The Premier’s Sustainability Awards are almost upon us and the finalists have been announced. Of particular interest to us was the Small and Medium Business category. The challengers are a broad and eclectic set, demonstrating some exciting and innovative approaches to solving thorny issues. The three businesses hoping to take the crown in the SME category from last year’s winner, Interface Constructions (a certified B Corp), are Dennison Foods Manufacturing, Roses Gap Recreation Centre and Yarra Valley Estate.
The award ceremony will be held at the Plaza Ballroom on Thursday 29th October.
Dennison Foods Manufacturing
Dennison Foods Manufacturing is a second generation family-owned food manufacturer in the Bairnsdale area which has embraced continuous learning and improvement, and has demonstrated it is serious about resource efficiency.
The company has successfully implemented three major projects:
1) Installation of a 100kW solar photovoltaic system, reducing carbon emissions by 15 per cent and saving 135 tonnes/annum of CO2;
2) installation of LED lighting throughout the factory reducing energy usage and enhancing the workplace environment;
3) Bulka bag system to provide efficiencies in raw materials, saving five tonnes of flour in the first eight months of operation.
Roses Gap Recreation Centre
Roses Gap Recreation Centre is a school camp facility located on 120 acres within the Grampians National Park. This beautiful location has always suffered from one major drawback – the necessity of running large diesel generators 24/7 to supply power.
Following a large loss of infrastructure in the 2014 Grampians bushfires, the operators designed and implemented a new and more sustainable power system including 40kW’s of solar and large battery storage banks.
Combining this new system with other sustainability initiatives at the camp has resulted in a dramatic reduction in day and night time emissions, noise pollution and costs. The team has also created a unique opportunity to help educate the thousands of school students that visit each year to the possibilities of environmental sustainability.
Yarra Valley Estate
Formerly a deer park stripped bare of all its trees and shrubs, the 120 acre Yarra Valley Estate is a conference, wedding and accommodation centre that has been nurtured and rehabilitated into a lush forest with organic vegetable gardens and private wildlife rehabilitation centre, Babbajin Park.
To ensure continual improvement, Yarra Valley Estate has measured its footprint and benchmarked operations locally and globally through EarthCheck, the travel and tourism environmental management and certification program and have seen minimised footprint over time.
Yarra Valley Estate have formalised policies and procedures to offset the business to carbon neutral and also they contribute 11 percent of net revenue to community programs.
More about the awards:
Now in their 13th year, the Premier’s Sustainability Awards continue to promote leadership and innovation in sustainability, and encourage a broader adoption of these practices by all Victorians.
In addition to the category awards, the Premier of Victoria, the Hon Daniel Andrews will personally select two winners for the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award and the Premier’s Recognition Award.
Tickets are now available for purchase at www.sustainabilityawards.vic.gov.au until Friday 23 October.