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Winner of Australia’s leading sustainability award spotlights SDGs

 Winner of Australia’s leading sustainability award spotlights SDGs 

 

 A social, not-for-profit enterprise enabling progress towards 15 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has won gold at Australia’s foremost sustainability awards. 

The 2019 Banksia Gold Award was won by Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) at the Banksia Sustainability Awards ceremony in Sydney last night. 

ISCA is a member based NFP and social enterprise operating across Australia and New Zealand. Its Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Scheme provides a common framework and language for sustainability requirements, which are now included as standard in all highly competitive project tenders. 

ISCA took out the Banksia Not-For-Profit Award early in the evening, before claiming the ‘best of the best’ Gold Award. 

“The Banksia judges admired ISCA for walking the talk when it comes to the sustainable development goals,” said Banksia Foundation CEO Graz van Egmond. 

Twenty-three IS Scheme registered projects have recorded an impact reduction of 18% in energy, 31% in water and 29% in materials. The Scheme is now working on quantifying how infrastructure can affect better social outcomes. 

“The Scheme isn’t just an overarching system, but dives down to an operational level, so it is delivering outstanding outcomes. It’s clear that ISCA are open to sharing their success with others because they are truly committed to creating long-term and ongoing change.” 

The Banksia Awards are in their 31st year and are the longest-running sustainability awards in Australia. Each year, the Awards bring together and celebrate the most innovative and effective contributions to sustainability in Australia. 

This year saw an increase in small business entries, especially ones that demonstrated alignment to the SDGs, which is a priority for Banksia. 

“Each year we’re seeing stronger alignment to the SDGs and much stronger understanding of what they’re about, and how they can guide businesses to have a positive impact,” said Ms van Egmond. 

“By embracing the SDGs, we’re hoping the Awards can help raise awareness of them, and demonstrate how entrants are contributing to global issues,” Ms van Egmond said. 

ISCA is joined by ten other winners over ten categories of the Banksia Sustainability Awards. Other winners include Fujitsu Australia’s Digital Owl solution, and Monash University’s Master of Environment and Sustainability program. 

The 2019 Banksia Sustainability Awards Winners:

Banksia Gold Award & Banksia NFP/NGO – ISCA – Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia  
ISCA is a member based NFP and social enterprise operating across Australia and New Zealand. It’s Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Scheme provides a common framework and language for sustainability requirements, which are now included as standard in all highly competitive project tenders.

Minister’s Award for the Environment – Substation33 
Substation33 is an electronic waste recycling project that provides a supportive workplace for employees and volunteers to gain skills for future opportunities, all whilst benefitting the environment by avoiding toxic landfill. 

Banksia Small Business Award – How Now Dairy
How Now Dairy follows a “cow-centric” dairying model, that meets the ethical demands of welfare-conscious consumers and puts the welfare of the cow and calf first.

Banksia Small Business Award – Spell & The Gypsy
Spell & The Gypsy is a clothing label with a sustainability roadmap that encompasses supply chain transparency, transitioning to preferred fibres, eliminating hazardous chemicals, reducing climate footprint, and tackling circular fashion. 

Banksia Medium Business Award – Fun Over Fifty 
Fun Over Fifty is a sustainable tour company offering luxury holidays to travellers over 50 years of age. Fun Over Fifty’s mission is to lead a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry.

Banksia Large Business Award – Fujitsu Australia Digital Owl 
Fujitsu Australia developed the ‘Digital Owl’ solution in collaboration with the NSW Government’s ‘Saving our Species’ program. The solution uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to pinpoint the population of endangered plant species.

Banksia Community Award – Tiny Trowel 
Tiny Trowel’s Seeds for Christmas was a social media campaign that called upon the Australian community to send small packets of food seeds in Christmas cards to the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, STREAT, DIVRS and Food Forest Ashburton. Thousands of seeds were sent. 

Banksia Government Award – Sunshine Coast Council
Sunshine Coast Council’s Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve BioBlitz was an interdisciplinary biodiversity conservation research and community engagement project, that researched and celebrated biodiversity.

Banksia Indigenous Award – “Littlewell” Mingenew Aboriginal Reserve Group
The “Littlewell” Mingenew Aboriginal Reserve Group’s Open Day and newly built heritage trail is helping Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal people come together to celebrate culture, history, recognition, language, heritage, identity, and place of belonging.

Banksia Research/ Academia Award – Monash University Master of Environment and Sustainability
Monash University’s Master of Environment and Sustainability (MES) has a unique focus on all 17 of the UN Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and teaches them in ways that are experiential, transformative, and grounded in real-world experience.