Resource Efficiency Award

This award recognises excellence in integrated practical solutions for clean energy, water saving and conservation, waste avoidance, resource recovery and/or recycling practices.

Open to businesses, individuals, NSW public sector, NSW local councils, community organisations, partnerships between business, non-government organisations (NGOs), government and community groups, research groups, academics and recipients of funding from the NSW Environmental Trust and other bodies.

Meet your winner

Mememe Productions: The Get Grubby Project

Winner: Mememe Productions

The Get Grubby Project is an online sustainability resource for early learning. A pre-school program that celebrates nature and empowers young children to do little things that make a big difference.

Created by mememe's Cate McQuillen and Hewey Eustace, Get Grubby is an integrated curriculum providing ten downloadable units, 50 bespoke films starring live-action dirtgirl and scrapboy, music videos and clips, and even karaoke versions of the songs to sing along to.

From composting to worm farming to growing a veggie patch to being energy and water wise … there are lots of fun and practical activities. It supports children to develop positive attitudes and values by engaging them in guided learning experiences that link people, plants, creatures and the land, reinforcing sustainable life practices.

For mememe it is 'education at its simplest - create Connection, encourage Understanding and inspire Action'.

Judges' comment: 'A creative business using their powers for engagement for sustainability outcomes, with significant success. Engaging the youth of today is producing leaders for tomorrow.'

Meet your highly commended

Sydney Water: Food Waste to Energy Project

Highly Commended: Sydney Water

Sydney Water is Australia's largest water utility. A state-owned corporation of the NSW government, it is always looking for innovative and cost-effective solutions that reduce the organisation's environmental footprint.

The Food Waste to Energy Project at Sydney Water's Cronulla waste water treatment plant is the first of its scale in Australia. It generates electricity to run the plant from the gases produced by fruit and vegetable waste from local businesses. Processing food waste at an existing treatment plant reduces emissions, saves customers money and removes 150,000 wheelie bins worth of food out of landfill each year.

Once fully operational, renewable energy produced from food waste and sewage will generate over 60% of the plants energy requirements. Apart from the savings in energy use and greenhouse emissions the project will reduce truck movements to landfill by some 90,000 km each year.

Meet your finalists

Fairfield City Council: Fairfield Sustainable Resource Centre

Finalist: Fairfield City Council

A unique and bold endeavour in the local government sector, the Sustainable Resource Centre is a demolition and construction material recycling depot in Wetherill Park in south-west Sydney owned and managed by Fairfield City Council.

Operating for almost 25 years, the centre is now recycling concrete, bricks, roof tiles, pavers, asphalt and road-base material demolishers, builders, civil contractors, other local councils and private companies.

The centre is an environmentally sustainable local government business. It not only reduces greenhouse emissions of council operations, but it provides local employment and heavily invests in the local community by subsidising the cost of many social and recreational services offered by the council.

The GPT Group: Waste and Resources Program

Finalist: The GPT Group

Property manager GPT's Waste and Resource Management System provides a more accurate and transparent approach to understanding the environmental impacts of waste services, leading to better decisions and solutions.

Recognising the real environmental impact of waste management, the company wanted to identify how waste can be recovered with the highest-value retention and lowest pollution levels.

The accuracy of traditional 'waste diverted from landfill' and 'recycling' data was low, and provided no information on the resulting pollution or value retention in the recovered materials.

GPT developed a new measurement protocol that identifies and measures the waste materials and their destination.

Piloting the new waste management system at three of GPT's NSW properties proved so successful that it was rolled out nationally across all GPT's managed properties and service providers.

Page last updated: 07 February 2017