National Awards Winners

National Awards Winners

Meet the 35th National Banksia Sustainability Award Winners

It is my great pleasure to reveal the winners of the 35th National Banksia Sustainability Awards, a diverse range of committed leaders that have displayed unwavering passion, true leadership and a clear commitment to excellence in sustainability practices.

The initiatives showcased by these winners undoubtedly represent significant milestones in creating that sustainable future for Australia that we are all working towards. Our winners have demonstrated remarkable ingenuity in developing solutions that harmonise environmental preservation, economic growth, and social responsibility. Their achievements epitomise the potential for businesses and communities to thrive while respecting the delicate balance of our natural world.

The National Banksia Sustainability Awards celebrate the visionaries who are reshaping industries, redefining best practices, and paving the way for a future where sustainability is deeply ingrained in our societal fabric. Let the winners’ accomplishments motivate us to increase our efforts, encouraging a legacy of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals stewardship for generations to come.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing sponsors. Your support ensures that we can celebrate this country’s sustainability leadership and excellence. Thank you for ensuring that our crucial role in the sustainability sector continues.

I look forward to working with our 35th Award winners to ensure that the optimism that they have created, and their accomplishments are heralded across this country so that all Australians realise that we are working towards a sustainable future.

Graz van Egmond
Chief Executive Officer

An illustration depicting the Banksia Gold Award

The 35th National Banksia Gold Award Winner

The Social Outfit, NSW

Up to late 2023, The Social Outfit has trained over 850 women from diverse migrant, refugee and cultural backgrounds, and provided employment to 97 of them. For 81% of women who have worked with them, The Social Outfit was their first Australian job, and 86% of them transitioned to further employment. The Social Outfit pays above Australian Awards wages according to Fair Work and has a target to provide 100 employment outcomes by 2024. 85% of their garments are manufactured from either donated or deadstock fabric, meaning they have already saved over 14 tonnes of textile waste from landfill.

Agriculture and Regional Development Award

Winner:

HW Greenham & Sons Pty Ltd, VIC

In partnership with cattle suppliers and key customers, Greenham have developed a Beef Sustainability Standard to address a growing demand from customers for robust environmental credentials and provide confidence that farms on which Greenham’s trusted beef brands are produced will have a positive impact on the land and rural communities for generations to come. Input was obtained from various subject matter experts during the development of the standards to ensure they are technically rigorous and move beyond a “tick box” compliance approach, to proactively driving uptake of best practice amongst the supply chain. To ensure alignment with broader industry goals, the standard was built around the four themes identified in the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework (ABSF): animal welfare, economic resilience, environmental stewardship, and people & the community.

Finalists:

Argyle Foods Group: Driving sustainable cattle, beef and land management.

Gina’s Table (SSS Strawberries): Queensland family-run business SSS Strawberries has launched Australia’s largest, most technologically advanced freeze-drying facility, converting supermarket-rejected fruit into nutritious snacks.

Oceanfarmr: Oceanfarmr, Growing farms that change the world

Soils for Life: Growing regenerative agriculture through stories of soil stewardship.

Circular Economy Award

Winner:

The Reconnect Project, NSW

The Reconnect Project is an impact-driven charity and social enterprise with the mission to close Australia’s digital divide by distributing refurbished mobile technology to people in need. With a focus on extending the life of existing technology, they accept donations of mobile phones, tablets and laptops in any age or condition. At their retail repair workshop in Sydney’s south, The Reconnect Project is developing Australia’s first accredited Mobile Device Repair Technician training program. Here, neurodivergent young adults learn the technical repair skills required to bring the donated devices back to life, as well as retail operations, customer service and workplace communication skills. Every device is securely erased to ensure data privacy of the donor. The refurbished devices are then distributed to disadvantaged individuals and families via a network of over 100 social service agencies including women’s shelters, refugee support services, homelessness agencies, at-risk youth outreach programs and more.

Finalists:

Bright Sparqe: Connecting Bright Sparqe partner businesses and organisations to partner charities “The Uber of Donations”

Cultivated: Cultivating a circular economy for authentic furniture.

ECORR Pty Ltd: ECORR showcases circularity and what can be achieved when action and authenticity are combined.

Goterra: Goterra has revolutionised sustainable organic waste with the power of robotics and maggots.

ReSource: ReSource is Australia’s largest and most technologically advanced e-waste processing facility on a mission to prove there is a better way to recycle efficiently, profitably and sustainably.

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Climate Technology Impact Award

Winner:

Fleet Space Technologies, SA

The mineral exploration industry faces significant challenges – discoveries are becoming more complex as shallow deposits are exhausted. Global demand for critical minerals intensifies as part of the renewable energy transition. Historically, mineral exploration has involved large amounts of exploratory drilling, which can be very expensive, time-consuming, and environmentally impactful. But there is a better way: using our space-enabled technology, Exosphere, to provide high-fidelity 3D subsurface insights models in days rather than months or years, with near-zero environmental impact. Enabling exploration teams to rapidly do more with fewer drill holes and ultimately accelerate their path to discovery.

By helping exploration companies make faster, data-driven targeting decisions using more sustainable surveying methods, space-enabled technologies will play an increasingly pivotal role in the future of mineral exploration and the next wave of discoveries needed for the transition to renewable energy.

Finalists:

ecoSwitch, The George Institute for Global Health: Better foods for our planet

O3 Water Pty Ltd: Innovate Disrupt Transform

Plico: Switching on Western Australia’s first Virtual Power Plant

SIMPaCT. Smart Irrigation Management for Parks and Cool Towns: The first fully autonomous city cooling system that turns green spaces into effective urban air conditioning units.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award

Winner:

The Social Outfit, NSW

The Social Outfit is a fashion label with a difference. They believe in an Australia where refugees and new migrants are warmly welcomed and settle well, celebrating diversity and collective skills and strengths.

Founded in 2014, The Social Outfit is a registered charity operating a work integration social enterprise. They aim to support women in launching their Australian careers and create ethical, sustainable fashion that is celebratory by design. Showcasing the skills creativity and strengths of refugee and migrant women. They do this through their retail clothing store and ethical manufacturing workroom in Sydney’s Inner West. 85% of the garments are made from fabric diverted from landfill, saving over 14 tonnes to date.

As of the end of 2023, The Social Outfit have trained over 850 and provided employment to 97 women from migrant and refugee backgrounds. For 81% of women who have worked with them, The Social Outfit was their first Australian job.

Finalists:

The Funding Network: Pioneering in finding and funding exceptional grassroots non-profits and social enterprises.

WWF-Australia: Indigenous Knowledge continues to be excluded or marginalised from global climate science and policy processes – by further strengthening Indigenous engagement, WWF-Australia seeks to redress this imbalance to better Regenerate Nature together.

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Healthy Planet, Healthy People Award

Winner:

OPENAIR: The Operational Network of Air Quality Impact Resources, NSW

The Operational Network of Air Quality Impact Resources (OPENAIR) empowers local councils to combat air pollution through Australia’s first common method for using low-cost smart sensors to measure air quality.

Poor air quality caused by bushfires, wood-fired heaters, agriculture, transportation, industry and urban heat is a significant cause of health problems and premature death in Australian communities. OPENAIR aims to change this.

Developed by researchers, tech experts and local councils, OPENAIR’s Best Practice Guide and free-to-download resources guide councils through collecting and analysing localised data so they can make informed decisions about how to respond.

OPENAIR is available for all Australian councils to use so that communities all around the country can participate in smart cities and towns, reduce carbon impacts and boost wellbeing.

Finalists:

ACT Government Vulnerable Household Energy Support Scheme: Improving the health and wellbeing of Canberra’s most vulnerable households by delivering targeted home energy upgrades.

Farm My School: Imagine if schools could feed their communities. Farm My School builds regenerative farms in schools that nourish, educate and connect communities.

My Smart Garden: A free sustainable gardening education program to help communities grow their own food, create habitat and shelter, while using water wisely and reducing waste.

SIMPaCT. Smart Irrigation Management for Parks and Cool Towns: The first fully autonomous city cooling system that turns green spaces into effective urban air conditioning units.

Large Business Sustainable Leadership Award

Winner:

Teachers Mutual Bank Limited, NSW

B Corp Banking Teachers Mutual Bank Limited ( TMBL) has used B Corp Certification to reinvent the whole bank to be ‘Banking for Good for those who do good ’ Being a B Corp now defines the whole bank, its identity, purpose and strategy and is a better way to articulate what mutual banking is.

With B Corp, TMBL’s Sustainability Strategy has become their Business Strategy. The bank and B Corp are indivisible – the highest order of integration. TMBL has used B Corp not as a ESG scorecard, but to reset the organisation for strategic, competitive advantage.

TMBL took two years to complete our B Corp Certification and run a campaign for our 230,000 members to vote to amend our Constitution to insert B Corp – and a record 91.4% of their members voted yes. B Corps represent the future global model for socially responsible companies and especially for mutual banks.

Finalists:

Endeavour Energy: Accelerating the decarbonisation of the energy sector and making sustainability part of how we do business

Officeworks: Making bigger things happen for Australians through its People and Planet Positive Plan.

 

Marketing and Communications for Impact Award

Winner:

World Wide Fund For Nature Australia – WWF-Australia, NSW

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the planet’s best-known World Heritage Areas – home to some of the world’s most threatened marine wildlife and attracts visitors from all over the world.

Despite this, more than 60% of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is open to commercial gill net fishing. Up to 600-metre-long invisible nets are used to entrap more than fish – they also entangle and kill countless turtles, sharks, dolphins and dugongs.

The Net-Free Reef campaign took an innovative and practical response to address this issue. It provided tangible ways for Australians to take impactful action, provided a regenerative upcycling solution for the removed nets and provided governments with a sustainable solution that made political and economic sense. The seven-year-long campaign’s ultimate success was demonstrated by the recent landmark joint decision by the Australian and Queensland governments to phase out commercial gill net fishing across the Reef by mid-2027.

Finalists:

Australian Conservation Foundation: Australian Conservation Foundation bulldozes the Opera House to stop Australia’s extinction crisis.

Australian Refrigeration Council: Each summer the Australian Refrigeration Council runs a national campaign connecting consumers with licensed refrigeration and air conditioning technicians – and more than 120,000 embrace this opportunity to ‘do their bit’ in the fight against global warming.

Plico: The perfect storm, changing Australia’s energy future

Nature Positive Award

Winner:

Vic Catchments, VIC

Victoria’s ten Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) have been changemakers for catchments for over 25 years, driven by the importance of genuine collaboration with Traditional Owners, community, government and stakeholders to improve waterway health while improving biodiversity across Victoria’s diverse landscapes. Maintaining over 34,000 diverse partnerships is their superpower.

Together with each other and partners, CMAs restore and transform statewide landscapes such as Alpine peatlands, reconnect rivers, recover threatened species, unite communities and lead initiatives to prepare for future challenges like climate change.

Playing a vital role in flood and bushfire response, relief and recovery efforts, CMAs also provide ongoing flood advice to keep Victorians safe.

With a proud history of working with local communities and forming productive partnerships the motto – ‘CMAs Get It Done’ – epitomises their results-driven approach.

Vic Catchments exemplifies the power of collaboration and communication in achieving sustainability goals and making nature positive change.

Finalists:

Learning on Country Program: Creating a pathway for the future generation of Aboriginal Rangers and traditional custodians, who will be charged with safeguarding, protecting and preserving our natural environment.

The Mulloon Institute: Biodiversity benefits as the Mulloon Institute rehydrates and restores agricultural landscapes.

The Wheen Bee Foundation: A not-for-profit charity dedicated to supporting research, encouraging practice change and raising awareness of the importance of bees and other pollinators and their critical role in ecosystem health, biodiversity and food security.

Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach: The Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach unites communities to create a healthy, resilient, and sustainable Murrumbidgee River.

Net Zero Action Award

Winner:

ACT Emergency Services Agency, ACT

The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) Sustainability program delivers actions focused on the holistic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, primarily from transport, and the improvement of work, health and safety practices for its staff and the ACT Community.

Motivated by a desire to provide a safe and sustainable workplace for ESA staff and volunteers and supported by the targets set under the ACT Government Climate Change Strategy 2019-2025 and Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) Action Plan, the ESA Sustainability program has sought to provide innovative, responsible, and sustainable outcomes for the ACT community. As a first mover in sustainable emergency service provision, the ESA Sustainability program provides a comprehensive approach, for the refinement of emergency operations for environmental, economic, and societal benefits.

Through the implementation of the ESA Sustainability program, the ESA seeks to address the Sustainable Development Goals and provide industry leading, safe, and sustainable, emergency services to the ACT Community.

Finalists:

Blue Leaf Water Cremation: Offering the most gentle and eco-friendly option in Pet Aftercare.

Cerclos: Enabling global leaders to accelerate towards net zero in the built environment through powerful Life Cycle Assessment software.

Monash Sustainable Development Institute: The Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative — a group of heavy industry and business leaders convened by Climateworks Centre and Climate-KIC Australia — shows how five heavy-industry supply chains can eliminate more than 90 per cent of their emissions by 2050.

Orica Limited: Every day, all around the world, Orica helps sustainably mobilise the earth’s resources.

Telstra InfraCo: A digital infrastructure solutions provider which weaves sustainability through its business practices, including responsible business partnerships and environmental initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint.

Placemaking Award

Winner:

Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1, NSW

Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 (PLR) connects Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD with a 12-kilometre, two-way track and 16 fully accessible stops. PLR will connect locals and visitors to major destinations, with regular ‘turn up and go’ services every 7.5 minutes during peak periods.

By 2026, around 28,000 people are expected to use the Parramatta Light Rail every day, with an estimated 130,000 people living within walking distance of the light rail stops.

Through many innovative measures, PLR has achieved sustainable outcomes for its workers, the community, heritage and the environment.

By exceeding employment targets to achieve social outcomes, considering and preserving local heritage in design, consulting with stakeholders and the community to inform decision-making, integrating heritage and Aboriginal cultural interpretation, using a wire-free design in sensitive environments, and providing active transport links to improve health and connectivity, the project continues to demonstrate a true legacy-leaving project.

Finalists:

My Home Australasia Limited (“My Home”): Aphilanthropic housing developer who designs and constructs high performance, comfortable and enjoyable homes for people who are homeless.”

Public Transport Projects Alliance Ovingham: The Ovingham Level Crossing Removal Project, delivered by the Public Transport Projects Alliance Ovingham stands as a ground-breaking model, seamlessly integrating safety, sustainability, and community inclusivity to redefine urban infrastructure norms.

Responsible Supply Award

Winner:

Bared Footwear, VIC

Bared Footwear is leading the charge in sustainable eCommerce. The brand is not only paying fair wages down the supply chain, offsetting their carbon emissions through planting biodiverse forests throughout Australia and New Zealand, and donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to people in need locally and internationally, but is changing the footwear industry as we know it – through investing in world-first material technologies with the aim to create a shoe made completely from natural materials. By partnering with cutting-edge green chemistry platforms, the brand has made huge steps towards this goal by incorporating Natural Fiber Welding’s 100% natural rubber outsole and Bared’s own trademarked 72% biobased footbed.

Finalists:

Underwear for Humanity: Planet & People first – A radical new approach to conscious consumption.

SME Sustainable Leadership Award

Winner:

Hysata, NSW

Hysata is a University of Wollongong-founded Australian electrolyser manufacturing company which has developed unique and patented electrolysers featuring the world’s most efficient electrolysis cell coupled with a simplified balance-of-plant. Hysata electrolysers achieve 95% system efficiency (41.5kWh/kg), surpassing incumbents by 20% and IRENA’s 2050 electrolyser efficiency target. High costs hinder green hydrogen production, mostly driven by electricity costs. Hysata’s electrolysers with exceptional efficiency will transform the economics of green hydrogen production. Hysata’s team bring decades of experience across electrolysers and high-volume manufacturing. Backed by leading global investors, Hysata is moving rapidly towards multi-gigawatt scale production to combat climate change.

Published in a peer-reviewed study published in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature Communications, and independently affirmed by electrochemistry expert, Professor Dan Brett of University College London, Hysata’s technology is unparalleled in the market. The multi-billion-dollar conditional orders and pipeline further underline the market’s anticipation and recognition of our breakthrough electrolyser.

Finalists:

Blue Eco Homes: Industry leaders in comfortable, accessible, healthy and sustainable homes built to the highest quality Passivhaus standard.

Busselton Jetty: A must-see coastal attraction, connecting community and the environment.

thinkstep-anz: An independent sustainability firm with more than 50 experts across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand

WaterGroup: An SME punching above its weight by partnering with and leveraging the impact large corporations have to drive a sustained change in how water is used, understood, monitored, and managed.

Sustainable Leadership in the eCommerce & reCommerce Industry Award logo
Australia Post Logo

Sustainable Leadership in the eCommerce & reCommerce Industry Award

Winner:

Underwear for Humanity, NSW

Underwear for Humanity uses an essential consumable product, underwear, to create a model of giving and regeneration.

They used their social and environmental impact is a primary measure of success. They focus their funds on planetary good, such as pioneering an underwear recycling program that accepts underwear from all brands that would end up in landfill and developing highly researched materials to lower emissions.

Their focus on social impact includes giving underwear to women’s shelters and various charities through a one-for-one underwear donation program, 50c is paid per item sold to Aboriginal groups as rent payment for the land they work on. Their pick and pack is a work training partnership to empower Afghani refugee women and at risk youth.

They see every touch point in their supply chain is an opportunity to be responsible and give back and are truly a revolutionary business for good.

Finalists:

TWOOBS: On a mission to save the planet… but make it fashion!

Sustainable Tourism Award

Winner:

Intrepid Travel, VIC

Intrepid Travel is a certified B Corporation with the mission to create positive change through the joy of travel. Intrepid delivers on this mission through its B Corp certification which measures and audits its impacts on the environment, workers, community, customers, and governance. Intrepid Travel achieved its first B Corp certification in 2018 with a score of 82.7 and has since improved its score by 10 points to 91.2 in its latest B Corp recertification in 2021.

By retaining its B Corp certification while growing the size and scale of its business, Intrepid is demonstrating that B Corps can be larger, purpose-led businesses that are commercially successful. Intrepid’s vision for its legacy is that it demonstrates that scaling positive impact is possible while decarbonising and growing demand for sustainable travel, creating a blueprint that the wider tourism sector can replicate so that travel can be here for generations to come.

Finalists:

Fun Over 50 Holidays: Undertaking a significant sustainability journey through implementing an Our People and Planet Program engineered on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, minimising negative tourism impacts and delivering positive impacts on the environment, culture and local communities.

Take 3 for the Sea’s Ground Swell Litter Prevention Program: Ground Swell is a coordinated, whole-of-industry approach to rolling out litter prevention strategies for the NSW visitor economy industry.

Wild Adventures Melbourne: A micro tour operator built to be regenerative with a multi-faceted sub-zero waste blueprint that’s redefining how tourism can be delivered

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