This award recognises outstanding NSW businesses that have integrated sustainable practices in all parts of their organisation from planning and operations to service and product delivery. This has added commercial value to their business as well as achieving environmental outcomes.
Open to NSW small, medium and large businesses.
AccorHotels: Planet 21 in Action
AccorHotels signed its first environmental charter in 1998. Since then, it has embedded sustainability in its operations, which is trailblazing for the hospitality sector and truly making an impact. Today, an ambitious sustainability program, Planet 21 in Action, defines 18 commitments for 2016-2020 across six strategic priorities: zero food waste and healthy sustainable food, inclusivity, engaging guests in sustainable experiences, co-innovation, working with local communities for a positive impact and moving towards carbon neutral buildings.
This comprehensive and rigorous program comprises targets and a rating system to award points to hotels for their actions.
NSW’s hotels have made significant strides to achieve higher ratings. In the past two years, 94% have achieved a Gold or Silver P21 rating. Notable projects include installation of a solar system on the roof of Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour. AccorHotels has banned overfished seafood and cage free eggs are the minimum standard. Organic, local food is preferred, with limits on artificial ingredients, sugar and palm oil.
It reflects AccorHotels’ belief that people – management, staff and guests – welcome the chance to engage in actions to achieve sustainability.
Splendour in the Grass
Enjoying three days of music and friendship is doubtless the motivator for the 32,000 attendees at Byron Bay’s Splendour in the Grass festival – but increasingly, enjoyment is gained through positive action to preserve the environment.
Splendour in the Grass works across commerce, ethics and innovation to empower attendees to make their festival experience sustainable.
Initiatives include composting, recycling, carpooling, water conservation, plastics reduction, carbon offsetting, flora and fauna protection, renewable or low emission energy sources, light and noise management and integration of sustainability into the program.
Carbon footprint management includes a 24.6% reduction in landfill, contribution of over $31,500 toward community renewable energy projects, support of 20 environmentally responsible businesses, removal of the equivalent of over 9000 plastic bottles and reduction of transport emissions through carbon offsetting, local procurement and carpooling incentives.
Staff and volunteers are passionate about sustainable practice. Some don high-vis outfits and transform into enthusiastic waste warriors, encouraging responsible waste disposal.
Sydney Markets: Sydney Markets Sustainability Leaders
Sydney Markets owns and operates Australia's largest markets and is recognised as a world leader in fresh produce and community market management.
It offers an extensive range of services that add value for shareholders, tenants, their suppliers and customers. The challenge is to continue to develop and improve best practice to manage its ecological footprint while supporting competitive trade and effective distribution.
This philosophy includes a commitment to technological innovations, innovative marketing, safe and efficient trading conditions and effective waste management strategies.
Sydney Markets is a leader of recycling and reducing food waste, achieving upwards of 70% recycling of all waste onsite, which not only benefits the environment but also saves the company over $1million each year. Solar energy is another priority, with 8,594 solar panels installed at Homebush West – the largest Australian installation this year. Sydney Markets is now running on 11% renewable energy, which is the equivalent to powering 1300 houses.
There is also a strong commitment to sharing sustainability know-how with the community, local councils and other market operators within Australia.
Tonic Lane: The Mug Movement
Lovers of daily baked goods, serious coffee, and engaging conversation will find their spiritual home at Sydney’s Tonic Lane.
Tonic Lane is proud to champion sustainability. The brains behind the operation is Lain Tapsall, whose passion for quality is balanced by a hearty penchant for making a difference.
Tonic Lane was the first cafe in Sydney to stand alone and ban single-use disposable coffee cups in 2017. They engaged their local community with 'The Mug Movement', encouraging hot drink lovers to bring their own reusable cups, or to help themselves to a free mug to reduce waste going to landfill – around 15,000 plastic-lined cups have been saved so far. For the first six months they donated 25 cents per cup to Clean up Australia.
This has organically stimulated other sustainability projects. Tonic Lane started a jar and bottle movement, encouraging reuse of jars and bottles for cold drinks, recycling about 300 a fortnight. They provide reusable alternatives to plastic straws and non-recyclable foil bags.
In collaboration with Boomerang Bags and Tees for Totes, groups who say ‘no’ to plastic bags by using preloved materials to make reusable bags, they hold regular workshops and education events. Three hundred bags have been given away.
Tonic Lane shows how starting the conversation and instigating small projects, and making sustainability enjoyable, can make a big difference.