Insights on the idea behind our 2016 awards – innovation

Innovation underpins sustainable business, so it makes good sense to celebrate it as the key theme for the 2016 Banksia Sustainability Awards. We’re also focusing on innovation because it deserves clarification.

Innovation is a water cooler conversation word – overused and underappreciated. Every organisation wants to be seen as innovative because it makes them seem progressive, open, versatile and courageous, to name just a few worthy business characteristics.

But not many are genuine innovators. Most are followers or at best, early adopters. Real innovators are pioneers – black sheep. They stand out because they are doing something different, often something radical that contradicts conventional approaches.

Real innovation is a tough call. First, it takes a great idea, and the brilliance to recognise it. Then it takes the strength of will to transform the idea into something useful against a clamour of dissenting voices. That takes a powerful mix of systemic traits, like secure partnerships and a shared appetite for risk.

Real business innovation disrupts the flow. It counters conventional approaches and shows up entire industries for what they are – resistant to change or flexible enough to adapt.

Innovation is the great disruptor, to such an extent that it can induce the collapse of unsustainable and detrimental industries.

But being open to innovation prompts economic growth. It nurtures entirely new industries, encourages employment and secures processes that align with the requirements of our planet. Innovation encourages sustainable practises and brings out the best in us all.

Which is why real innovation deserves to be celebrated and rewarded as our key theme in 2016. Banksia is proud of the foundation we have provided for innovators over the last 20 years.

From our humble beginnings as a one-night event to today’s entire platform for excellence, Banksia is now a catalyst for like-minded businesses to come together to share sustainability ideas and achieve broader business outcomes.

Banksia is proud to introduce the new Banksia SMART Award this year and welcome Mirvac as its sponsor. The following is a short description of Mirvac’s ethos on sustainability, innovation and what the SMART award is all about. To find out more visit;

“Mirvac will bring together innovation and technology through the new SMART award. Mirvac is committed to delivering SMART buildings and eventually a SMART portfolio as part of their plan for a sustainable future, This Changes Everything. At Mirvac, innovation equals change that adds value. We have an internal program called Hatch, which in part evolved from the need to innovate to deliver our tough sustainability program.

Mirvac recognises the importance of using SMART technology, SMART construction, SMART design, SMART data and many more SMART initiatives to create great places for life. We have embraced this by establishing internal working groups to investigate everything from collaborative consumption to place creation. This award will embrace innovation by looking not only for ideas that have been monetised but those which are just that; ideas.”

New Banksia SMART Award

Register for the 2016 Banksia Sustainability Awards by June 30th to gain an insight into how businesses can best innovate for success.