Finalists announced for Green Ribbon environmental awards

  • Amy Adams
Environment

Environment Minister Amy Adams has today announced the finalists for the annual Green Ribbon Awards, which honour outstanding contributions to protecting New Zealand's environment.

“The variety of organisations, individuals and projects in this year’s nominations demonstrate the diversity of environmental initiatives around New Zealand and the benefits they bring to our country,” Ms Adams says.

Finalists represent community groups, businesses, artists, scientists, local government, agriculture and individuals. Environmental initiatives include waste reduction, supporting native species, recycling, public education, lowering emissions and fuel use, and water conservation.

The finalists will attend an awards ceremony at Parliament on June 5, which is World Environment Day. Winners will be announced in each category, and then an overall supreme winner will be revealed.

Each nomination has been assessed by a panel of judges for significant environmental benefit, measurable and tangible results, innovation, awareness-raising and going the extra mile.

“All the finalists have shown great dedication and initiative. I am looking forward to meeting them and learning first-hand about the great work they are all doing to help New Zealand’s environment.”

There are 11 award categories that recognise individuals, businesses, communities and youth, as well as larger organisations. There were 217 nominations received for the awards, which are being held for the 23rd time.

The finalists are:

Protecting our biodiversity

  • Manawahe Kokako Trust (Whakatane)
  • Rotoroa Island Trust (Auckland)

Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions

  • Auckland War Memorial Museum (Auckland)
  • J. Friend and Co – Artisian Honey (Christchurch)
  • Pryors Apparelmaster (Auckland)

Caring for our water

  • Downer EnviroKayak Sessions (Christchurch)
  • Dr. Mike Joy (Palmerston North)
  • Taranaki Regional Council Riparian Management Programme (Stratford)

Minimising our waste

  • Downer New Zealand and Chorus (Auckland)
  • Green Vision Recycling (Penrose)
  • Yealands Estate – composting programme (Seddon)

Protecting our coasts and oceans

  • Kermadecs Artists (Wellington)
  • Te Korowai o Te Tai O Marokura, Kaikoura Coast Marine Guardians (Kaikoura)
  • The Sustainable Coastlines Charitable Trust (Auckland)

Communication and education

  • Adam Buckingham; Turning Trash into Treasure for Young Children (Auckland)
  • Lincoln Envirotown Trust (Lincoln)
  • The Sustainable Coastlines Charitable Trust (Auckland)

Community leadership

  • The Community Recycling Network (Waiheke Island, Auckland)
  • Lincoln Envirotown Trust (Lincoln)
  • Trees for Canterbury (Christchurch)

Small business leadership

  • House of Travel Auckland City T/A Orbit Corporate Travel (Auckland)
  • Pryors Apparelmaster (Auckland), La Nouva Apparelmaster (New Plymouth), Apparelmaster Christchurch (Christchurch)
  • Stormwater 360 (Auckland)

Large business leadership

  • Downer New Zealand and Chorus (Auckland)
  • O-I New Zealand (Auckland)
  • Yealands Estate (Seddon)

Public sector leadership

  • Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord – Horizons Regional Council (Palmerston North)
  • Otago Regional Council (Dunedin)
  • Taranaki Regional Council Riparian Management Programme (Stratford)

Green economy

  • Fine Particle Application (FPA NZ) (Inglewood)
  • Stormwater 360 (Auckland)
  • Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track ltd (Tuatapere)

Background about the finalists:

Protecting our biodiversity

Manawahe Kokako Trust:

The Manawahe Kokako Trust is a group of volunteers formed in 1988 to save the nationally endangered Kokako. They have carried out pest control on privately owned land in Manawahe, between Lake Rotoma and Matata in the Bay of Plenty, since 1998 to save Kokako and other bird species.

The Trust contributes its energies to protecting the biodiversity in native bush areas on private land primarily through intensive pest control and monitoring.

The Trust has made a significant contribution to enhancing New Zealand’s biodiversity over many years which has led to a huge local increase in numbers of the nationally endangered Kokako from less than 10 to 50.

Their voluntary work has protected wider biodiversity with increases in kereru, bellbird, tui, bush robin and tit. A significant aspect of this programme has been the on-going commitment of volunteers over a long period of time towards the protection of a very special part of New Zealand’s biodiversity.

Rotoroa Island Trust:

The Rotoroa Island Trust has purchased a 99 year lease to restore the natural and built environment of Rotoroa Island in the Hauraki Gulf. Originally a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre operated by the Salvation Army, and still owned by them, the island is now being turned into a conservation park funded by a generous multi-million dollar philanthropic gift.

Since 2008, the Rotoroa Island Trust has developed a strategically-focused programme of integrated animal and plant pest control, native re-vegetation, environmental education, recreation, endangered species management, public recreation and environmental sustainability.

The Trust is taking a holistic and ecosystem based approach to the restoration of biodiversity on Rotoroa Island, incorporating both the cultural and natural environment as intrinsic elements to biodiversity recovery.

There is a strong focus on public education and awareness of biodiversity, biosecurity, and environmental management as well as the social history of the island.

Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions

Auckland war memorial museum – Energy and sustainability initiative:

Established in 1852, the Auckland War Memorial Museum is New Zealand’s first museum, attracting about half a million visitors every year.

In early 2011 the museum became the first museum in the world to achieve CEMARS certification, and has cut its carbon emissions in the past two calendar years by 31 per cent. The museum has also had a waste to landfill reduction of 32 per cent compared to previous year.

The emissions reduction was achieved largely by pushing the building’s existing air conditioning systems to its design limits. The museum has a range of specified environmental conditions for different parts of the museum, according to the requirements of the collection item. Software was specially customised in order to produce these specified variable air flows.

J. Friend and Co NZ – Artisian Honey:

J. Friend and Co is a small New Zealand artisan honey producer and exporter, located in Christchurch.

The company decided from its inception to be carbon-neutral and ethically sound. The company is carboNZero certified not only for its organisation, but for its products as well. This means the emissions associated with the life cycle of its products, including packaging, freight and waste, are managed, reduced and offset. It is one of the first food businesses in New Zealand to achieve this.

Carbon credit payments have been channelled into a wind farm in 2009 and native forest regeneration in 2010-12 and 2013. The latter has added the benefits of enabling native biodiversity to flourish, reducing soil erosion and improving catchment water quality. Another important benefit is that it helps bees with an increase in native nectar sources.

Pyros Apparelmaster:

Family owned and operated in Auckland since 1951, Pryors Apparelmaster offer workwear rental and commercial laundry solutions. Pryors Apparelmaster is part of the national Apparelmaster chain.

Pryors Apparelmaster is actively focused on reducing their emissions and increasing their water-use efficiency. The company has achieved ‘Gold Certification’ following completion of their third annual GHG emissions profile (calculated and produced by InStep).

Strategies adopted by Pryors Apparelmaster include reviewing and refining processes and procedures, striving for minimal use and optimal reuse of water and heat in its plant, and identifying and investing in appropriate technology available locally and globally. This has resulted in a standardised footprint of 0.353kg CO2e/kg laundry – a 14 per cent decrease from the previous year, and increased water consumption efficiency by 15 per cent from the previous year.

Caring for our water

Downer New Zealand - EnviroKayak Sessions:

Downer is a major contractor in the Stronger Christchurch infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT), and is currently undertaking more than $40 million a year of waste water, storm water, road and bridge repairs through to 2016.

Downer has sent more than 80 staff and contractors on an interactive environmental kayak programme, which seeks to raise the environmental awareness of those on its Project Delivery Team. It is hoped that their first-hand experience of a receiving environment they may not otherwise be aware of will positively influence their work, and minimise the adverse environmental effects of their work on the environment.

Downer recognises that this initiative embraces the broader culture of a dynamic and innovative city, as Christchurch rebuilds.

Dr. Mike Joy:

Dr Mike Joy is a Senior Lecturer with the Institute of Agriculture and Environment at Massey University. His teaching and research interests span community ecology, global environmental issues, freshwater ecology and microbial ecology.

Dr Joy is a passionate advocate for environmental protection in New Zealand. He has been highly instrumental in raising public awareness and stimulating conversation across the country about the state of our freshwater.
He has been highly active in ensuring that his research is communicated effectively to influence policies, planning and river management practices across the country.

Dr Joy has been a forthright advocate for improved freshwater quality and has raised public awareness of concerns surrounding the deteriorating trend within some of our freshwater resources.

Taranaki Regional Council - Riparian management programme:

In the early 1990s, the Taranaki Regional Council developed the Taranaki Riparian Management Programme, a voluntary programme to support land owners on the Taranaki ring plain, encouraging participants to fence and replant their riparian margins.

Council land management officers work with individual farmers to prepare riparian plans at no cost. They identify fencing and planting requirements, estimate the cost of the work and develop a programme for implementation. As at June 2012, the Council had prepared 2390 riparian management plans with farmers.

Taranaki Regional Council has gone the extra mile by developing enduring relationships with dairy farmers to understand the best riparian practices for their land. They have shown commitment to addressing a crucial issue for New Zealand – how to ensure our agricultural sector can promote and implement sustainable resource management.

Taranaki Regional Council has also placed high importance on monitoring the impact of this initiative. This will lead to a greater understanding of the effectiveness of these fencing and planting practices, while raising the awareness of their impact across the farming community. This monitoring also generates information which can be used to educate the broader public about river water quality in the region.

Minimising our waste

Downer New Zealand and Chorus Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative:

This nomination is for two companies involved in the national Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) roll-out - Downer NZ and Chorus NZ.

From 2012, these two companies have researched and initiated options for the reduction, re-use and recycling of waste streams arising from the UFB. These initiatives have been so successful they been adopted by other UFB partners.

The project has diverted 17.6 km of HDPE ducting, 972 timber cable drums and bolts, 1000 tonnes of fibre optic offcuts and significant volumes of plastic film packaging and pallets from landfill. The challenging nature of the waste – in particular the fibre optic offcuts and the HPDE ducting—required an innovative approach. Multiple parties are involved, requiring coordination and collaboration.

Downer and Chorus have demonstrated leadership within the UFB rollout project which is beyond the call of duty. The impact of the project on their waste stream is easily measurable and well documented.

Recycling the HPDE duct material has created employment via Abilities Auckland and Abilities Invercargill for people with disabilities

Green Vision Recycling:

Green Vision Recycling provides environmentally-sustainable engineering solutions in the construction and infrastructure sector. It was formed as a joint venture initiative by Hiway Stabilisers, John Fillmore contracting and Downer NZ in 2011.

Green Vision promotes the recovery and reuse of aggregate materials such as asphalt, topsoil and crushed concrete. Prior to the establishment of this business much of the recovered material went to landfill.

These materials are salvaged from waste streams such as those from infrastructure projects and re-processed through specialised techniques into quality new product. In 2012 Green Vision recycled and sold 54,000 tonnes of material. The business has had to be innovative to develop new products to guarantee performance against those from virgin stock.

The Christchurch earthquake has highlighted the need for businesses such as this, where high performance materials for infrastructure projects are produced from what otherwise would be waste.

Yealands Estate Wines - Composting programme:

Yealands was founded with the goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable wine producer and describes itself as ‘a showcase for sustainable design, green technology, innovation and a culture of continuous improvement’

The company produces more than 10,000 tonnes of compost annually. Use of this compost returns nutrients to the soil and aids in water retention, while decreasing the volume of waste from a number of Marlborough industries going to landfill

Yealands has coordinated with a number of Marlborough industries, including aquaculture and forestry, to make use of their waste in their composting program. With increasing participation from the district the volume of compost will increase to 25000 tonnes this year.

Protecting our coasts and oceans

Kermadecs Artists:

In May 2011, nine artists travelled with scientists to the Kermadecs region on the Royal New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Otago.

The artists produced works reflecting their experience in the Kermadecs, focusing on the environmental attributes and pressures facing this relatively untouched region. The work has since been widely exhibited, and the artists have shared their experience with communities across the Pacific.

On the state of the ocean, profiles work of scientists, and encourages support for further research. The resulting art works use non-scientific languages to convey awareness and understanding of environmental issues within New Zealand and across the Pacific that might otherwise be overlooked.

Te Korowai o Te Tai O Marokura, Kaikoura Coast Marine Guardians:

The Kaikoura Coast Marine Guardians brings together stakeholders along the Kaikoura coastline between the Waiau and Clarence rivers as well as central and local government and non-governmental organisations.

The guardians have developed an integrated strategy for the management of the Kaikoura Coast. The strategy aims to sustain customary practice via Mātaitai and Rāhui; protect the marine environment by seeking world heritage status, an integrated land & sea management, and the creation of marine mammal sanctuary and marine reserve; and maintaining fish abundance.

The Kaikoura Guardians have demonstrated a strong commitment toward sustainable environmental management for the Kaikoura region, by bringing together interested parties to collaboratively develop a pragmatic strategy that integrates cultural, environmental and economic interests.

The Sustainable Coastlines charitable trust:

Sustainable Coastlines is a young, dynamic and multi-award winning New Zealand charity run by four full time staff, who administer a wide network of volunteers with the aim to protect and sustain coastlines around New Zealand and the Pacific. The trust has a specific focus on promoting coastal waste minimisation.

Communication and education

Adam Buckingham – Turning trash into treasure for young children:

Adam Buckingham is an author and an early childhood teacher. He presents professional development workshops in New Zealand and overseas, forging links with like-minded people in other countries, on reusing solid waste materials.

Adam has designed and made innovative equipment for young children from solid waste..

This project has diverted waste from landfill and linked people from the wider community to the early childhood environment, knowing that they are contributing their solid waste to be transformed into something useful.

This organisation encourages creative thinking around waste management, and instils a positive environmental ethos in children from a young age.

Lincoln Envirotown Trust:

Lincoln Envirotown Trust is dedicated to fostering a community-owned process for sustainability in Lincoln. As the town grows, the trust promotes its long-term sustainability with the understanding that this incorporates social, cultural and economic matters. The trust is involved in myriad issues, including water quality in waterways such as Liffey Stream, energy use in homes, planning, ecosystem health and biodiversity, food security and waste reduction. The Trust has helped establish six other envirotowns in the Selwyn District.

Lincoln Envirotown Trust engages across all sectors of the community, covering a broad spectrum of issues to encourage public participation and instil community empowerment at all age levels across diverse backgrounds. Their aim is to provide a platform for community-owned processes for sustainability

It has engaged local schools, businesses and other stakeholders in local and international sustainability issues, and demonstrated a positive impact on behaviours.

The Sustainable Coastlines charitable trust:

Sustainable Coastlines is a young, dynamic and multi-award winning New Zealand charity run by four full time staff, who administer a wide network of volunteers with the aim to protect and sustain coastlines around New Zealand and the Pacific. The trust has a specific focus on promoting coastal waste minimisation.

Community leadership

Lincoln Envirotown Trust:

Lincoln Envirotown Trust is dedicated to fostering a community-owned process for sustainability in Lincoln. As the town grows, the trust promotes its long-term sustainability with the understanding that this incorporates social, cultural and economic matters. The trust is involved in myriad issues, including water quality in waterways such as Liffey Stream, energy use in homes, planning, ecosystem health and biodiversity, food security and waste reduction. The Trust has helped establish six other envirotowns in the Selwyn District.

Lincoln Envirotown Trust engages across all sectors of the community, covering a broad spectrum of issues to encourage public participation and instil community empowerment at all age levels across diverse backgrounds. Their aim is to provide a platform for community-owned processes for sustainability

It has engaged local schools, businesses and other stakeholders in local and international sustainability issues, and demonstrated a positive impact on behaviours.

The Community Recycling Network:

The Community Recycling Network is a national network of community enterprises working together to create warm homes, strong communities and a healthy environment.

The network supports and represents organisations around the country that are working towards zero waste. Its commitment is to provide opportunities to reduce waste, create new jobs, and strengthen communities.

Trees for Canterbury:

Trees for Canterbury is a well-established community organisation, which has been operating for 22 years cultivating native plants for community plantings and re-vegetation projects using plants eco-sourced from local areas.
Trees for Canterbury has grown and donated more than 750,000 native plants at no cost to the community for re-vegetation.

Every year, Trees for Canterbury plants and donates directly to the community 45,000 eco-sourced native plants.

Small business leadership

Apparelmaster Christchurch
La Nouva Apparelmaster
Pyros Apparelmaster

These independently owned businesses are part of the national Apparelmaster chain of laundries.

These industrial laundry businesses in Auckland, Taranaki and Christchurch have focussed on minimising their environmental impact by tracking and reducing carbon emissions, water usage and other environmental impacts across their businesses.

The Apparelmaster laundries have shown industry leadership by tracking and documenting carbon emissions, water usage and other measures, then implementing measures to reduce their impact on the environment. Each business has reduced its energy and water consumption per kg of laundry.

The Apparelmaster laundries have taken a business-wide view of sustainability and reduced their environmental impacts, with tangible results. They show how established businesses can become more sustainable.

House of Travel Auckland City T/A Orbit Corporate Travel:

This is the Auckland office of a national chain of corporate travel agencies.

Orbit Auckland has a sustainability policy which has resulted in clear and measurable reductions in waste and carbon emissions. They have informed and educated their staff and customers about travel-related sustainability.

The company has taken an overall view of sustainability and implemented measures to reduce its impact on the environment. It has also raised awareness among customers, including providing carbon emission reporting.

Orbit Auckland has shown industry leadership by reducing emissions and waste over five years. Tangible results include halving emissions while increasing business by 33 per cent.

Orbit Corporate Travel Auckland was certified 100% carbon neutral through Landcare’s carboNZero programme in 2008.

Stormwater360:

Stormwater360 offers products to manage storm water.

Using overseas technology as a basis, Stormwater360 designed, grew and installed the green roof for the barrel store at Mt Difficulty vineyard in central Otago, a focussed and effective solution to a small but important environmental issue.

Large business leadership

Downer New Zealand and Chorus Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative:

This nomination is for two companies involved in the national Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) roll-out: Downer NZ and Chorus NZ.

From 2012, these two companies have researched and initiated options for the reduction, re-use and recycling of waste streams arising from the UFB. These initiatives have been so successful they been adopted by other UFB partners.

The project has diverted 17.6 km of HDPE ducting, 972 timber cable drums and bolts, 1000 tonnes of fibre optic offcuts and significant volumes of plastic film packaging and pallets from landfill. The challenging nature of the waste – in particular the fibre optic offcuts and the HPDE ducting - required an innovative approach. Multiple parties are involved, requiring coordination and collaboration

Downer and Chorus have demonstrated leadership within the UFB rollout project which is beyond the call of duty. The impact of the project on their waste stream is easily measurable and well documented.

O-I New Zealand Ltd:

O-I New Zealand is the only glass manufacturer in the country.

Since glass recycling was first initiated in 1973, O-I NZ has diverted more than 1.6 million tonnes of glass from landfill..

O-I NZ has worked with local government and the waste recovery sector to increase consumer awareness of the principles of glass waste recovery, where recovery is not just about volume, but also lack of contamination. Manufacturing processes have been continuously improved to increase efficiency of waste glass re-capture. For example, due to advances in technology, window glass is now used in container manufacture.

Yealands Estate Wines:

Yealands was founded with the goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable wine producer and describes itself as ‘a showcase for sustainable design, green technology, innovation and a culture of continuous improvement’

Vineyard plantings commenced in the early 2000s, while the winery started production in 2008. Throughout its development, Yealands has targeted the major sources of carbon emissions and is four times more energy efficient than the industry standard

Initiatives include replacing LPG with vine prunings; production and use of compost from industrial waste sourced through Marlborough industries; reduction of diesel consumption through the use of sheep to mow grass and powering tractors with hydrogen generators.

Public sector leadership

Horizons Regional Council - Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord

The 34 signatories to the Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord have committed to action to clean up the Manawatu River.

Faced with criticism that the Manawatu River was “the worst in the Western world”, leaders from a wide range of communities established the Accord in 2010, to clean up the river.

Addressing the problems present in the Manawatu catchment will require considerable effort over a number of years. The Accord helps by achieving agreement from a diverse range of communities on this difficult and contentious issue, identifying their common interest in the health of the river. An action plan is being implemented and water quality monitored to assess results.

Otago Regional Council

Improving air quality throughout the Otago region has been a priority for the Otago Regional Council.

The Otago Regional Council has adopted a strategy of encouraging “best practicable technology” for new and renewing discharge-to-air-consents. Working in conjunction with industrial and commercial interests has resulted in emitters reducing, or committing to reduce, several tonnes of PM10 over the last six years.

The Otago Regional Council identified a specific problem, and dealt with it in a way that got stakeholder buy-in to achieve results. The strategy has already produced results, with further improvements in air quality expected.

Taranaki Regional Council - Riparian Management Programme

In the early 1990s, the Taranaki Regional Council developed the Taranaki Riparian Management Programme, a voluntary programme to support land owners on the Taranaki ring plain, encouraging participants to fence and replant their riparian margins.

Council land management officers work with individual farmers to prepare riparian plans at no cost. They identify fencing and planting requirements, estimate the cost of the work and develop a programme for implementation. As at June 2012, the Council had prepared 2390 riparian management plans with farmers.

Taranaki Regional Council has gone the extra mile by developing enduring relationships with dairy farmers to understand the best riparian practices for their land. They have shown commitment to addressing a crucial issue for New Zealand – how to ensure our agricultural sector can promote and implement sustainable resource management.

Taranaki Regional Council has also placed high importance on monitoring the impact of this initiative. This will lead to a greater understanding of the effectiveness of these fencing and planting practices, while raising the awareness of their impact across the farming community. This monitoring also generates information which can be used to educate the broader public about river water quality in the region.

Green Economy

Fine Particle Application (FPANZ)

Fine Particle Application (FPA) has been operating for 25 years, beginning in Taranaki and now operating nationwide. They created the FPA method and technology for applying fertiliser products for helicopter operations and had turned it into a thriving business. To expand their market they have adapted their existing technology to ground-spread applications.

FPA has addressed fertiliser nutrient loss associated with current fertiliser systems by developing an application technology which captures fertiliser nutrient that would have been lost to the environment and redirects that nutrient to the plant and root zone. This has resulted in extra grass growth at a rate of 10kgs per kg of nutrient applied. A patent application has been made and accepted for this technology, which is in its later stages of completion.

This innovation will contribute to better economic performance, add value to our export industry, and enable farmers to move towards a low carbon economy.

Stormwater360

Stormwater360 offers products to manage storm water.

Using overseas technology as a basis, Stormwater360 designed, grew and installed the green roof for the barrel store at Mt Difficulty vineyard in central Otago, a focussed and effective solution to a small but important environmental issue.

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Limited

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Ltd is the private operator of the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track, located on Department of Conservation land.

The Hump Ridge Track is located in Tuatapere, Southland. It is the only privately operated walking track on DOC land. Associated with the track, are initiatives and programmes aimed at reducing people’s impact on the environment. Core environmental issues that are addressed include energy efficiency, waste management, water conservation, and conservation initiatives.

It addresses multiple environmental issues and is a community-based initiative. The model is easily replicable, and illustrates really well the adoption of practices that are available to every single person (such lights off when not in use, full washing loads using cold water).