Stan Krpan (right) with the Premier’s Recognition Award 2014 winner Neil Blake from Port Phillip EcoCentre

»Sponsored Content» Anyone can claim to be an eco-leader, but for companies, organisations and individuals that become winners of the Premier’s Sustainability Awards, the recognition is proof positive they are ahead of the game.

Entries are now open for the 2015 awards, and according to Sustainability Victoria chief executive, Stan Krpan, there are major advantages for firms in showcasing their achievements at this flagship event.

“These awards are an annual program that aims to engage all Victorians – across both metro and regional areas,” Mr Krpan said.

“The finalists and winners’ stories are shared publicly and used to inspire other Victorians to start thinking about their environmental footprint and impact, and adopt more sustainable measures in their everyday lives.

“Many businesses have grown their presence as a result and inspired others to be innovative and grow towards new products, services or markets. Victorians are reached through a broad range of activities including social and traditional media, and events.”

Entry to the awards is free, and Sustainability Victoria provides support for entrants during the entry process. There are 10 categories, including Built Environment, Community, Environmental Protection, Innovative Products or Services, Large Business, and Small to Medium Enterprises.

Past winners operating within the property sector have included certified B-Corp fitout company Interface Constructions in 2014, RMIT for the Swanston Academic Building in 2013 and Lend Lease in 2012 for the Royal Children’s Hospital project.

“The awards encompass a wide range of sustainability efforts that are represented across Victoria. The awards recognise businesses, institutions, communities, government and individuals who are leading the way in sustainable innovation and practices across areas such as education, health, and environmental justice,” Mr Krpan said.

In terms of the awards, sustainability is viewed from the triple bottom line perspective – incorporating environmental, social and economic aspects.

Mr Krpan said the awards aim to encourage innovation across all categories, and that the judges will be looking for organisations, projects and products that show leadership, a commitment to sustainable practices and notable benefits to the community.

Interface Constructions winners 2014
Interface Constructions winners 2014

“Innovation often comes from diversity and many of the projects involve cross-sector partnerships and collaboration,” he said.

The benefits for firms that succeed in the awards are also multifaceted. They include promotion of the firm to the wider Victorian community; an endorsement of the organisation’s leadership by the Premier, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water and Sustainability Victoria; reinforcement for the organisation’s staff and stakeholders of policies around sustainability; and opportunities to network with industry and like-minded peers.

Now in its 13th year, the awards continue to grow, Mr Krpan said. “In 2014 we received the highest number of entries which demonstrates that the awards are encouraging and supporting leadership in Victoria.”

A free information session for prospective entrants is being held on June 29 from 2pm-4pm at Sustainability Victoria. Participation via video link can be arranged.

Entries close on Monday July 13, and winners will be announced at a gala awards dinner on October 29.

For further information about the awards and to download entry information, go to the Sustainability Victoria website.

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