Premier’s Sustainability Awards Finalists Demonstrate Sustainability Leadership
Now in its 21st year, Victoria’s most prestigious annual sustainability awards program—Premier’s Sustainability Awards—acknowledges the businesses, local governments and communities leading the way in sustainability and celebrates their achievements.
Flat wine bottles, recycled soap, energy and water saving kits, textile recycling and Australia’s first 100 per cent renewable energy-powered aquatic centre are among the noteworthy finalists in this year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards.
The Premier’s Sustainability Awards has six categories, aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, with two winners in each category. The Community Champion Award celebrates individuals and small organisations, and the Industry Leader Award recognises medium and large organisations driving a sustainable future.
Vying for the title of Circular Economy Innovation Community Champion is Packamama’s eco-flat wine bottles. Made from 100 per cent Australian recycled PET, the innovative design saves weight and space, meaning less fuel and energy are used in transport. One of the Industry Leader finalists in this category, Fresh Select and Nutri V, are turning surplus vegetables that would otherwise go to waste on farms into vegetable powders and snacks.
The Future Energy category has a diverse range of finalists, including Bunyip Renewables Action Group and the first PassivHaus-designed social housing in Australia, developed by Baptcare Affordable Housing.
The category of Waste and Recycling Solutions is again delivering innovative projects, including one transforming tyre waste into permeable pavement, another turning waste into walls, a textile recycling collection program, and a social enterprise upcycling event banners into tote bags.
Finalists in the Healthy and Fair Society category include Soap Aid, a social enterprise turning waste soap into new soap bars for vulnerable communities, and Bendigo Sustainability Group’s Solar on Low Income Homes project.
Children are a focus in the Thriving Environment category, with Port Phillip EcoCentre’s School Sustainability Festival named as one of the finalists, along with Earthwatch Institute’s Kids Teaching Kids program.
The Sustainable Places category recognises a green-powered housing development in Melbourne’s south and a world-leading urban renewal and regeneration story among its finalists.
Victorian local government features widely among the 36 finalists, with nine councils supporting initiatives ranging from free training sessions for environmental champions, to a program empowering residents to start cycling, and a free sustainable gardening program encouraging residents to transform their outdoor spaces into productive functional gardens.
Matt Genever, Sustainability Victoria’s Interim CEO, said he was inspired by the work being done by local governments, businesses and communities in driving sustainable innovation and practices.
“These Industry Leaders and Community Champions are leading the way in sustainability and making significant contributions to Victoria’s circular economy transformation and a net zero-emissions future,” said Mr Genever.
The Premier’s Sustainability Awards judging panel included a broad range of independent environmental experts selected for their sustainability and industry expertise.
The 2023 awards program has been made possible thanks to four sponsors: Environment Protection Victoria – Waste and Recycling Solutions; Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action – Thriving Environment; Melbourne Water – Circular Economy Innovation and Momentum Energy – Future Energy.
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 23 November in Melbourne.
More information: sustainability.vic.gov.au/psa-2023-finalists