The EPA congratulates Clean Rivers and Fert$mart Partners of Port Sorell who won this year's EPA Sustainability Award for their achievements in protecting and improving water quality on dairy farms around the State.
The EPA Sustainability Award acknowledges businesses that have developed and implemented cleaner production initiatives, delivering a measurable improvements in pollution prevention, energy efficiency, water conservation, waste minimisation and/or resource efficiency.
Clean Rivers and FertSmart Partners received the EPA Sustainability Award at a Gala Dinner on Friday 23 November at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, where the winners and finalists of nine separate categories in the Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards were acknowledged.
Around 400 guests gathered from across the State, including the Patron of the Awards, The Hon Will Hodgman MP Premier to celebrate Tasmania's community achievers, contributors and sponsors.
Chair of the EPA Board, Mr Warren Jones presented the Sustainability Award to Clean Rivers and FertSmart Partners, acknowledging their collaboration with DairyTas, farmers, industry and NRM Tasmania on a range of practical projects aimed at protecting and improving water quality.
“These include Clean Rivers and Cows out of Creeks projects which involved 137 farmers, resulting in increased effluent storage volumes and extended effluent irrigation areas," he said.
“As well 200 farms have completed Fert$mart plans for best practice management of fertiliser and effluent," said Mr Jones.
Clean Rivers and Fert$mart Partners won the EPA Sustainability Award from a large field of nominees this year and were amongst three finalists showcased at the presentation evening, including Tas Alkaloids and Plasticwise Taroona.
Tasmanian Alkaloids of Westbury was a close runner-up and is one of the businesses regulated by the EPA. It is a fully integrated manufacturer of controlled substances providing alkaloid raw materials from poppies grown in Tasmania. Recent manufacturing innovations have resulted in significant environmental improvements in waste reduction and raw material consumption. Innovations in 2017 resulted in a 100 percent reduction in offsite disposal of flammable waste solvent, a 90 percent reduction in offsite disposal of aqueous process waste and a 35 percent reduction of raw material solvent purchases per unit production.
Plasticwise Taroona of Hobart was selected as a finalist as a not for profit community organisation reducing plastic waste with over 2,000 hours of volunteer time being used. They have run over 20 beeswax-wrap making workshops in schools and crowdfunded $6,000 to subsidise further workshops. They created Tasmania's first 'bag library', providing retailers with 1,500 handmade reusable cloth bags, made from donated, recycled materials. Customers who forget bags, can borrow a bag and return it later.
Mr Jones said that the judges were impressed with the high number of applications for the Sustainability Award this year.
“There were many excellent projects amongst the 27 submissions that were deserving of recognition but didn't make it into the top three," he said.
Apart from the three finalists, the top 10 included:
- Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub, which has demonstrated significant reduction of diesel use and associated carbon emissions by using solar and wind energy
- Morrison and Breytenbach Architects for the Sustainability Learning Centre, which received 6 Star Green Star Certification
- Resource Work Co-Op with sustainability and waste reduction principles at the heart of the centre
- Eco Home Guide, a community focussed project, which aims at sustainability outcomes for home builders and owners
- Recovery (Tas), the Glenorchy Tipshop, with 25 years of achievements
- City of Launceston, a voluntary food and garden organic waste collection initiative, and
- Norske Skog for the installation of a heat recovery system on one of the pulp manufacturing lines, which generates 20 tonnes per hour of clean steam.