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The calibre of entries in the 2019 Premier’s Sustainability Awards has grown from strength to strength with a record number of entries this year.

This year’s Awards celebrate sustainability in 11 categories demonstrated by educational institutions, businesses in every sector, health organisations, government and community groups right across the State.

Interim CEO of Sustainability Victoria, Carl Muller, has congratulated finalists in this year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards, 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,” he said.

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

This year’s finalists showcase an array of diverse innovation, including: a settlement agency that has regenerated an historic garden through the work of local refugees (AMES Australia and Parks Victoria); Environmental Monitoring Solutions - a company that has revolutionised fuel management for suppliers and petrol stations; a volunteer program that connects people to parks called Volunteer Parks Guides; a hospital, Western Health, that helps disadvantaged patients and reduces healthcare waste by re-homing second-hand healthcare equipment; a hotel soap re-cycling initiative called Hotel to Hands that saves disadvantaged children’s lives through improved hand hygiene; the Kia Ora Merino family farm that produces sustainable wool and the Strathmerton Wastewater Treatment Plant by Booth Transport that has a workforce of worms.

The Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, will personally select two winners for the Premier's Regional Recognition Award and the Premier's Recognition Award to be presented at the Awards ceremony on Thursday 10 October at Forum Melbourne.

Sustainability Victoria manages the Awards on behalf of the Victorian Premier and the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. These awards are an important way to showcase how everyone can take action to improve our environmental sustainability and reduce the impacts of climate change.

For more information on the Awards, finalists and to purchase tickets for the ceremony, visit www.sustainabilityawards.vic.gov.au

Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2019 Finalists

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.

Nightingale 2.0 by HIP V. HYPE and Six Degrees Architects: Nightingale 2.0 is a triple bottom line apartment development model, rigorously designed to prioritise liveability, community and sustainability.

Sustainable Gannawarra by Gannawarra Shire Council: Gannawarra Shire Council’s sustainability program is leading the way through community initiatives and its own practices, benefitting the environment and their local economy.


Community Power Hub: Inspiring Innovation and Transition by Gippsland Climate Change Network, Bendigo Sustainability Group, Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions: Three community power hubs combine forces to enable their residents to have greater ownership of their energy futures by co-ordinating community energy in each location.

Enable IT Recycling by Enable Social Enterprises Ltd: Enable is a social enterprise that trains and employs disadvantaged people through its commercial ventures, including a successful e-waste enterprise.

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.


Stewards of Swan Bay by St Aloysius Primary School, Queenscliff: This marine science/environmental education program is used throughout the school and also develops community-based science, civics, health and technology curriculum.

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

War on Waste – Precious Plastic Program by Ballarat Tech School: A program designed to inspire and empower students, other schools and businesses in the battle against plastic waste.

Environmental Justice

Enable IT Recycling by Enable Social Enterprises Ltd: Enable works to break unemployment cycles by helping disadvantaged jobseekers participate in gainful employment, in this case, through a business that recycles old technology.

Hepburn Z-NET by Renew: Renew has developed an Australian first, best practice model for how the Hepburn Shire can reach a carbon neutral goal in a framework of social and environmental justice within 10 years.

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

Fuelsuite by Environmental Monitoring Solutions Pty Ltd: Technology provides complete visibility over the fuel management system for petrol station operators and suppliers, mitigating the risk of leaks and subsequent environmental impact.

Greening the West 1 Million Trees Project by LeadWest, Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, City West Water, Melbourne Water, Brimbank City Council, City of Melton, City of Moonee Valley, Hobsons Bay City Council, Hume City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Wyndham City Council, Parks Victoria, VicRoads, Western Water, Friends of Lower Kororoit Creek, Conservation Volunteers Australia: Greening the West is a collaboration that aims to deliver positive health, social and liveability outcomes in Melbourne’s west by a project to plant one million trees.

Strathmerton Wastewater Treatment Plant by Booth Transport Pty Ltd: Booth Transport uses worms as the engine of their waste and water treatment plant, aiming to reduce 3000 tonnes of carbon emission and put an additional 121,000 kilolitres of recycled water put into the irrigation system each year.

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.

Good Will Nurdle Hunting by Colleen Hughson: Volunteers individuals and businesses band together to collect more than 650,000 nurdles (plastic resin pellets) from local beach environments, protecting marine and bird life.

Volunteer Park Guides by Park Guide Volunteers: The Volunteer Park Guides pilot program creates meaningful place-based experiences, connecting 17 volunteers with more than 1000 visitors at two beautiful parks.


Barwon Water's Zero Emissions program by Barwon Water: Barwon Water has embraced an ambitious plan to take action on climate change by achieving 100% renewable energy by 2025 and zero net emissions by 2030.

Greening the West 1 Million Trees Project by City West Water, Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, Melbourne Water, Brimbank City Council, City of Melton, City of Moonee Valley, Hobsons Bay City Council, Hume City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Wyndham City Council, Parks Victoria, VicRoads, Western Water, LeadWest: A strategic, multi-agency program, involving 15 government and community organisations, means that more than one million trees have been planted in Melbourne’s west.

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% of our electricity generation comes from renewable sources by 2020, 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.


Aluminium Suture Packet Recycling by Drukshini Dissanayake: A nurse in a large urban hospital established a program to save pure aluminium from suture packets, previously sent to landfill.

Equipment Reissue Program for Hardship by Western Health and Donations In Kind-Rotary International Inc.: This program 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.

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

Better Building Finance by Sustainable Australia Fund: This program helps set-up and administer Environmental Upgrade Agreements within councils, supporting both their sustainability objectives and helping local businesses to become more sustainable through capital to become low carbon.

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.

Hotel to Hands by Soap Aid Ltd: Discarded soap from hotels is collected, cleaned and re-purposed into fresh, hygienic soap bars, delivered to disadvantaged communities in Australia and overseas.

Large Business

Organisational Sustainability Projects and Facilities Upgrades by NEXTDC: A data services provider builds secure, connected and energy-efficient data centres with lowest possible power consumption rates to minimise the environmental impact of critical hyperscale computing.

Reconophalt by Downer EDI: 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.

Waste Pioneers Program by Veolia Environmental Services (Australia) Pty Ltd: Veolia’s Waste Pioneers Program teaches school students about waste and recycling in a fun, interactive way, covering principles of waste hierarchy and the circular economy, environmental stewardship and community leadership.

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.

Pioneers in Innovative Recycling by Smart Recycling: Smart Recycling has a long history in recycling and in 2018, the business developed a Smart Pallets App used to locate timber pallets from building sites, then organise their collection, repair and return.

Premium reusable takeaway containers by retub: retub™ is an innovative, 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.

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