Victorian Premier's Sustainability Awards 2017 finalists

By Nichola Murphy
Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

The finalists for this year’s Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards have been announced, and two companies recognised as leading the way to a sustainable future in the food industry are eWater Systems and the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.

The 2017 event marks the 15th year of the Premier’s Sustainability Awards, aimed to encourage Victorians to promote sustainability.

In the Innovative Products or Services category, eWater Systems won its place as a finalist due to its development of ‘water-splitting’ technology used to clean environments such as restaurants, hospitals, schools and manufacturing businesses. The technology does not contain any chemicals, which encourages people to use sanitised and toxic-free cleaning techniques.

As a result, eWater Systems’ sustainable alternatives to hazardous and wasteful chemical products prevented seven million litres of chemicals from entering the supply chain and about 10 million plastic containers from being sent to landfill sites in 2016 alone.

The company was ranked in the top 10% of all B Corps in the ‘Best for the World’ Environment category, making them the only recognised Australian business in the Chemicals/Cleaning Products categories. Their nomination is therefore a celebration of their technology’s ability to reduce pollution in the environment.

In the Large Business category, the Grand Hyatt Melbourne has become a finalist as it is the first five-star hotel in Victoria that reduced food waste on-site by installing a Closed Loop Organics Unit.

The technology uses naturally occurring microbes, heat, oxygen and agitation to reduce food waste by up to 90% in 24 hours. In 2016, the technology successfully processed over 39,000 kg of food waste on-site, which produced almost 14,000 kg of compost in its eight months of operating.

Not only could this prevent 49.72 tonnes CO2-e net emissions annually, but by removing food waste from the general waste stream, it is environmentally and economically beneficial as smaller bins are required, and there is decreased contamination and increased recycling rates.

Grand Hyatt is also raising awareness of food waste recycling by conducting site tours and information sessions for staff and members of the hospitality industry.

Stephanie Ziersch, the interim chief executive of Sustainability Victoria, praised the teams for their work towards building a more sustainable environment.

“Delivering these awards each year means we continue to discover the talent and enthusiasm Victorians have for protecting their environment and thinking creatively about new models of sustainability,” she said. “These awards represent Victoria’s highest recognition for sustainability and acknowledge leadership, innovation and achievement. Each finalist should be congratulated for improving sustainable outcomes across business, government and within the community.”

Hosted by media personality Charlie Pickering at the Plaza Ballroom in Melbourne, the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday, 26 October. The Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, will select the winners of the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award and the Premier’s Recognition Award.

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