, and can modify the surrounding sea-floor, often with negative consequences for biodiversity and the ecosystem services, on which humans rely, such as maintenance of clean water and fisheries production.

Panels, mimicking the habitat features of natural shoreline ecosystems are fitted in scalable mosaics to marine built structures.

The complex panel surfaces increase the habitat area available for colonisation and growth of seaweeds, shellfish and other marine life. They also add protection to marine life from high temperatures and predators. Critically, Living Seawalls panels can be incorporated into new structures, as well as retrofitted into the many existing structures in our harbours, coastlines and oceans.

Since 2018, the team has partnered with Volvo Cars Australia and five Local Governments to install Living Seawalls panels on ten seawalls in Sydney. Additionally, in collaboration with Lendlease they created an underwater garden at Barangaroo. Living Seawalls have also been installed in three other major Australian cities, and internationally in Singapore, Gibraltar and Wales.

The accompanying scientific research program has demonstrated that Living Seawalls enhance seaweeds, fish and invertebrates, such as crabs, oysters and mussels after as little as one year.

The research has also found that the benefits of the panels can extend to enhanced water filtration – and hence cleaning –to fish communities and minimising the establishment of pest species.

The team has developed frameworks for ecologically enhancing marine infrastructure that are being implemented by the multinational company Lendlease and used by the NSW Government to plan major urban renewal projects, such as the Sydney Fish Markets.

Living Seawalls have been featured in government guidance documents such as Fish Friendly Infrastructure and breakwater upgrades. Living Seawalls have been the focus of over 20 local and national print, TV and radio news stories since the first installation in 2018.

The project has generated local, national and international awareness of eco-friendly construction through public seminars and outreach events, stakeholder workshops, as well as through social media.

Living Seawalls has been featured in Landscape Architecture Australia (2020), Sustainability Mag Luxembourg (2020), and in seven national and international exhibitions, including at leading design museums of Europe and America. Living Seawalls is also a finalist for the 2021 Earthshot Prize.

Marine construction is inevitable if we are to provide energy, food, telecommunications and coastal protection to the growing human population.

Living Seawalls provides a solution to ensure marine structures are created, repaired or rebuilt to benefit both humans and nature.

Saving Our Species

Saving Our Species - A Framework For Largescale Conservation

NSW is at risk of losing a thousand of its native animals and plants forever. Before the Saving our Species program, the goal was to move every species off the state’s list of threatened species. Unfortunately, this led to extensive backlogs; between 1995 and 2016, only 10% of species received recovery plans.

By creating a cost-effective framework for critical actions, the program dramatically reversed this trend, developing conservation strategies for over 900 entities over 20162021, or 85% of 1,047 listed species and communities.

This allowed the program to increase the number of entities under active management from 94 to 424 (+350%). Saving our Species is a radical new approach to conservation.

Saving our Species is a framework for conservation that goes far beyond what is required. Legislation requires Saving our Species to run a biodiversity program and develop recovery plans for threatened species, but maximising the number of species secure in the wild, integrating a range of partnerships to increase investment, and communicating outcomes are just a few examples of ways Saving our Species goes beyond business expectations.

It brings volunteers, scientists, businesses, and conservation groups together to redefine what is possible for threatened species, using a data ecosystem that supports conservation projects from inception to execution.

The program is a global leader in threatened species conservation – and data shows it is making a significant impact.

Saving our Species would not be able to achieve the level of impact that it has across NSW over the past five years without their partners. Over 200 partners help deliver on-ground actions, contribute resources and expertise, funding and in-kind support and undertake crucial joint-research.

The program also has a dedicated communication team that are constantly liaising with scientists to get their ground-breaking conservation stories heard by internal and external audiences.

Saving our Species publishes regular media releases, videos, newsletters, social media posts and hosts monthly lunch and learns to promote the importance of this work and the need for ongoing involvement.

Each year, the program measures the number of species and communities on track to be secure for the next 100 years based on their responsiveness to conservation actions carried out that year. However, year-on-year objectives may need to pivot due to unforeseen disasters, such as the 2019-2020 bushfires.

Saving our Species' ability to develop both proactive and reactive strategies, based on a range of variables, is another example of how the program goes above and beyond expectations.

It's hard to imagine a world without wattle and wallabies, so Saving our Species are committed to ensuring the future of NSW's native plants and animals is bright.

The legacy of Saving our Species will mean that many generations to come can grow up alongside the same unique native plants and animals that past generations did. By collaborating on a large scale, threatened species can be brought back from the brink of extinction.


NSW Circular Transition Award

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Auburn Hospital Recycling Team

Hospital Workers Working For Their Global Community And The Planet

With ‘think globally, act locally’ as their motto this group of ethnically and culturally diverse hospital cleaners and their followers, inspired by a little boys desire to make the world a better place are making a difference both here and in in the developing world, not only for the environment but for people struggling in poverty.

Hospital waste is costly, both financially and environmentally, it is also wasteful, useable items are thrown away simply because it is EASIER than finding a better solution.

At Auburn Hospital the cleaners decided to find a better solution and they have proved sometimes the people in an organisation with the least amount of influence can make the greatest amount of difference - this group of dedicated environmental warriors and their recycling projects are testament to that.

This group of people from different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds with different skills, different interests, different lives have come together to make a difference for the planet, for the lives of people struggling in poverty and for the hospital they love and are so proud of.

Instead of thinking ‘the problem is too big, nothing we do will make a difference’ this team decided to make a difference.

In 2006, a small group of cleaners started to recycle aluminium cans to encourage a little boy who also wanted save the planet and to make a difference for children living in poverty, struggling in the third world with his ‘Cans for Kids’ project. Their devotion to this project has seen them win many awards and gain much community recognition but more importantly the success of ‘Cans for Kids’ has led to the development of The Auburn Hospital recycling for the future Project.

Instead of thinking ‘the problem is too big, nothing we do will make a difference’ this team decided to make a difference, initially their enthusiasm was stifled by red tape and bureaucracy but they quietly and humbly they persisted.

By 2017 this group of committed staff going above and beyond their expected roles were recycling all manner of things, ‘rescuing’ items that could be/should be recycled or upcycled but were being thrown away. This group of mostly grandparents climb in and out of the huge skip in the hospital basement to rescue useable items, consumable items that have gone past their ‘use by date’ but are still in sterile packaging, disposable items such as bowls, kidney dishes and galley pots that are used to hold other equipment but remained clean and equipment still in working order but replaced by newer models and so much more.

This is the story of how a little boy and a bunch of hospital cleaners decided to be a part of the solution instead of turning a blind eye and believing that nothing they did would make a difference, their project has stood the test of time, overcome many hurdles and convince the most sceptical hospital administrators that doing the right thing for the planet was not only possible but cost effective. Their project has even survived a global pandemic, emerging stronger than ever.


Nestle Australia Ltd

Nestle Creates Circularity For Soft Plastic Packaging In Australia

Each brought their individual expertise to the challenge of producing Australia’s first soft plastic food wrapper made with recycled content – a KitKat – showcasing Australia’s opportunity to close the loop on recycling soft plastics.

The soft plastics gap While rigid plastics made from recycled content are available, the lack of both collection and processing infrastructure in Australia for soft plastic makes it difficult to keep waste out of landfill and impossible to meet demands for packaging with recycled content.

This means that using food grade recycled soft plastic packaging is not possible without importing the packaging – which does not contribute to helping Australia’s bid to improve waste management and build a circular economy. Collection trial underway The initiative to create the prototype KitKat wrapper emerged from a trial underway on the NSW Central Coast, where iQ Renew and Nestlé are partnering on kerbside collection of soft plastics.

So how can we turn a plastic wrapper back into a plastic wrapper?

What if used plastic wrappers became a resource, not a waste? This vision is within reach. Soft plastics make easy effective packaging that keeps our food clean, safe and fresh - but they are challenging to recycle at scale, meaning too much ends up in landfill.

A group of companies, led by Nestlé, worked together to show that soft plastics can be a resource, not waste.

Soft plastic wrappers can be turned back into soft plastic wrappers using advanced recycling techniques. The prototype KitKat wrapper was created by a coalition of companies with a shared vision: - REDcycle and CurbCycle, collected households’ soft plastic waste, some from REDcycle in-store bins and some from the kerbside collection.

Trial conducted with the Central Coast Council - iQ Renew received and sorted the soft plastics to create a processed engineered feedstock - Licella converted the plastic to oil using their Australian-developed Cat-

HTR™ advanced recycling technology

- Viva Energy Australia refined the synthetic oil - LyondellBasell made food grade polypropylene - Taghleef Industries created a metalized film

- Amcor printed and created the wrapper - And finally, Nestlé w rapped the KitKat – keeping it fresh and safe to eat.

Led by Nestlé, each company brought their individual expertise and infrastructure to bear to collect and process waste soft plastic, turn it back into oil, and create the prototype wrapper. However, it’s not enough as it takes more to bring this to

scale alone because of the complex nature of waste management in Australia, the wrapper has been central to an extensive advocacy and communication program, reaching governments and industries to help them understand the vision and be part of bringing it to life.

Today, this recycling is a vision as it requires infrastructure that Australia does not yet have at scale. But it's within reach.


Planet Protector Packaging

Goodbye Polystyrene, Planet Protector Packaging Is In The Race To Become The Market Leader In Sustainable Thermal Packaging That Doesn’t Harm The Planet.

Their innovative WOOLPACK packaging solutions are reusable, compostable, thermally stable, and unique in the packaging sector.

Their Australia and New Zealand business is aligned to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 17.

As of FYI2021, their positive impacts are:

the elimination

7.5 million polystyrene boxes

Without a healthy ocean there is no “us”. Life is inextricably linked to a healthy and functioning ocean, yet each year 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean with 42% coming from the packaging industry. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is amongst the worst plastic impacting our waterways and oceans.

Planet Protector Packaging (PPP) is on a mission to eliminate polystyrene. They are in a race to become the market leader in sustainable thermal packaging that does not harm the planet.

3500 tonnes

diversion of of waste wool from landfill,

and generation of

$7 million new income for farmes.

As they successfully scale their operations from their NSW base, their goal is to rebuild the Australian wool processing industry by setting up a new facility to create an onshore sovereign capability to sustainably process wool in NSW. This will help them reduce their carbon footprint and mitigate their reliance on imports.

Additionally, they are working with the University of Wollongong to develop compacting machinery to further reduce shipping volume for freight. Their business model is based on disruption, innovation, and leadership.

PPP exemplifies this by: Removing EPS from our waterways with compostable WOOLPACK solutions, and the continual development of new WOOLPACK product lines.

Some of their unique solutions include Vaccine Protector, now approved by Medsafe (authority for the New Zealand Health Ministry) and being used to rollout Pfizer vaccine in NZ, and Lobster Protector, 2020 Gold winner in the Australasian Packaging Innovation and Design Awards (PIDA) category and winner in 3 categories in 2021 World Star Packaging Awards.

PPP is already meeting the NSW Government’s 7 Strategic Circular Economy Principles of sustainable management of resources, valuing resource productivity, design out waste and materials, innovate new solutions for resource efficiency, create new circular economy jobs and foster behaviour change through education and engagement.

Led by Australia’s first-ever Laureate (South East Asia and Oceania 2020) with the Cartier Women’s Initiative, Joanne Howarth, PPP is driven by the goals of ending our ocean waste crisis, accelerating a global transition to sustainable packaging and a circular economy whilst generating new revenue for Aussie sheep farmers and strengthening our rural communities with the WOOLPACK.

They are proudly disrupting their way through the conventional packaging industry and promoting circular economy, as there is no planet B!


Lake Macquarie City

The Local Government Leading The Circular Economy Transition

Transitioning Lake Macquarie Into A Circular Smart City By 2050

Lake Macquarie City Council has long been a leader in the sustainability arena so creating the first Circular Economy Lead role at an Australian council, with dedicated budget for circular initiatives, was a natural next step.

The purpose of this role was to:

• Provide circular economy leadership in the Hunter Region

• Develop the strategic framework for a circular economy

• Develop projects that help Council and the community adopt circularity.

Debbie O’Byrne was employed as Council’s Circular Economy

Lead in January 2020 and, despite the impacts of COVID-19, Council has continued to demonstrate leadership and leveraged the Circular Economy Lead role by:

• Becoming the first Australian Council to adopt a Circular Economy Policy and Framework, mapping the Framework to specific Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets

• Spearheading circular economy initiatives to help achieve SDGs 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 17

• Instigating Australia’s first regional Circle City Scan in collaboration with Hunter Joint Organisation, City of Newcastle, University of Newcastle and Go Circular

• Co-hosting a sold-out Circular Economy Think Tank event at the Hunter Innovation Festival

• Hosted a circular economy workshop as part of an internship for a local high-school student

• Collaborated with Central Coast Council on a Circular Economy Precinct Feasibility Study for the Lower Hunter Region

• Collaborating with Hunter Water and Sustainability Advantage to commission a comparative analysis and develop a tool on recycled materials for road projects

• Beta-testing Planet Price software to price externalities into procurement decisions (now four other councils have joined the beta-testing program)

• Establishing a local Circular Economy Technical Advisory Group with other councils and stakeholders

• Initiating development of abusiness case for NSW’s Circular Economy Living Lab.

Debbie is continuing to implement Council’s Circular Economy Policy and Framework across the organisation. This involves conducting workshops across all Council departments and co-creating circular solutions with the staff to be delivered through Council’s Operational and Delivery plans. Through the Hunter Circular Economy Facilitators Group, Debbie continues to build collaborative relationships and devise joint regional projects with other key stakeholders to leverage the power of alliances and networks to create, test and scale CE solutions.

Debbie’s thoughtleadership and expertise in circularity is widely recognised across Australia, which has led her to be a keynote speaker at events across the country.

Debbie also represents Council as a circular economy expert advisor on committees including: - Hunter Joint Organisation Procurement Working Group - Planet Ark Procurement Working Group - Hunter Central Coast Circular Economy Facilitators Group - Go Circular


NSW Net Zero Action Award

37 37
The Pimpama River Conservation Area is located on the southern bank of the Pimpama River and borders the Southern Moreton Bay Marine Park and a Ramsar listed wetland.

Sydney Trains

Sydney Trains achieves Net Zero EmissionsSustainably Connecting Our Communities.

We are proud to have been able to make rail transport an even more sustainable mode of transport.

The travelling public in Sydney will now have a net zero emissions public transport option across greater Sydney that we hope will contribute to more people choosing to take public transport.

The Initiative was to achieve Net Zero Emissions for Sydney Trains and NSW Train Link by 2025. We undertook detailed analysis of all methodologies we could utilise to get to Net Zero and maintain the commitment for the long term. The analysis showed that the most effective methodology for us was to utilise renewable energy certificates (LGCs) in the short term and as an effective long term hedge against rising LGC prices, whilst going to market for a significant portion of load (40%) to seek innovative ways to maintain the commitment for the long term.

Sydney Trains’ Net Zero initiative makes us the first heavy rail passenger service in Australia to become net zero emissions electricity.

Government and drive further investment in renewable energy, backed by a Transport policy commitment for Net Zero emissions from rail electricity usage by 2025.

We were aiming to achieve an ambitious implementation of Net Zero to beat the 2025 target date in a fiscally responsible manner and providing leadership and incentive for further renewable energy market development. Whilst also developing a longer term strategy to maintain Net Zero emissions beyond the 2025

target date, that allow us to continue to innovate in the area of emissions abatement and take advantage of any new technological/market innovations.

Over the next few years our project will be the platform for development of a Transport for NSW (TfNSW) cluster wide approach to Net Zero with a view to expand on what we have achieved at Sydney Trains across the whole of TfNSW.

Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink together use approximately 874GWh of electricity per annum (pa) (around 1.3% of NSW’s total electricity consumption). This equates electricity usage of approximately 158,000 Sydney household.

Through the Net Zero Emissions Initiative, all Scope 2 emissions associated with electricity use are offset from FY21/22, which is approximately 708,203 tonnes of CO2-e pa.

The initiative has reduced Sydney Trains’ total emissions footprint by 98%, the remaining 2% of Scope 1 emissions will be offset before 2025.

The driving forces behind this approach were a desire to show strong leadership in this area from

CO 2



Hunter New England Local Health District

Hunter New England Local Health DistrictSustainable Healthcare - Together Towards Zero 2030

‘Sustainable Healthcare: Together Towards Zero’ strategy is sector transforming. It outlines Hunter New England Local Health District’s (HNELHD) commitment to achieve carbon and waste neutrality by 2030, a first for any Local Health District (LHD) in NSW.

Healthcare contributes 7% of total CO2 emissions in Australia. As the largest LHD in NSW, HNELHD saw an opportunity to make impactful changes to the way we operate and be a leading example to the sector.

Our trajectory is clear. We need to move from 105,065tCO2-e to 0tCO2-e in 10 years.

Identifying a net zero emissions trajectory for a complex, highly specialised, large healthcare system is particularly challenging. The strategy hinges on a number of key focuses, including investment in solar power, water sustainability, transport, waste management, recycling and energy efficient practices to lighten and, eventually, eliminate the organisation’s carbon footprint.

A major component of the strategy is investment in renewable energy. Solar panels are being installed on the roof of every health facility, including John Hunter Hospital, which will soon be the largest hospital solar panel installation in Australia. $3.2 million is being invested in the 2.4 MW system generating 3,328,200 kWh p.a abating our carbonemissions by 2,700 tonnes annually.

Other key project which are already making a difference are, recycling water through our recycled renal dialysis project; We are redeploying medical equipment to developing nations and avoiding landfill; We have seen a 71% reduction in the highly polluting desflurance gas lead by Senior Specialist staff and

taking opportunities to create circular economies such as incorporating recycled product into hospital carparks and finding circular solutions for plastics. But we’re not shy about our challenges.

We recognise that 60% of a health system’s carbon footprint is from clinical care supply chain, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment. It will be vital to address scope 3, potentially our greatest opportunity, if we are to meet our goals.

Our challenge has been to bring clinically focused staff to reimagine their service, with a net zero lens. We are doing this by establishing “Net Zero” teams within specific clinical areas, where sustainability champions lead delivery and engagement for sustainability.

We have over 180 sustainability champions now, all doing vital work to create change in our district. We are also in the middle of a global health pandemic. As the frontline responder for our community, our focus is on managing the pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped us from continuing to trial sustainability

projects including our plastic needle top collection at our Mass Vaccination Centres which has seen this polluting product be recycled into 750 roller door wheels and 3700 bolt caps for wind towers.

By being an industry disrupter, we have caught the eyes of others who have engaged us to support their transitions to Net Zero. NSW Ministry of Health have now adopted sustainability into their portfolio and The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) have engaged HNELHD to pilot Net Zero projects within the Healthcare sector. The Sustainable Healthcare: Together Towards Zero’ strategy is ambitious but we are focussed on delivering every aspect for the health and safety of our local, national and global community.

WINNER 2021 CO 2

Port of Newcastle

Resource Recovery Partnerships: The Foundations of a Circular Economy

Port of Newcastle is Australia's deepwater global gateway, the largest on the nation’s East Coast. Port of Newcastle is more than a port. It exists to build Australia’s prosperity with responsible, integrated and innovative supply chain solutions.

With trade worth about $26 billion to the national economy each year, Port of Newcastle enables Australian businesses to successfully compete in international markets. The Port currently handles 4,400 ship movements and 164 million tonnes of cargo annually, including dry bulk, bulk liquids, ro-ro, general and project cargoes and containers.

With a deepwater shipping channel operating at 50% of its capacity, significant port land available and enviable access to national rail and road infrastructure, Port of Newcastle is positioned to further underpin the future prosperity of the Hunter, NSW and Australia.

As custodians of the region’s critical asset, Port of Newcastle is diversifying its trade as it strives to create a safe, sustainable and environmentally and socially responsible future. Recognising the shift to a low carbon economy, a core component of the Port's Environment Social Governance (ESG) Strategy is focused on diversifying its business and decarbonising operations. These core focus areas significantly contribute towards ensuring decent work and economic growth opportunities for the Hunter Region, supporting sustainable cities and communities, and contributing towards a global effort to take action on climate change.

As a Silver Partner of the NSW Sustainability Advantage Program, PON are committed to driving sustainable outcomes through alignment of our ESG Strategy and overarching business strategy with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As a direct contribution towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, PON has set both a medium-term Science Based Target (SBT) to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030 (based on a 2018 baseline) and a long-term

Net Zero 2040 target. In adopting a Net Zero 2040 target commitment, in 2021 PON has worked with the NSW Government’s Sustainability Advantage team to develop a road map to Net Zero. As part of this project, Scope 3 emissions that PON are able to strongly influence a reduction in( in line with the GHG protocol) are included as part of their Net Zero 2040 roadmap.

To achieve its targets PON is committed to investment in and promoting clean technology and infrastructure that supports multilateral efforts to limit global temperature rise this century.

Port of Newcastle is proud of their sustainability achievements over the past 12 months, despite the challenges faced globally, and are committed to continuous improvement in line with their ESG Strategy and decarbonisation targets. To date the Port has transitioned 90.5% of its electricity usage to be sourced from renewable electricity.

This initiative has reduced an impressive 92% of those Scope 3 emissions included in PONs Net Zero 2040 target commitment. Port of Newcastle has transitioned 75% of its corporate vehicle fleet over to electric vehicles to date.

This project has resulted in an 86.5% reduction in those emissions arising from fuel usage used for the Ports vehicle fleet.


Pablo and Rusty’s Coffee Roasters

Pablo & Rusty’s Coffee Roasters Are A Carbon Neutral Organisation And Dedicate 1% Of Their Revenue For The Planet.

Pablo & Rusty’s Coffee Roasters are deeply committed to a sustainable and Net Zero future by creating delicious, ethical and innovative coffee products.

They became a certified Carbon Neutral Organisation in 2020 under the government's gold standard Climate Active certification.

They also became a 1 % for the planet member in 2021. As a 1 % for the planet certified member, 1% of the value of their sales, not just profit, goes towards initiatives, directly and indirectly, making the planet better for the future. They also became a certified B Corp in 2017.

Pablo & Rusty’s view these milestones as concrete steps on a long-term journey. Their main goals have been to first take responsibility for their own footprint and then do as much good as possible for the future of our planet and those that live on it.

Even though they are humbled to be in the small group of companies that are B Corp, Carbon Neutral Organisation, and 1% for the planet certified, yet they believe there is a lot more to do to fight the climate crisis.

They still have many more goals to achieve such as making all their packaging recyclable or compostable and increasing their B Corp score to beyond 100.

They also have many smaller goals targeting waste reduction and waste upcycling throughout their supply chain. From composting used coffee grounds to turning chaff (a by-product of coffee roasting) into pellets and biochar to promoting reusable cup loops.

They are passionate about the planet and their part in protecting it. They use these milestones to further motivate themselves and others to do more for our future.

The task is too big and too important for any single person or company to tackle it. It needs everyone to play a part and businesses and consumers can always do a bit more to ensure a better future.


NSW Youth as Our Changemakers Award


Shalise’s Ocean Support

Shalise Achieves Global Success With Her Climate Change And Sustainability Campaign

15-year-old Shalise started her ocean campaign over 4 years ago, to take a stand against plastic pollution and climate related issues.

Shalise’s project focuses on her using her voice to raise awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals and empowering people with the skills to take care of the planet, reducing their ecological footprint.

She has gained a worldwide following and delivered a multitude of educational presentations online, television, schools, public events, books, radio, podcasts, international conferences, magazines and in person including a TEDx talk starting a movement to inspire families how to live more sustainably.

An important community project she did was to collect data showing the marine debris problem in her community and requested that fishing line tackle collection bins be installed to help clean up discarded fishing line. Council approved this project and the bins were installed. She also worked with Council to help secure a $77,400 EPA litter grant addressing marine litter.

Shalise founded her award-winning campaign ‘Plastic Free Schools’ addressing real world issues giving students solutions on how to protect the planet. She wrote her own online book “A plea from the sea” inspiring youth how to engage in conservation.

Shalise has organised many of her own clean up events over the years that focus on removing rubbish from local beaches and she made educational props from the rubbish collected that couldn’t be recycled, to make her presentations more visually engaging.

Shalise wants to “inspire young people to ‘think globally-act locally’ and build an inclusive environmental movement not only internationally but in our own local area, bringing our combined voices to the decision making table to speak up for our shared future.”

One important aspect of Shalise’s project is building partnerships with a diverse range of environmental organisations, strengthening global solidarity.

She was chosen by Philippe Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau, to host EarthEcho’s ‘Plastic Seas’ school resources worldwide and is part of his ‘Youth In Action’ Program. Parley selected Shalise to represent Australia at the International Ocean Youth Leadership Summit in Hawaii where 30 of the strongest youth leaders around the world built an Ocean Uprise Team, created by youth for youth, collaborating on ocean and climate change issues.

One of Shalise’s goals was to get involved locally with future sustainability council decisions. She was chosen to be on a panel called ‘Think2050’ to create a ‘Community Strategic Plan’ focusing on sustainability/environmental protection and climate change solutions for the region’s future. She was also invited to be on the Council ‘Community Inclusion Committee’ for a 4 year term allowing her to contribute to future sustainability.

This year Shalise was awarded a Hope Spot at Fish Rock with Sylvia Earle/Mission Blue. Shalise is the youngest Hope Spot champion around the world.

Fish Rock has incredible key biodiversity and is home to many endangered/critically endangered species. Her Hope Spot is about conservation and a way to keep this special part of the ocean beautiful, repair any damage and keep everything protected to preserve it for our future.


Seaside Scavenge

Seaside Scavenge: Creating A World Where Nothing Goes To Waste

Seaside Scavenge is a grassroots environmental organisation whose mission is to activate local communities to reimagine waste as a resource through fun and unique programs that ultimately cleanup the ocean.

Importantly, be the first virtual electricity independent school in the Illawarra region out of 124 schools.

They endeavour to educate communities to understand there is no ‘away’ when it comes to rubbish and to introduce them to the concept of the circular economy, which aims to design out waste and pollution and regenerate natural systems.

Many people are aware of the problem of waste in their communities but are largely unaware how their actions and behaviours can influence the problem. We use 130 kg of plastic per person each year in Australia but only 9% of that is recycled and 130,000 tonnes of plastic waste makes its way into Australian waterways every year.

It is abundantly clear that we need to dramatically reduce our use of plastic in order to reduce marine plastic pollution. Seaside Scavenge directly addresses this gap in both knowledge and activation. Their events enable people to see the problem of plastic pollution in parks and waterways firsthand and provide them with the skills to make immediate behaviour changes that will help mitigate this problem.

Seaside Scavenge organises a number of different waste education events and programs. The flagship events are the Seaside Scavenges, where litter collected by participants from local waterways and parklands becomes a currency in a pop-up market to purchase pre-loved clothes and other goods that have been donated by the local community.

During these ‘cash for trash’ events, there are live performances by local musicians and talks by local community groups working in waste reduction and environmental conservation.

Seaside Scavenge also offers a 12week long leadership development program called Spring into Scavenge. This provides emerging environmental leaders in rural and coastal communities the skills and mentorship needed to implement the ‘cash-for-trash’ waste education model in their local communities, thereby catalysing social change across the country.

Additionally Seaside Scavenge offers online Lunch ‘n Learn sessions as well as in-person Team Building Days for businesses and councils. Seaside Scavenge has hosted more than 90 events in over 50 communities since 2015.

These events have:


9,335 participants

& & WINNER 2021

15,164 kg


11,858 kg

of preloved clothes, toys and book


Seaside Scavenge demonstrates actual behaviour changes in participants using surveys as the main tool to track outcomes. Participants in the 2020 Spring into Scavenge program were surveyed pre, during and post-program in order to capture qualitative data about behavioural and attitudinal changes. The results demonstrate that before embarking on the program, 57% felt confident to run a community activation.

By the end of the program, 100% were confident. This data demonstrates that the program is effectively empowering participants to become catalysts for environmental change in their communities.



1,228 volunteers


businesses to participate in the war of waste

160 community groups

228,680 Removed kg of litter butts from waterways 52

NSW Small And Medium Enterprise Transformation Award

53 53
The Pimpama River Conservation Area is located on the southern bank of the Pimpama River and borders the Southern Moreton Bay Marine Park and a Ramsar listed wetland.

Green Eco Technologies

Four Seasons Sydney Reduces Their GreenHouse Gases

Business cut greenhouse gas emission

by 84% using watemaster instead of landfills for organic waste disposal.

Food waste has a major impact on our climate, the global environment and the world population. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations declared that one-third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted annually, causing 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Australian Government’s Department of Environment and Energy, in Australia alone over three million tonnes of food is wasted by households each year, with an additional 2.2 million tonnes wasted by commerce and industry.

The 2020 Australian National Waste Report estimated that in 2018/19, 85% of non-hazardous food waste was sent to landfills, generating methane gas which does extensive environmental damage – 25 times more damage than carbon dioxide. That’s why the 2019 National Waste Policy Action Plan aims to halve organic waste in landfills by 2030.

In support of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13 to ‘Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts’, Green Eco Technologies (GET) developed a solution to reduce damaging emissions from organic waste.

GET identified an innovative technology that could be used to convert organic waste, preventing both the emissions of methane in landfills and the CO2 from transporting it there.

The WasteMaster food waste conversion system was created to provide businesses with a simple way to significantly reduce their carbon footprint while banking substantial savings on waste disposal costs.

The compact WasteMaster system allows waste, which was once sent to landfills, to be processed onsite. Within 24 hours, WasteMaster compresses waste into a pathogenfree, nutrient-rich, odour-neutral residue, which is then converted into high-quality compost or renewable electricity - preventing a massive amount of waste, well… going to waste! With only low power and heat required to operate WasteMaster, its value is much greater than its small footprint.

Deakin University research shows that WasteMaster reduces CO2 equivalent emissions by a staggering 84% when compared to landfill disposal.

For every 500kg of waste loaded, WasteMaster outputs approximately 100kg of organic residue. One tonne of this residue can create enough green energy to power 83 homes for a day.

To date, GET has diverted over

1.5 million kgs

of food waste from landfills globally, an incredible

2,600 tonnes

reduction in CO2 equivalent emissions.

By providing the capability to harvest maximum value from unavoidable waste, responsibly managing and conserving resources, WasteMaster also supports Sustainable Development Goal 12 for responsible consumption and production.

WasteMaster incorporates 4G-linked live diagnostics, providing accurate data about the weight of waste loaded and valuable residue generated to assist businesses with sustainability reporting and waste reduction programs.

WasteMaster’s live feed data showed that within 5 months of installing the system, Four Seasons Sydney diverted 10.6 tonnes of waste from landfills - equivalent to a staggering 16.3-tonne reduction in CO2 emissions, producing enough green energy to power 480 homes for a day.

WasteMaster is now used in retail, commercial and industrial sectors worldwide, focusing the attention of businesses on the quantity and impact of their food waste, and helping them take positive climate action.


Sydney Markets Ltd

Sydney Markets Goes Green!

Sydney Markets is one of the largest food distribution centres in the Southern Hemisphere and is home to over 5,000 workers. Each year Sydney Markets trades around 2.5 million tonnes of fresh produce with a value in excess of $3 billion.

Produce is received from approximately 20,000 growers Australia-wide with the wholesale operations supplying fresh fruit and vegetables to over two-thirds of the Australian population.

Approximately 130 Wholesalers, 299 Produce Growers, 138 Flower Growers/Sellers and over 168 supporting businesses are located on site at Flemington. Over 1,500 operators trade at Paddy’s Markets attracting over 180,000 customers each week.

Since inception in 2005 Sydney Markets Green Point facility has increased the total waste recycling on site to over 70%, saving the company more than $1 million a year.


solar pannels

are currently installed on-site.

This equates to removing approx Sydney Markets is now running on 11% renewable energy, which is the equivalent to powering

2500 cars from our roads.

1300 houses

Sydney Markets Stakeholders and Green Point donates approximately


tonnes of fruit and vegetables to Foodbank, every year.

"We request that the market's tenants give us their food waste already separated and we examine it to decide if it's clean and fit for human consumption," said Mr Kapellos.

"If so, we give it to Foodbank who pass it on to the needy which is a win-win situation for all, "Also, some of our organic waste goes freely to farmers for stock-feed, and we've been doing that since day one. The balance of the organic waste is sent to Earthpower, which is an anaerobic digestion facility located at Rosehill, who convert green waste to energy and a fertiliser product."

Our scope is to continue to monitor all waste streams on a daily basis and implement procedures to capture more recyclable material in a practical method to increase recycling targets and reduce waste sent to landfill.

Our waste strategy allows us to constantly review our operations to improve our waste diversion targets. This approach to manage your waste streams can be replicated to many similar Markets, by understanding your waste streams, taking ownership of the waste, finding suitable markets for diversion and incorporate the applicable SDGs into your Companies Strategic Goals.


ErinEarth Limited

ErinEarth - Walking Lightly On The Earth: A place Of Earth Awareness, Reconnection And Reflection

Our motto is Walking lightly on the Earth – a place of Earth awareness, reconnection and reflection.

Our vision is “Responding to the cry of the Earth, by promoting and bringing forth of a sustainable society founded on respect for the Earth, the interconnectedness of all things, our responsibility towards all life, universal human rights, ecological justice, and a culture of peace.”

Our Indigenous people speak of ‘connecting to Country’, and of the land as their mother. Their unique spirituality has emerged from caring for Earth over tens of thousands of years and is embedded in Aboriginal ways of thinking, being and doing. Reconciliation with the land and its waterways is vital, as is Reconciliation with First Nations Peoples.

ErinEarth is a not-for-profit company in Wagga Wagga, NSW – Wiradjuri country. The ErinEarth garden was initially established by the Presentation Sisters in 1998 as a resource to demonstrate sustainable living skills to the Riverina community and schools.

It continues to demonstrate sustainability and is now an independent company with a Board of Directors. ErinEarth garden is a half hectare urban garden with many regionally endemic plants, a vegetable garden and orchard with plans to continually improve biodiversity.

Our strategic plan 2021-2024 goals include: to model, support and contribute to Earth awareness and ecological justice in our local community and beyond; and to demonstrate sustainable living to our local community.

Our beliefs and values include that in caring for the planet, we are, in turn, caring for ourselves. We believe we can make a positive difference for the planet and that this is a nourishing and spiritual act. Caring for Earth helps us understand how we can positively impact both people and our planet. With ongoing degradation, food and water insecurity and the impact on the marginalised, the need for human and non-human wellbeing is a priority. Therefore “ecological justice”, a right relationship between people, plants, animals, soil, water and air, is at the heart of our beliefs.

At the centre of this is an understanding of the interrelationships that exist between humans, all other life forms

and Planet Earth herself. Indeed, a healthy mind, body and soul requires a healthy planet.

We recognise and respect the sacred connection that First Nations Peoples have with the natural environment. Their stories of resilience and survival on a changing landscape is vast, and ensured the wellbeing of people, the land and its waterways. Understanding this relationship is crucial to the wellbeing of all Australians.

We hope to learn from First Nations ways of being and doing in relation to community and Country. This is the challenge, be it in a beginning way. We endeavour to change our way of relating to Country; to advocate for Country; to model this within the community we serve; and to incorporate a sustainable way of living which acknowledges our place in the Universe.

Wiradjuri people have a concept/ word which echoes what we are trying to do. It is `wallawin' which means being `strong and healthy'. Wiradjuri elder, Uncle Stan Grant, explains this to include being strong in body, mind and spirit. This also includes being grounded in Country and community.

ErinEarth endorses, promotes and lives out the ethos of The Earth Charter. The Earth Charter promotes the transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework that includes respect and care for: the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, and a culture of peace


Port of Newcastle

As Custodians Of The Region’s Critical Asset, Port of Newcastle Is Diversifying Its Trade As It Strives To Create A Safe, Sustainable And Environmentally And Socially Responsible Future.

Port of Newcastle is Australia's deepwater global gateway, the largest on the nation’s East Coast. Port of Newcastle is more than a port. It exists to build Australia’s prosperity with responsible, integrated and innovative supply chain solutions.

With trade worth about $26 billion to the national economy each year, Port of Newcastle enables Australian businesses to successfully compete in international markets. The Port currently handles 4,400 ship movements and 164 million tonnes of cargo annually, including dry bulk, bulk liquids, ro-ro, general and project cargoes and containers.

With a deepwater shipping channel operating at 50% of its capacity, significant port land available and enviable access to national rail and road infrastructure, Port of Newcastle is positioned to further underpin the future prosperity of the Hunter, NSW and Australia. As custodians of the region’s critical asset, Port of Newcastle is diversifying its trade as it strives to create a safe, sustainable and environmentally and socially responsible future.

Recognising the shift to a low carbon economy, a core component of our Environment Social Governance (ESG) Strategy is focused on diversifying our business and decarbonising our operations. These core focus areas significantly contribute towards ensuring decent work and economic growth opportunities for the Hunter Region, supporting sustainable cities and communities, and contributing towards a global effort to take action on climate change.

As a Silver Partner of the NSW Sustainability Advantage Program, we are committed to driving sustainable outcomes through alignment of our ESG Strategy and overarching business strategy with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As part of this vision the Port has made ESG a core element of its business through the launch of its first ESG Strategy and targets in 2019.

To benchmark ESG performance, PON subscribes to the NSW Sustainability Advantage (SA) program and participates annually in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) initiative. Using the approach of applying curiosity and integrity PON has analysed the outputs from the 2019 SA Diagnostic and GRESB results to identify opportunities to improve in its sustainability performance.

The Port confirms that one of the key learnings in our sustainability transformation is being able to recognise our shortfalls, and rather than seeing these as failures see them as opportunities to understand and improve. The Port implemented a series of ESG initiatives to realise the opportunities identified.

These opportunities directly contribute towards supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and include initiatives that cover decarbonisation, health and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion and collaboration and partnership.

Port of Newcastle is proud of our sustainability achievements over the past 12 months, despite the challenges faced globally, and are committed to continuous improvement in line with our ESG Strategy. The results of PONs ESG commitments and performance are demonstrated in the 2021 SA Diagnostic and GRESB results showing an improvement across all areas of the business and positioning PON as a leader in its sector globally.


NSW Large Enterprise Transformation Award


Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House – Inspiring Cultural Change For The Global Goal

The Opera House has always been an important symbol to our community, so in 2019 we became the first Australian cultural institution to make a commitment to achieving the Global Goals.

The Global Goals recognise that for our world to prosper and truly be sustainable, ending inequalities and looking after our environment must go hand in hand. In this way, we are weaving the Goals across everything we do to unite us in inspiring positive change.

Since 2019, we have embedded the Goals into all our strategies and plans; introduced an ‘inspiring positive change’ goal in our performance agreement process, empowering all staff to take action; galvanised our staff through a range of activities that raise awareness of the

Goals to inspire positive change at work and at home; brought our community together through thought-leadership panels and providing the Australian stage for Global Citizen Live; and expanded our partnerships by welcoming our first Global Goals Partners Honeywell and Dettol.

The Goals have supported us in achieving our mission to inspire and strengthen the community through everything we do.This has enabled significant progress in driving change.

Highlights over the past two years include:

• Maintaining carbon neutral certification which included offsetting nearly 13,000 tonnes of carbon in FY21 (Goal 13.1, 13.3).

• Recycling more than 86% of operational waste from restaurants, venues and events and over 90% of construction waste from capital works projects - exceeding both recycling targets (Goal 12.5).

• Eliminating all single-use plastic takeaway packaging on site by introducing compostable takeaway packaging in all venues (Goal 12.5).

• The completion of the artificial reef research project. Eight new marine species were identified around the SOH artificial reef. This was documented in a learning resource and educational video which has been distributed to over 3000 school students (Goal 14.1).

• Over 95% of office paper containing recycled content (Goal 15.5).

• More than 100 accessible performances and programs offered (Goal 10.2).

• A range of accessible and all inclusive community engagement activities and events hosted as part of the NSW Government’s Culture Up Late program, including Every Body Dance

• Now and the Indigenous-led and culturally diverse musical showcase – Barrabuwari – to celebrate Sydney’s vibrant arts and cultural community. The initiative attracted more than 20,000 visitors to the site and engaged more than 370,000 online (Goals 8.9, 10.2).

• Celebrating cultural heritage and amplifying First Nations voices with over 460,000 visitors attending the Badu Gili sails lighting experience since 2017 (Goal 11.4).

• For Global Goals Week 2021, SOH hosted the Australian segment of Global Citizen LIVE, featuring an Acknowledgement of Country by Cathy Freeman, special performance by Delta Goodrem, and call to climate action by Celeste Barber. The collective result was over 60 million COVID-19 vaccines purchased, 157 million trees planted and US$1.1 billion committed to climate, famine, and COVID response efforts (Goals 17.17, 17.18).

• 80 Opera House staff participating in Sydney’s 2020 Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras with a float called House of Love, supported by then-Major Partne Energy Australia, contributing to the Opera House’s reputation as a proud place for LGBTIQ+ voices (Goals 10.2, 10.3)

As we approach our 50th anniversary in 2023, we continue to look for more opportunities to work withlike-minded organisations, combining forces to tackle the most urgent issues of our time.

Using the Opera House’s 50th anniversary as a platform to generate change on a local, national and global level, we are focusing on our strengths to drive a ripple effect: connecting the community and inspiring positive change through the power of art and culture.

66 WINNER 2021

Rheem Australia Pty Ltd

Rheem Australia Pty Ltd

The Rheem global business announced a 10-Year Strategy to achieve 2025 sustainability goals to coincide with Rheems’ 100-year anniversary, called “A Greater Degree of Good”, with three main pillars that align with the United Nations SDGs:

• SDG 7 (AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY)launching a line of water heating products that boast a 50% reduction in GHG footprint


50% GHG emissions reduction and a minimum 97% waste diversion rate across global manufacturing

• SDG 4 (QUALITY EDUCATION) train 250,000 plumbers, contractors and key influencers globally The “A Greater Degree of Good” initiative commenced in 2018, as a Global high-level program, where the main challenge was communication and involvement from the wider community.

To overcome this, the ‘GoodWorks’ program was launched encouraging employee’s participation to contribute improvement ideas and involvement in sustainability projects.

To advance SDG 12, Rheem installed a 90kW PV system that reduced our annual electricity consumption by 136.5MWh (112 tCO2-e annual reduction). Rheem has also joined Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation and committed to the Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets.

One of the success stories is the replacement of polypropylene strapping (0% recycled contents) imported from overseas, with 100% recycled PET strapping made locally in Australia and uses Australian PET waste. This sustainability improvement not only supports local recycling processing for a circular economy, but also supporting local manufacturers.

Rheem has increased our diversion rate from 88% to 92% within a twoyear period ending 2020.

The two major success stories on waste diversion, are de-watering wet enamel waste and reprocessing sludge/oily water waste. Due to the capital cost on mechanical dewatering equipment, we invented a chemical based de-watering process, which avoided 160 tonnes of waste going to landfill annually.

Similarly, we use an innovative process to convert our sludge/oily water waste into compost-ready waste, which avoided 50 tonnes of waste going to landfill annually.

Rheem also introduced cans/bottles recycling for Container Deposits Scheme, which has diverted more than 15,000 containers from landfill, generating $1,500+ of rebates donated for charity to MS Australia.

To advance SDG 7, Rheem has recently launched two intelligent products: Solahart PowerStore and Rheem Ambiheat HDc270 Heat Pump. The PowerStore is Australia’s first solar-smart electric water heater, that takes excess energy from the solar power system and uses it to gradually heat water.

The Ambiheat Heat Pump is a smart, energy efficient alternative for areas

where traditional solar water heating may not be suitable, using heat from the surrounding air to heat the water.

To advance SDG 4, we record the number of tradesman or key influencers that have completed our sustainable training. With the current training rate, the target is due to be met early 2024.

This Rheem global sustainability initiative has also starting to be implemented in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. This embeds the legacy beyond 2025, where Rheem will keep striving to launch more smart energy efficient products, continuous improvements in waste diversion rates and continuing to educate plumbers on sustainability training.


Banksia Sustainability Awards Judges

The Banksia Judging and Awards Governance Committee is heavily underpinned by the dedicated individuals that give up their time and expertise in order to review each entry. These individuals have been selected for their expertise and their commitment to Banksia’s mission of identifying and celebrating Australian leadership.

The Banksia Foundation would like to thank our judges - over 50 of thembased right around Australia. These judges are independent to the Banksia Board and Staff. It is of the utmost importance for the Foundation to maintain the independence of the judging process and this is fundamental to the integrity of the Banksia Awards. The judges are all specialists in their field and the judging panels are constructed so that each judge is assigned to a category, which matches their expertise. All potential conflicts of interest are declared from the outset and these judges do not take part in that particular entry’s assessment.

Banksia would like to acknowledge our Head of the Audit and Risk Committee, Jo Cain. Her commitment and support along with the other Audit and Risk Committee members is invaluable and ensures that we maintain a viable, efficient and reputable judging process.

On behalf of the Banksia Foundation we would like to thank the following individuals who have provided their time and expertise in judging the 2021 NSW Sustainability Awards:t

Robin Mellon - Chair of the NSW Sustainability Awards Judging

Angela Crossland

Monica Richter

Tom Davies

Emma Treadgold

Bruce Precious

Erandi Samarakoon

Megan Jones

Parrys Raines

Kate Harris

Laura Hamilton-O’Hara

David Rowlinson

Garth Lamb

Colin Barker

Tennant Reed


Vania Japri

Vania Japri is a graphic designer that creates visual concepts to final outcome. She specializes in: Branding, Photography, 2D motion design, Website / User Interface, Illustration, Packaging and Editorial layout.


For all enquiries please contact:

E: graz@banksiafdn.com


Graz van
CEO, Banksia Foundation
T: +61 419 101 248
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