SME finalists announced in sustainability awards

A wool-producing farm that practices sustainability across its operations, a long-standing recycling business that has developed an app to locate and repair timber pallets, and a company that makes innovative reusable takeaway containers have been announced as finalists in the Small and Medium Enterprises category of the 2019 Premier’s Sustainability Awards in Victoria.

E.S.P. or Ethical, Sustainable, Profitable wool production is now a feature of the Finnigan family’s farm, Kia Ora Merino, just north of Warrnambool. The approach pulls together existing data and knowledge, and uses independent consultants to change farm practices such as reducing chemical use, changing genetic selection of sheep, sowing permanent pastures, slowing or stopping runoff into rivers and increasing carbon sequestration. In 2018 Kia Ora Merino, as part of the Fox and Lillie Genneys Group, was accredited under the International Wool Textile Organisation’s Responsible Wool Standard. There is no higher wool quality standard.

Smart Recycling has been operating on a 35-acre former landfill site in Dandenong South for the past 22 years, recycling around one million tonnes of waste. The company has a whole-of-business approach to sustainability. As examples, they have commenced building a state of the art waste sortation facility, make recycled products

and have developed a Smart Pallets App, used by their fleet of collectors to locate timber pallets from building sites all over Victoria, ensuring that pallets are collected efficiently, repaired effectively and returned for re-use.

Meanwhile, retub is a modern reusable takeaway food container that reduces waste in up to three different ways and uses a unique, built-in container exchange program, Reswap. It endeavours to eliminate single-use takeaway food-containers throughout Australia and potentially, overseas, through product and process design with a focus on supply chain and marketing.

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards is one of Victoria’s major sustainability programs, celebrating people working to reduce the impact of climate change and to create a better future for us all.

The interim CEO of Sustainability Victoria, Carl Muller, congratulated finalists for their innovative work, building a more sustainable environment for current and future generations.

“Delivering these Awards means we continue to discover and celebrate the talent and enthusiasm Victorians have for thinking creatively about new models of sustainability,” he said.

Winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony on Thursday 10 October at Forum Melbourne.

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