Lord Howe Island biodiversity program wins Australia’s foremost sustainability award

A comprehensive effort to protect, and in some cases re-establish, some of the world’s rare and endangered species, has won the top prize in the prestigious Banksia Sustainability Awards.

The Lord Howe Island Board’s project, Protecting Paradise, won the 2018 Banksia Gold Award, which recognises the “best of the best” of all category winners, at a ceremony in Melbourne.

“The Banksia judges admired the way sustainability underpinned all the decisions made by the Lord Howe Island Board in managing the World Heritage-listed island,” says Banksia Foundation CEO Graz van Egmond.

The island is located 600km off the NSW coast and is renowned for its spectacular scenery, important breeding grounds for colonies of seabirds, and its rich biodiversity including many endangered and critically endangered species not found anywhere else in the world.

The Lord Howe Island Board’s holistic approach to protecting this natural wonder impressed the judging panel. Together with the community, the Board has a long history of sustainability and conservation programs that includes a cap on tourists, a world-class waste management facility that diverts 86% of the island waste from landfill, and pest eradication programs.

The Gold Banksia Sustainability Award also recognises the success of the Lord Howe Island’s recovery programs in bringing species back from the brink of extinction, such as the Lord Howe Island Woodhen and the world’s rarest insect, the Lord Howe Island stick insect, affectionately known as the land lobster—soon to be returned thanks to successful breeding programs at Zoos Victoria.

The Banksia Awards are in their 30thyear and are the longest-running sustainability awards in Australia. Each year, the Banksia Awards bring together and celebrate the most innovative and effective contributions to sustainability in Australia.

The Banksia Foundation is marking this milestone year by aligning the awards with the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).

“The SDGs aim to unite world businesses, governments and citizens to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and protect the planet, and by embracing the SDGs, we’re hoping to raise awareness of them and demonstrate how entrants are contributing to global issues,” Ms van Egmond said.

“The Lord Howe Island Board’s sustainability programs help progress a broad range of SDGs, including Goal 15 – Life on Land, which is to protect ecosystems and halt biodiversity loss.”

The Lord Howe Island Board is joined by 10 other winners over 12 categories of the Banksia Sustainability Awards. Other winners include Greening Australia’s Reef Aid program that bolsters the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef in the face of climate change, which won the Minister’s Award for the Environment.


The 2018 Banksia Sustainability Awards Sponsored by:

Australian Government, Department of Environment and Energy

Australia Post

City of Melbourne

Currie Communications

Destination NSW

Pangolin Associates




Full list of Banksia Sustainability winners

Category Winning project About
Banksia Gold Award Lord Howe Island Board’s Protecting Paradise The Board of World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island has taken a holistic approach to sustainability, which includes a tourist bed cap of 400, unique biodiversity safeguards and a world-class waste treatment system that diverts 86% of island waste from landfill.
Minister’s Award for the Environment Greening Australia’s Reef Aid Greening Australia’s Reef Aid initiative aims to restore 1,000 hectares of priority coastal wetlands and 2,000 ha of land susceptible to erosion by 2030.
Banksia Small Business Award Crystal Creek Meadows’ My Green Butler My Green Butler is the world’s first smart guest service that encourages resource conservation. My Green Butler sets consumption targets, advises on suitable adaptive behaviours (e.g. natural ventilation) and recommends sustainable activities.
Banksia Medium Business Award BioPak ‘s Commitment to the Circular Economy BioPak’s mission is to empower all businesses with a need for single-use takeaway packaging to switch to compostable packaging.
GlamCorner GlamCorner is Australia’s leading online destination to rent designer dresses to help curb ‘fast fashion’ culture.
Banksia Large Business Award Officeworks in partnership with Greening Australia The Restoring Australia initiative sees two trees planted for each one used, calculated using weight of paper-based products purchased at Officeworks.
Bank Australia in partnership with Greening Australia and Trust for Nature Bank Australia’s 10-year strategy for a Bank Australia Reserve seeks to protect and support the reserve’s ecosystem, embed Indigenous land management, revegetate the reserve and deliver value to staff and customers.
Banksia Community Award The NatureMapr Network in partnership with Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness The NatureMapr Network app invites citizens to help map biodiversity in Australia. It’s used by environmental groups, government, council and biodiversity experts.
Banksia NFP/NGO Award Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star The Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star initiative is Australia’s only comprehensive environmental rating scheme that sets the standard for the design, construction and ongoing operation of buildings and communities.
Banksia Government Award Lord Howe Island Board’s Protecting Paradise The Board of World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island has taken a holistic approach to sustainability.
Banksia Indigenous Award Warddeken Land Management Ltd’s Revitalising Remote West Arnhem Warddeken Land Management is an Indigenous-owned non-profit environmental and social enterprise that works in biodiversity protection and sustainability projects to better its community.
Banksia Individual Award d’Arcy Lunn
Teaspoons of Change
d’Arcy Lunn tours the world encouraging audiences to contemplate ‘Teaspoons of Change’ – small actions that provoke important, far-reaching change.
Banksia Research/
Academia Award
Monash Sustainable Development Institute Monash Sustainable Development Institute is a platform for collaboration among educators, learners, experts and key government and industry players who are passionate about improving the planet. It uses the SDGs as a guide for all its business and academic practices.
Banksia Media Award BLUE the Film BLUE is an environmental film that conveys the importance of marine parks, sustainable fishing practices and managing water in coastal regions.