Clean energy solutions, zero emissions initiatives, community projects and sustainable communities were some of the entries that stood out at the Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2021 announced recently.

Now in their 19th year, Premier’s Sustainability Awards recognise Victorians across the state who have demonstrated leadership and innovation in sustainable practices. The 2021 awards were presented by The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change.

Acknowledging the outstanding calibre of entries received, Sustainability Victoria chief executive officer, Claire Ferres Miles says: “We received inspiring entries for this year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards across multiple sectors and industries, and our 2021 winners are role models for all Victorians and across Australia.”

“Sustainability Victoria is proud to be showcasing the extraordinary achievements of Victoria’s innovators, as together we accelerate our transition to a circular, climate-resilient clean economy.”

Winners of the 2021 Premier’s Sustainability Awards:

Premier’s Recognition Award

The Nature Conservancy Australia won the award for the ‘Bringing Back Victoria’s Lost Oyster Reefs’ project to improve one of Victoria's most prized assets – Port Phillip Bay. More than 40 volunteers from 16 different groups helped to restore one hectare of native oyster reef in Corio Bay and test a new method for reef restoration.

Simon Branigan, oceans program operations manager, Nature Conservancy Australia, said: “These awards are an acknowledgement of how through collaborative partnerships, we can achieve terrific outcomes that will make a real difference for nature and people and inspire us to do more and more.”

Premier’s Regional Recognition Award

The winner was Macedon Ranges Shire Council’s Healthy Landscapes for Healthy Livestock project, which aims to build the capacity of local farmers to implement regenerative agriculture techniques to improve soil health, enhance biodiversity and boost resilience to a changing climate, resulting in 100% of participants changing land management practices.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council Mayor Cr Jennifer Anderson said: “Winning the Premier’s Choice Regional Recognition Award is a credit to all landowners in our Shire who are involved in the Healthy Landscapes project and seeking to implement regenerative agriculture practices. Council supports increasing sustainable farming practices and we value the landowner’s commitment to making a positive change to improve soil, water and biodiversity while maintaining a productive property.”

Other winners

Clean, affordable, and secure energy

  • Community Champion: Black Stump Technologies
  • Industry Leader: Allume Energy

Climate action

  • Community Champion: Brentwood Secondary College
  • Industry Leader: The Cape

Healthy environment

  • Community Champion: First Friends of Dandenong Creek
  • Industry Leader: The Nature Conservancy Australia

Social and economic justice

  • Community Champion: Yarra Valley ECOSS
  • Industry Leader: Melbourne Water, Aqua Metro Services, and Wara Paring Civil Construction

Sustainable places

  • Community Champion: Yarra Valley ECOSS
  • Industry Leader: Cardinia Shire Council

Waste reduction and the circular economy

  • Community Champion: Jo Algie, Advanced Life Support (ALS) Paramedic and Team Manager of Ambulance Victoria
  • Industry Leader: OzHarvest

More information and profiles of the winners here.