The Tasmanian Awards for Environmental Excellence 2011 were hosted by the Environment Protection Authority at Wrest Point last Friday night. All 32 entries in this year’s awards illustrated a strong commitment to a sustainable future.
The Awards highlight efforts by individuals and groups to engage business, governments and the community in programs to protect and manage Tasmania’s precious environment. All category winners are automatically nominated for the Banksia Environmental Foundation national awards to be announced later this year.
The collaboration between philanthropist and businesswoman Jan Cameron and the non-government, not-for-profit organisation the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) won the Environmental Stewardship Award and the Minister’s Choice categories at the 2011 Tasmanian Awards for Environmental Excellence presentation.
The Conservancy and Jan Cameron bought 27 390 hectares from Gunns Ltd in October last year in what they have called The New Leaf Project. It is a significant project that will ensure the protection of the properties’ nationally significant conservation values.
A toolkit designed to help Tasmanian families understand and take control of their energy use also won two awards.
The Home Energy Audit Toolkit (HEAT) developed by Hobart City Council on behalf of the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority won the Local Government Award and the Leadership in Climate Action Award.
The toolkits can be borrowed at no charge and aim to help families understand and take control of their energy usage.
Uptake has been strong. In 2010 there were 700 loans through 26 councils and by early this year, all Tasmanian councils and a number of government departments and schools were participating in the program.”
Category winners of the 2011 Tasmanian Awards for Environmental Excellence:
Large Business Sustainability Award
pitt&sherry’s ambitious vision is to initiate and champion sustainable thinking to transform the world into a better place to live; forge vital links to the sustainability of future generations; and, consequently, be recognised for substantially contributing to the successful delivery of Australia’s climate change strategy. pitt&sherry has experienced significant progress in realising this vision through thought leadership, stakeholder engagement, cultural change, investment in innovation and capacity development, and the delivery of a range of sustainability and climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, over the past two years. pitt&sherry’s success in achieving this vision is evident in the range of successful, innovative projects, and by demonstrating leadership and commitment to sustainability in the Tasmanian community.
Small Business Sustainability Award
The Ugly Duck Out
The Ugly Duck Out is a restaurant located in Swansea, on the East Coast of Tasmania. During development steps were taken to lessen the impact on the local environment and create a positive work environment with a holistic hospitality ethic. North facing windows allowed natural light in dining and kitchen areas. Locally sourced produce and sustainability is a main feature of the restaurant. Environmental art is displayed throughout and the native garden is registered as a ‘Garden for Wildlife’ Zone. At the rear of the building, raised vegetable and herb garden beds and fruit trees offer premium produce at a fraction of the usual cost and are a source of inspiration to guests.
Waterworks Valley Community
This Tasmanian community set out to ‘break the barriers’. Drawing on expert knowledge, the Waterworks Community Project Team wanted to know what prevents concerned Tasmanians from living sustainably. The project team enlisted 400 Tasmanian households to engage with it to learn about barriers and provide solutions, asking curly questions such as “What stops us from changing our diets?” Armed with such knowledge, participating households were invited to commit to a home energy reduction target, with the aid of project tools. 90 percent of them pledged to do so. Educational resources developed by the project team are now available to the entire Tasmanian population, assisting ordinary Tasmanians to find the best ways to reduce their ecological footprint.
The Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI)
AuSSI-Tas has been operating in Tasmania since 2007. There are now 106 Tasmanian schools committed to becoming more sustainable. The Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI) engages students, staff and members of the community to improve the management of school's resources and facilities - including energy, waste, water, biodiversity. AuSSI-Tas encourages and supports schools in engaging their communities and developing strategies to become more so. AuSSI makes significant links to the curriculum and provides practical support to schools and their communities to live and work more sustainably. AuSSI-Tas is a vibrant partnership between the Tasmanian Department of Education and Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, and the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
Local Government Award
Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority
Developed by Hobart City Council on behalf of the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority, Home Energy Audit Toolkits (HEAT) helps families understand and take control of their energy usage, through free loans of the kits. Uptake has been strong. In 2010 there were 700 loans through 26 councils. By early 2011 all Tasmanian councils and a number of government departments and schools were participating in the program. Designed for Tasmanian conditions, HEAT helps households undertake a home energy audit and provides practical, affordable suggestions for saving energy and money. A thorough understanding of their energy use motivates lasting behaviour change and ongoing savings, contributing to Tasmania’s action on climate change.
Environmental Stewardship Award
The Tasmanian Land Conservancy
A visionary collaboration between philanthropist and businesswoman Jan Cameron with the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) has changed the future of 27 390 hectares of Tasmanian forests in the largest single private conservation transaction in Australia’s history. The New Leaf Project is creating opportunities to re-imagine the future of Tasmania’s forests. The TLC is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation that is leading Tasmania’s effort to protect the island’s unique biodiversity. The TLC and Jan Cameron successfully negotiated the acquisition of 27 390 hectares from Gunns Ltd in October 2010. This acquisition will see the transition of these forest, woodlands and grasslands from a focus on timber production to their management primarily for conservation, and will ensure the protection of the properties’ nationally significant conservation values.
Leadership in Climate Change Action Award
Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority
Home Energy Audit Toolkits (HEAT) help households gain a thorough understanding of their energy use, motivating lasting behaviour change and ongoing energy and financial savings, contributing to Tasmania’s action on climate change. Developed by HCC and councils in the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority, the toolkits are loaned for free and uptake was strong over 2010 with 700 loans to households. By February 2011 all Tasmanian councils, as well as government departments and schools were participating in the project. The kits contain comprehensive information sheets and equipment that measures electricity consumption of appliances, checks fridge seals, ceiling insulation and the flow rate of hot water, and identifies the home orientation for solar access and technologies.
Minister’s Choice Award
The Tasmanian Land Conservancy