Award winners and presenters celebrate the 2018 awards.

First State Super’s first-ever “war on waste” challenge to teach staff to curb office waste has won the not-for-profit superannuation fund the Signatory of the Year (over 2000 square metres) award at this year’s National CitySwitch Awards.

As part of the campaign, all 500 or so employees had to make a pledge to undertake a sustainable action and commit to the cause for at least six weeks.

Sydney hosted both the NSW and national awards this year at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour on 27 November 2018.

Emma Keating and Zoe Heath accept the National Signatory of the Year over 2000sqm award with Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore

The annual CitySwitch Awards recognise the work organisations around the nation have done to reduce energy use, slash carbon emissions and stop waste going to landfill.

Last year’s winner of the Signatory of the Year over 2000 square metres award, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, was highly commended for the award, as was TSA Group. CBA also won the NSW award in this category.

The Signatory of the Year with a smaller office footprint, under 2000 square metres, was awarded to Steensen Varming. The company also won the NSW award in the same category.

Michael Harrold (Steensen Varming associate director) recognised the hard work of the green team.

The national judges were particularly impressed with the company’s commitment to fostering a vertical community within their building.

The CitySwitch Partnership of the Year award went to Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP): a group of local governments, cultural institutions, universities and corporations that have collectively purchased renewable energy from a new wind farm at Crowlands, which is less than three hours drive from Melbourne.

Susan Smith and Jenni Walker accept the National New Signatory of the Year award with City of Port Phillip Deputy Mayor Dick Gross.

The New Signatory of the Year Award went to Catholic Church Insurance, which established a ”Green Team” earlier this year.

The national program represents nearly 600 organisations and around 15 per cent of office space nationally, according to CitySwitch national project leader Esther Bailey speaking at the event.

This amounts to a million people and billions of dollars of spending power, she said.

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