The latest iteration of arguably our most prestigious national environmental awards, from the Banksia Foundation, took place at an all-day affair on 13 November in Sydney.
Building on last year’s initiative to communicate the collective wisdom that is generated through the Banksia Awards program, the team led by Graz von Egmond, organised a range of inspiring presentations including a four-minute rapid fire from each of the award finalists.
One of the big winners of the night was Kalleske Wines, a family run business in South Australia’s Barossa Valley that has been farming and growing grapes since 1853. In accepting the award for small to medium business (SMB) sustainability leadership award Troy Kalleske paid homage to his parents in starting the business on its extraordinary sustainability journey.
After six generations of growing grapes, winemaker and seventh generation family member, Troy Kalleske, together with his brother Tony, established the Kalleske winery in 2002.
The Banksia Award judges commented on how thrilling it was to see an SMB using ‘a whole business model’ approach to sustainability. Its energy efficiency and use of solar technologies makes it a leading net exporter of electricity in Australia. Kalleske has applied science and innovation to the way it manages the farm, crop and the wine itself and its water use is nearly 50% more efficient than the Australian winery benchmark.
“Our energy efficiency is a result of using evaporative cooling instead of refrigeration, utilising product heat exchange and storing barrels of wine in a double skin insulated barrels shed requiring no external cooling,” said Kalleske.
The category winners of the Banksia Sustainability Awards ranged from community groups, SMBs, government educational programs and local councils through to large corporations.
Outstanding projects related to the built environment included Bairnsdale Library (Victoria); Canberra Airport; and Lend Lease for its Barangaroo Reserve which took out the award for Sustainability in Design, Build: Buildings, Landscapes and Infrastructure Projects.
Barangaroo Reserve is a sprawling six-hectare headland park is set amongst naturalistic bushland and features a stunning sandstone foreshore, designed to mimic the original 1836 headland. The most outstanding sustainability achievements include the reuse of 98 per cent of material excavated on site, an integrated water re-use system which provides for the park’s future irrigation needs and the remarkable planting program which replicates the vegetation of the area before European settlement.
In regard to products there were a number of interesting finalists including: Casafico; Fieldtech Solutions; and CIM Environmental Group.
Casafico’s Polystat prefabricated panels are a unique, all-in-one product combining the frame and insulation, with cavities for services and a finished coat, ready for accelerated installation on site. The thermal efficiencies of the polystyrene core provide superior insulation, saving energy to heat and cool houses. Transport efficiencies are also gained from not moving small amounts of materials to site, saving time and minimising greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and congestion from up to 60 per cent reduced truck movements.
Winner in its category, Fieldtech Solutions, is replacing conventional disposable plastic products with landfill‐biodegradable plastic products. The company also replaces other longer life products made from plastic or other materials with recycled plastic materials to save our resources.
Finally, CIM Environmental Group is a disruptive Industrial Internet of Things technology company delivering significant energy savings for commercial property owners both here and overseas. Its hardware and software platform is delivering its clients energy cost savings of 10-15% on average, along with improved tenant comfort, better environmental ratings, more effective maintenance and longer life-cycle of equipment.
New Banksia whitepapers
To further build on the collective insight into Australia’s sustainability offered by the many finalists and participants in the Banksia Sustainability Awards over the years, the foundation has begun publishing a series of whitepapers, the first of which is now available on its website.
“We chose the ‘future of the built environment’ as our first topic because the scale, diversity and integration of the ‘built environment’ profoundly influences the future of sustainable business practice in Australia,” the report states.
To develop the paper, Banksia worked with winners and finalists to investigate how and why they have become leaders and innovators. It also asked them to look into the future – towards 2020 – to assess how their progress would help boost sustainability in their respective fields.
A key theme of the responses is the effort it takes to convince sceptics, both within organisations and industry-wide. Downer’s phrase ‘confidence to change’ sums up what is required to create a seismic shift in conventional corporate culture, or even to support an innovative idea in a conservative organisation. Confidence to change is clearly evident among all contributing winners and finalists to the whitepaper.
Investa’s response is a reminder that the sustainability projects most deserving of accolade aren’t necessarily media darlings. They are often the projects that cut through the red tape that smothers a good idea like energy trigeneration.
That said, Investa’s answers also show that even the most well considered, cost-effective solutions can be stymied by bureaucracy and economics.
Download the whitepaper here:
The Winners of the 2015 Banksia Sustainability Awards are:
The Banksia International Award Winner, sponsored by Qantas
Paul Polman, CEO Unilever
The Environment Ministers Award for a Cleaner Environment, sponsored by the Australian Government
Allen Riseley, and
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
The Richard Pratt Banksia CEO Award, sponsored by Visy
Mark Ryan, CEO, Tassal, TAS
The Banksia Large Business Sustainability Leadership Award winner, sponsored by the Office of the Environment and Heritage, NSW
Australia Post, VIC
The Banksia SMB Leadership Award winner, sponsored by Australia Post
Kalleske– Sustainable Pioneers in Organic Wine, SA
The Banksia Smart Technology Award winner
A New Generation Flood Emergency Decision Support System, Gold Coast City Council, QLD
The Banksia Food For Sustainable Thought Award winner, sponsored by Closed Loop and KFC
Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework: Making dairy food sustainable for the long term, Australian Dairy Industry Council, VIC
The Banksia Sustainable Communities Award winner
Grown & Gathered – Empowering Community Through Sustainable Food Systems and a Bright Future, VIC
The Banksia Sustainable Water Management Award winner, sponsored by MMG
Managing the Swan River During the Development of Elizabeth Quay, Leighton Broad, WA
The Banksia Natural Capital Award winner, sponsored by NAB
Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Project
Tasmania Parks and Wildlife, TAS
The Banksia Innovator of the Year Award winner, sponsored by Mirvac
The Perth Wave Energy Project
Carnegie Wave Energy Limited NSW
The Banksia Education for Sustainability Award winner, sponsored by Kimberly-Clarke Australia & New Zealand
Sustainability Victoria, VIC
The Banksia Sustainability in Design, Build Award – Buildings, Landscapes and Infrastructure,
Barangaroo Reserve by Lendlease, NSW
The Banksia Sustainability in Design, Build Award – Products,
Fieldtech Solutions, VIC
The Banksia Indigenous Leadership for Sustainability Award winner
Lirrwi Yolngu Tourism Aboriginal Corporation, NT
The Banksia Mindful Movement Award winner, sponsored by RACV
UNSW Solar Racing Team Sunswift,
The Gold Banksia Award winner
Kalleske – Sustainable Pioneers in Organic Wine, SA
Further information on the Banksia Sustainability Awards can be found at www.banksiafdn.com