Resource Efficiency Award

Organisations who are leading the way to conserve resources and reduce waste in New South Wales.

This award recognises organisations that have implemented practical solutions for clean energy, water saving and conservation, waste avoidance, resource recovery and/or recycling practices.

2017 Green Globe Awards finalists

Clear Sky Solar Investments: Clear Solar Investments

Founders of Clear Sky holding a solar panelSydneysiders Christina Kirsch and Warren Yates are passionate about renewable energy.

They set up the not-for-profit Clear Sky Solar Investments which crowdfunds each installation. The property owner pays the investors an agreed rate for the power generated over a ten-year period, after which the business owns the panels.

‘When we see an empty roof we offer the owner an incredible deal,’ says Warren. ‘Cheaper power for ten years and free power after that – all with no up-front expenditure.’

ClearSky investors have funded 19 solar installations across Australia with a total capacity of 1MW. Total investment has been almost $2 million.

Each project is funded via a trust with up to 20 investors, who get an attractive return through quarterly payments over a specified term.

ClearSky has provided the opportunity for more than 1000 Australians to invest in solar installations on commercial properties.

Revolution Apps & Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils: Compost Revolution

Two young children standing next to a compost binAlmost half of what we throw out each year is compostable organic material, generating 3% of Australia’s greenhouse emissions.

Now an innovative online community education and logistics program called the Compost Revolution, operated by Revolution Apps, helps households turn food waste into soil and fertiliser.

Started in 2010 as a partnership between social venture Revolution Apps and founding councils Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra, it is now a national program which recently recruited its 24,000th household, and diverts 40 tonnes of organic waste every week.

The platform helps local councils meet landfill reduction targets with order logistics and sophisticated multichannel marketing. Money that used to be wasted on tip fees, transport and other costs is diverted into organics recovery infrastructure.

Scaling home organics recovery to many thousands of households is much cheaper than carting organic waste to landfill.

For residents, the app provides fun online tutorials and an easy-ordering system to choose composting gear and have it delivered straight to the home.

Stone & Wood Brewing Company: Green Feet Program

Brewery towers of Stone and WoodStone & Wood brew handcrafted beer in Byron Bay.

‘We know the brewing process can be quite energy and water intensive,’ says sustainability manager James Perrin. ‘It generates a lot of organic and inorganic waste.’

The company’s Green Feet initiative has reduced its reliance on water, electricity and gas, and reduced the environmental impact of wastes such as brewer's grain, spent yeast, biomass, and packaging.

In the past two years Green Feet projects have:

  • reduced water usage and energy usage to below industry standards
  • recycled over 95% of all solid wastes
  • composted all organic waste that would have normally have gone into the sewer network or landfill
  • treated all wastewater on-site and then re-used it for on-site and off-site irrigation.

‘We’ve been actively sharing these initiatives through the Northern Rivers Food Group,’ says James, ‘as well as promoting them in media and industry forums’.

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils: Light Years Ahead

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils community eventIt’s one of Sydney’s largest energy reduction projects – replacing mercury-vapour street lighting across 136 suburbs with energy-efficient LED lights.

Light Years Ahead is a cooperative project in Sydney’s west led by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils and nine local councils with funding from the Australian Government.

Street lighting is a major cost to local councils, but fixing the problem isn’t easy. Even though councils pay for the power, the lights are owned by utilities. And the high upfront cost and long payback times are often substantial barriers.

To date the project has replaced more than 14,000 high-emission street lights with long-life LEDs and saved 4.4 million kWh a year.

Some 91,000 tonnes of greenhouse emissions and almost $20 million in energy costs will be saved over the 20-year life of the lights.

Councils have also had flow-on benefits – greater awareness and support for sustainability initiatives, and a greater understanding of the commercial dynamics of purchasing energy and paying maintenance costs.