Plumber Brent Papadopolous, a winner at the Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards

Five star performers were last month rewarded by the Victorian Government’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards. They included:

  • Maverick plumber, Brent Papadopolous who swam  against the tide of  sceptical friends in 2002 when he started Sustainable Plumbing Solutions. Today, the company is a leading designer and installer of water-saving technology and has worked on the “Solar Systems” research and development plant at Bridgewater, near Bendigo, a showcase for new solar-hydrogen technology.
  • Credit union mecu Limited, for its programs that include GoGreen car loans, which offer lower interest rate for greener vehicles and home loans with special repayment provisions for borrowers installing features such as rainwater tanks and solar panels. Its recent purchase of a property in Victoria’s Wimmera region, containing prime conservation habitat for the South-Eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, offers a Biodiversity Offset on home loans for new buildings: if any land is cleared for construction, mecu re-plants an equivalent area.
  • Yarra Valley Water for its 2006 research project with RMIT University and CSIRO on water and sewerage servicing for new developments. The research compared alternative servicing options such as recycled water, rainwater tanks and greywater recycling, with traditional centralised servicing. It found alternative servicing options could produce better environmental outcomes. In 2008, the project won an International Water Association prize for research excellence.
  • Bentleigh West Primary School, which won for its Frogs and turtles roaming the school grounds, a wetland, a dry forest, a vegie patch, a full-time environmental science coordinator and its yearly sustainability expo, where it shows off passive heating and cooling, ceiling fans, solar panels, water tanks, worm farms and recycling.
  • Lend Lease’s The Guage in Docklands, for its all round sustainability features