SME start-up wins Premier’s Sustainability Award

By giving electronic gadgets and products that can be fixed an extended lifecycle, instead of going into landfills, a technology start-up has won the Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Award.

Solvup, Victorian-developed technology that is leading the sustainable retail return movement, has won the Innovative Products or Services category in this year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards.

Return rates of consumer goods – generally electrical products such as laptop computers, smart phones and televisions – are increasing at an alarming rate, largely due to items perceived as faulty but actually being in perfect working order.

Solvup is a cloud-based technology used by retail stores and call centres that improves sustainability outcomes as products that are able to be fixed are given an extended lifecycle, instead of being discarded and replaced, resulting in excessive landfill.

The Small and Medium Enterprises category was won by Yarra Valley Estate for a program that drives sustainability across all operations.

Wedding and conference venue Yarra Valley Estate is aiming to be carbon neutral and fully environmentally restorative within 12 to 24 months, thus achieving zero waste.

They measure their footprint and benchmark operations with EarthCheck. The 120-acre rural property takes a holistic approach in terms of natural habitat and wildlife protection. They grow their own vegetables, are water independent, and source produce and staff locally.

Winters Flat Primary School in Castlemaine won the top honour of the night – the Premier’s Recognition Award – for its program developing sustainability programs that engage not only their school, but their local council, businesses, Indigenous groups and their whole community.

“Each year, we continue to discover the passion Victorians have for protecting their environment and thinking creatively about new sustainable practices,” says CEO of Sustainability Victoria Mr Stan Krpan.

“Our state has an excellent track record of delivering innovative projects that benefit our environment and the community through efficient waste management, resource recovery and new technologies for clean energy. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. Your contributions will have positive long-term effects on our society and our way of life,” said Krpan.

The Premier also chose Bendigo Sustainability Group as winner of the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award for their region-wide program. They are an active and well-connected organisation that brings together a diverse group of stakeholders, empowering their community to drive a range of sustainability programs.

Inside Small Business