This award recognises outstanding public sector organisations in NSW that have successfully integrated environmental management and sustainable practices into their planning, operations, product or service delivery.
Only open to NSW public sector organisations.
Hornsby Shire Council: Hawkesbury Watch
Hawkesbury Watch began in 2001, an idea that emerged in a tinnie on the Hawkesbury River.
The Hawkesbury is a brilliant natural asset close to Sydney. But would it be possible to monitor the estuary to keep the community updated on current health and swimming conditions?
Off the shelf technologies were not enough. Hornsby Council collaborated with the Manly Hydraulics Laboratory, to develop the first real-time monitoring probe for estuary use. They then had to examine how to make it communicate with a website.
Further refinements followed – and today there are six probes deployed, and Hawkesbury Watch reports daily on swimming conditions, estuary health, water quality and algal blooms, and gives interactive access to the data.
Public education and awareness of the estuary is provided through daily estuarine health report cards and email alerts, a huge step forward from traditional water sampling and lab analysis where information could easily be a couple of days old. What a great way to avoid potential swimming related illnesses by finding out in real time if pollution is likely in the area.
Randwick City Council: Sustaining our City Program
Randwick Council services 140,000 residents of Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
This is a well-educated and aware community that has a high expectation of sustainability, environmental protection and social responsibility. This is reflected in a 6% environmental rate levy that ratepayers give to support council’s Sustaining our City initiative, demonstrating vital community support of council’s leadership.
Over this time, Council and staff have been partnering with and empowering a diverse and active community – schools and students, businesses and business owners, residents and visitors – to address and respond to the challenges of Sustaining our City.
So far, more than 60% of Randwick’s coastal walkway has been constructed, tens of thousands of native plants propagated and planted and close to 400 million litres of potable water saved annually through stormwater re-use projects.
Also, more than 200 kilowatts of solar PV has been installed across 12 Council and community sites, remaining habitat areas are being protected and restored, and more than 14,000 residents and visitors each year participate in Sustaining our City’s comprehensive range of workshops, courses, activities and events.
University of Technology Sydney
UTS is a dynamic and innovative university in central Sydney. Today it’s teaching us all with environmental initiatives, social justice and sustainability programs.
In chasing continued improvements in sustainability, it has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020/21. UTS has made and reported on significant improvements over the past 10 years in energy, greenhouse gas reduction, water conservation and recycling. Its dedication to improved energy consumption and reduced water use is backed up with 89% of operational waste being diverted from landfill.
UTS has also committed to minimum 5-star Green Star certified ratings on its new buildings and has delivered two 5-star and one 6-star building – the first university building in NSW to be awarded a 6-star As-Built certification. The Green Building Council of Australia has recognised this as world leadership in the sustainable design of tertiary education buildings.
A Green Staff Network also actively promotes behavioural change on campus. Student involvement is key, with active participation in environmental and social justice campaigns, positively influencing progress towards sustainability.