The EPA's vision is for a Tasmania that is clean, healthy and sustainable. The EPA's objective is to protect and enhance the quality of the Tasmanian environment in balance with economic and social values, and the needs of future generations.
The EPA Sustainability Award is part of the Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards, run by
Awards Australia, and aims to acknowledge businesses from any industry sector who have developed and implemented cleaner production initiatives that have delivered measurable improvements in preventing pollution, conserving energy and water, minimising waste and maximising resource efficiency.
Submissions should be for a project or initiative that results in measurable improvements in any or all of the following areas: energy efficiency, water conservation, resource efficiency, waste minimisation; and results in the wider community or flow-on benefits to the sector.
2022 Award dates
Nominations Open: Thursday 9 June 2022
Nominations Close: Wednesday 17 August 2022
Judging: Wednesday 21 September 2022
Awards Presentation: Friday 28 October 2022
Women's Health Tasmania (WHT) won the 2022 EPA Sustainability Award for its project to reduce landfill at the Hobart City Council tip by supporting women to try reusable period friendly underwear.
Menstrual products are single-use and have a big impact on the environment, contributing approximately 18,000 metric tonnes of waste to landfill every year in Australia.
Unfortunately, cost is a significant barrier to take up of reusable period friendly underwear. This project aimed to give women on low incomes a chance to try period friendly underwear.
Women's Health Tasmania formed a partnership with Australian underwear brand Modibodi, who provided bulk underwear to the project at marginal cost. The project also received an Urban Sustainability Grant from Hobart City Council, providing 252 women and non-binary people on low incomes with five free pairs of period-friendly underwear.
Women's Health Tasmania's nomination provided excellent data demonstrating how the project has been successful and has led to them obtaining continued support to start work on phase two of the project.
The other three finalists were:
Hobart City Council of Hobart became the first city in Australia to adopt a Single Use Plastic By-Law in 2021. The by-law bans problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic takeaway food packaging. It is estimated that the by-law prevents 600 tonnes of single-use plastics from going to landfills annually, equivalent to around 150 trucks full of waste. The Council also implemented the provision of public place organics bins.
Resource Work Cooperative - Timber Reclamation of South Hobart was founded in 2021 as a new department, to reclaim vintage timbers from landfills and demolition projects and provide good quality dressed timbers below market value. They have salvaged an extra 9,000 kgs of timber destined for landfill or firewood. Resource also created a new workshop space, South Hobart Tip Shop, where they promote and educate about the reuse of materials.
Spring Bay Mill of Triabunna is a 43-hectare waterfront site and former wood chip mill that has been creatively upcycled into a specialised events destination. The Mill has decreased water use by 90%. Their Beach Shacks are supplied by rainwater, solar-powered and use a compostable toilet system. They have taken catering completely in-house. In 2021, they spread 9 million native plant seeds over 5,000 square metres.
The University of Tasmania won the 2021 EPA Sustainability Award for its commitment to recycling and waste minimisation. They have delivered significant changes to bring together procurement, re-use, recycling and composting.
The University has demonstrated commitment to supporting staff and students in making sustainable decisions around material resources use and disposal.
They have introduced a Waste Minimisation Action Plan, which aims to engage the entire University community in achieving resource recovery and waste minimisation objectives. In particular targeting a 25% reduction of landfilled waste by 2025, with a longer-term aspiration to achieve zero waste to landfill.
The University has delivered new buildings with in-built 'deconstructibility' in mind. They also run a Re-Use Program, which lists unwanted furniture suitable for re-use.
The University actively encourages students to participate in achieving positive sustainability outcomes through the Sustainability Integration Program for Students, which provides meaningful opportunities for students to apply their learning to real world sustainability challenges. In turn, this assists the University of Tasmania to have a positive environmental impact on the world and to be a leader in sustainable campus management.
The other three finalists were:
Hydro Tasmania of Hobart introduced Too Good To Waste, a waste minimisation program, revealing that an astonishing 90% of the waste sent to landfills could be diverted through re-use, recycling or composting. Hydro Tasmania introduced new waste streams, including organics, soft plastics and coffee pod recycling. They educate their staff on the waste hierarchy and encourage reusables. They have also partnered with specialty recycling services.
Harvest Launceston Community Farmers' Market is a community hub and food destination that has set several environmental standards in its Charter that support waste minimisation and environmentally friendly initiatives. They introduced the Food Organic Garden Organic (FOGO) bins after identifying that 95% of the market could be composted. They have assigned 'Waste Educators' at each FOGO bin, providing direction, education and advice to marketgoers.
Launceston General Hospital (Food Services Department) runs a Food Waste Recovery Program where they recycle wasted food from the commercial kitchen bins into compost. They are successfully diverting 35 wheelie bins or 1,750 kilograms of food waste from landfills every week. The reduction in methane emissions by composting is equivalent to removing five cars permanently each year. They are also implementing more eco-friendly or compostable packaging.
Neville Smith Forest Products Pty Ltd of Mowbray won the 2020 EPA Sustainability Award for its commitment to cleaner production, waste minimisation and energy efficiency, and demonstrating measurable benefits to the environment and the timber industry through its business innovation and leadership
The Company installed a pellet factory mill at its Mowbray Remount Road site, removing tonnes of timber processing residue from landfill to produce a consumer product of wood pellets (in 15kg bags) for use in pellet heaters, boilers, outdoor fires or barbecues.
The company is diverting a significant waste from timber processing and converting it into a biofuel that burns more efficiently. The timber waste includes dust, off-cuts and sawdust which would otherwise decompose in landfill releasing methane into the environment.
The pellets are burnt at a relatively high temperature in the pellet heating devices, improving efficiency and reducing harmful emissions, delivering both environmental and cost benefits to consumers.
Neville Smith has achieved economic benefits by broadening its revenue base and product portfolio, reducing reliance on the construction industry and improving financial stability. The company has demonstrated leadership in the timber industry, showing the benefits of its approach to business and environmental sustainability, and this is a strategy that can be replicated by other forestry industry stakeholders.
The other three finalists were
Kingborough Council for the use of an asphalt product that incorporates recycled materials. The Kingborough Council has adopted the use of an innovative new asphalt product manufactured by Downer called Reconophalt. Reconophalt incorporates recycled products such as soft plastics, waste toner, recycled asphalt pavement and recycled glass to deliver an improved life for road surfaces by up to three years. During 2020 alone, Kingborough Council helped to divert the following from landfill; 876,316 plastic bags, 355,200 glass bottles and 25,615 printer cartridges creating a saving of approximately 7 Tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. At the end of its life a Reconophalt road surface can be recycled again, contributing to real circular economy outcomes.
The Good Car Company for their work in increasing the affordability of electric cars for individuals and businesses. The Good Car Company of Mount Stuart was created in 2019 to decarbonise transport. They import preowned electric vehicles, reducing the new car price, to provide affordable electric cars to individuals and businesses. They conducted Australia's first Electric Vehicle Bulk-Buy and offer rentals and access to finance to further reduce the cost of driving electric. The Good Car Company has enabled the South Hobart community to reduce tailpipe emissions by 72 tonnes of C02 each year, by taking 24 internal combustion engine vehicles off the roads, resulting in lower climate impact and quieter streets. Used batteries can be recycled, where 99% of the materials can be recovered.
Harvest Launceston Community Farmers Market for the introduction of Food Organic Garden Organic (FOGO) bins and waste education for marketgoers. They are rapidly progressing towards their ambitious goal of 'zero-waste' by 2021. A waste audit identified 95% of all waste generated at a single Harvest market could be composted. Six FOGO bins have been introduced at each market and each bin is managed by designated volunteer 'Waste Educators' who provide direction, education and advice to marketgoers on how to correctly dispose of their rubbish. Since FOGO was introduced at Harvest, 82,320 litres of waste have been diverted to compost. This equates to 98% of Harvest's total waste that would otherwise have been processed as recycling or general landfill.
2019 - Lion Dairy & Drinks of Lenah Valley for its commitment to cleaner production, waste minimisation and environmental sustainability
2018 - Clean Rivers and Fert$mart Partners of Port Sorell for their achievements in protecting and improving water quality on dairy farms around the State
2017 - Hobart City Council for its Waste Management Strategy 2015-30, a blueprint to achieve zero waste to landfill
2016 - Botanical Resources Australia (BRA) and Greenhams Tasmania for their conversion of pyrethrum waste into clean biofuel briquettes as a substitute for coal
2015 - Veolia for its design of a $7 million waste management depot at Sorell
2014 - Hazell Bros Group for their environmental management and rehabilitation at the Leslie Vale Quarry
2013 - Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary for its education and conservation programs promoting caring for wildlife
For more information about the Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards, and how to submit an application for the EPA Sustainability Award, go to the Awards Australia website.