2011 Green Ribbon Award finalists

2011 Green Ribbon Awards logo. The finalists of the 2011 Green Ribbon Awards are listed below.

 Finalists by category:

Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions

Kaikoura District Council

Kaikoura District Council has taken active steps to develop and implement programmes that reduce greenhouse gas levels in collaboration with its community. Zero Waste initiatives have achieved high levels of solid waste and organics diversion from landfill, which is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Trees for Travellers programme lets visitors to Kaikoura offset their travel-related carbon emissions by planting native trees.

Kaikoura District Council has also gained third party certification from Communities for Climate Protection and Earthcheck by developing measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Council operations and from the community.

 

Redvale Energy Park

Redvale landfill in Auckland, run by Transpacific Industries, has developed several innovative greenhouse gas management solutions to increase the utilisation of landfill gas as a valuable resource. This has lead to the development of the Redvale Energy Park at the landfill site.

The landfill gas being extracted from the site is processed and utilised in a number of ways, including for electricity generation, heating neighbouring greenhouses, onsite evaporation of landfill leachate, and the production of biofuel for use in refuse collection trucks. Rather than simply flaring landfill gas, significant investment has gone into utilising the gas to achieve quantifiable environmental benefits for the greater Auckland area. The generation of electricity from Redvale Energy Park powers the equivalent of 11,000 homes.

 

Wellington City Council, 2010 Climate Change Action Plan

Wellington City Council’s 2010 Climate Change Action Plan sets out how the city will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deal with the likely impacts of climate change. The plan contains specific actions across seven sectors: adaptation, buildings and energy, transport, waste, forestry, council operations, and aviation.  Many actions are already underway, including:

  • the introduction of production electric vehicles into Wellington
  • assessing the vulnerability of the city to impacts from climate change
  • programmes to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency in homes and businesses, and
  • monitoring to track changes in emissions.

The Council recognises that it cannot carry out this work alone, and is taking an active collaborative approach involving all sectors of the community in the process.

 


Caring for our water

NZ Landcare Trust

The NZ Landcare Trust has been working with New Zealand communities for the last 15 years to engage private land owners in environmental protection and improvement. Some of their achievements include improving farm management in the Waikato to help restore rare shallow peat lakes, and working with government, communities and iwi to improve water quality and reduce erosion in the Kamai catchment, Bay of Plenty. NZ Landcare Trust have also undertaken a large scale community water resource management project based on the Upper Taieri River in Otago, to help water users manage their own water allocation and maintain water quality. The work of the Trust has significantly contributed to improvements in freshwater management across the country, and their long term focus ensures that the benefits of their work will continue well into the future.

 

Sherry River Catchment Group

The Sherry River Story documents the community based environmental action that the Sherry River Catchment Group has undertaken in the Tasman-Nelson region over the past 10 years.  The booklet, developed with the help of the NZ Landcare Trust, describes the challenges faced, and the actions that were taken to improve water quality across all land uses in an intensively farmed sub-catchment of the Motueka River. It is now available as a resource for other communities facing similar issues around catchment management and restoration.  The group demonstrates the tremendous benefits of local communities taking ownership of their environmental problems. 

 

South Taranaki District Council

South Taranaki District Council has introduced smart water metering to improve efficiencies in water use and identify water loss in constrained catchments. The metering allows the Council to accurately measure water use taking remote meter readings. The Council is now able to inform farms in detail about water that is being wasted on their property, thereby improving the efficient use of water and in many cases providing financial savings for the property owners.

Water allocation is a key issue for New Zealand, and the South Taranaki District Council has found an innovative technological solution to improve water management in their district.

 


Minimising our waste

Conscious Consumers

Conscious Consumers is an incentive scheme for cafes in Wellington to reduce waste, recycle and use biodegradable packaging.  Cafes are awarded various badges which can be put on display for demonstrating a commitment to environmentally and socially responsible business practice. The scheme means consumers can make an informed choice about where to buy their coffee. Twenty-two cafes in the Wellington region and fourty-eight businesses that supply goods and services to cafes are involved in the scheme. The scheme is now expanding into Auckland and the Waikato. By encouraging and rewarding good business practices, Conscious Consumers is helping to reduce waste and raise awareness of waste issues.

 

Eco Stock Supplies

Eco Stock Supplies is making a difference in waste minimisation by turning food waste into a high quality food product for livestock. Eco Stock Supplies collect food waste from processors, retailers, importers, and transport companies, and instead of going to landfill, it is processed into high-quality stock food at their plant in South Auckland. Eco Stock Supplies currently service the upper North Island, and in the past 12 months they have diverted 25,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill. Eco Stock Supplies are an example of an innovative commercial operation helping to minimise waste for measurable environmental benefits.

Ilminster Intermediate School’s Green Team

Ilminster Intermediate School has initiated an entertaining and engaging new programme to educate children on waste issues. The school’s “Green Team” delivers environmentally themed performances to around 4000 of Gisborne district students each year. The programme has been running for eight years, is supported by the Gisborne District Council, and plays a large part in the area’s waste education programme. The Green Team is an excellent example of how young people can teach other young people about waste issues, and the support from the Council, schools, students, and parents is helping Gisborne to achieve its waste minimisation goals.

 


Protecting our coasts and oceans

Island Bay Coast Care

Island Bay Coast Care is a community volunteer group, supported by Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council and the wider community, working to restore remnants of a threatened coastal ecosystem on the Wellington coastline. Since 2003 the group has planted approximately 20,000 native plants. This, combined with the hard work of weed removal, has seen a total restoration of the fore dune of Island Bay and protection of the threatened pingao grass beds. The coastal ecosystem is now flourishing in what was once a a wilderness of exotic weeds.

 

Rosie Doole

Rosie Doole has used her knowledge and skills in dune ecology and volunteer management to help with the restoration and revegetation of Petone Beach in Wellington. Rosie was a key contributor to the success of the Petone Beach dune restoration project. The high level of community involvement and the volunteer education that Rosie fostered has lead to increased biodiversity, the reintroduction of native species and a reduction in sand blow-out onto nearby properties. Rosie’s hard work and belief in the power of people has made a real difference to improving Wellington’s harbour coasline.

 

Sustainable Coastlines Incorporated

Sustainable Coastlines are making a real difference to New Zealand’s coasts and oceans. They improve the coastal environment through beach and coast clean ups, removing debris and rubbish that poses a risk to coastal and marine flora and fauna, as well as human health. They also educate people and raise awareness about how to look after our coastlines. In only two years of operations, they have motivated more than 12,000 people to remove over 95 tonnes of rubbish from the coast.  Sustainable Coastlines work with a large number of volunteers from all areas of the community, and have developed online tools  for other groups to use which have lead to 17 other clean up events in New Zealand since December. They are a group committed to protecting New Zealand’s coasts and oceans.

 

Community action for the environment: young people

 

Brittany Packer

19 year-old Brittany Packer has been advocating for environmental issues since she was 13 years old. Some of her exceptional achievements include attending the United Nations Children’s World Summit for the Environment in Japan in 2005, and being selected for the New Zealand Youth Delegation to the International Conferences on Climate Change in Copenhagen in 2009 and Cancun 2010. Brittany was also instrumental in founding Green Teens, who earned second place at the Volvo UNEP Adventure Awards in 2007 for successfully lobbying against plastic bag use in Nelson. Brittany has a strong passion for environmental issues, and has brought this passion to her work with organisations such as the Sir Peter Blake Trust, Enviroschools, Forest and Bird, Soroptimists, and the World Wildlife Fund.  Her personal drive and commitment has helped to raise the profile of environmental issues and how young people are making a difference both locally and internationally.

 

Ilminster Intermediate School’s Green Team

Ilminster Intermediate School has initiated an entertaining and engaging new programme to educate children on waste issues. The school’s “Green Team” delivers environmentally themed performances to around 4000 of Gisborne district students each year. The programme has been running for eight years, is supported by the Gisborne District Council, and plays a large part in the area’s waste education programme. The Green Team is an excellent example of how young people can teach other young people about waste issues, and the support from the Council, schools, students, and parents is helping Gisborne to achieve its waste minimisation goals.

 

Roseanna Gamlen-Greene

18 year-old Roseanna Gamlen-Greene has a passion for the environment and her local area of Christchurch. It was this passion that inspired her to start an inter-school group called ‘Youth River Action Christchurch’ (YRAC). YRAC aims to improve the quality of Christchurch’s rivers by tackling issues of storm water and river pollution. Roseanna has worked with 13 schools and their wider community groups to undertake lunchtime clean ups promoting river stewardship. YRAC also collaborates with and supports other groups’ projects. In May 2010 Roseanna organised a one-day Avon River clean up event attended by over 100 people. YRAC is helping grow young leaders who are passionate about the environment, and is empowering them to make a difference.

 

Community action for the environment: volunteers and not-for-profit organisations

 

Denise La Grouw

Denise La Grouw is a community volunteer from Rotorua who, for the past 10 years, has worked to improve the environment and communities around Lake Rotorua. Denise has been involved in the restoration of local wetlands, the development of an organic community food garden and orchard and the facilitation of environmental community events. Denise’s actions have helped to improve water quality in Lake Rotorua, increase awareness and active participation in home composting, and provide education, empowerment and inspiration to individuals so that they may take active personal responsibility for their local environment. Denise is an example of how individual action can make a positive difference to the environment.

 

Mana Recovery

Mana Recovery is a not-for-profit organisation based in Porirua, Wellington that supports people with mental health needs, with a sustainability focus. They operate the Trash Palace Resource Recovery Centre at Porirua landfill. With support from the Porirua City Council, Trash Palace diverts waste from landfill for reuse or recycling, and houses a metal and e-waste recycling facility, diverting over 1500 tonnes of waste a year from landfill. Mana Recovery also run school education programmes advocating the five Rs - rethink, reduce, reuse, recover, and recycle.  Mana Recovery is a clear leader in sustainable social enterprise. They have a strong waste minimisation and sustainability focus and provide a social, economic and environmental benefit in partnership with the local community.

 

Tuhoe Putaiao Charitable Trust

The Tuhoe Putaiao Charitable Trust has been carrying out environmental protection work in the Bay of Plenty for many years in collaboration with the Department of Conservation, local iwi, the Regional Council and forestry operators. The Trust has been instrumental in the restoration of wetlands and indigenous forests through pest trapping and native flora and fauna protection. The partnerships and cooperation they have fostered means they are now a resource for advice and information on conservation for the other Marae within their valley. The Tuhoe Putaiao Charitable Trust is demonstrating conservation leadership in the Bay of Plenty leading to lasting environmental and social benefits.

 

Environment in the media

 

Emma Heke

Emma Heke wrote, filmed, edited, directed and produced the OURS New Zealand Nature DVD for children. The DVD, released in April 2009, teaches children about conservation, sustainability and environmental care and has been screened by TVNZ, SKY and Air New Zealand. The DVD covers 55 topics, ranging from waste minimisation to biodiversity and conservation. It gets children to think about environmental care and introduces them the wildlife of New Zealand. Emma has sought to share her love of the environment with a young audience and provide them with information they can carry for the rest of their lives.

 

Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival

The Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival, based in the Manawatu, is a global competition for film with a nature and environmental focus.  Reel Earth selects among hundreds of new films entered annually, and has had over 20,000 participants since 2004.  The Festival, supported by Palmerston North City Council, MWH and Massey University, leverages New Zealand’s global reputation in film and environment, creating a destination event for film makers. Reel Earth aims to motivate, inspire, educate and empower people to create excellent film, and to take action in their lives and communities that will protect and improve our environment.

Small businesses making a difference

 

CEMIX Ltd

CEMIX Ltd is an innovative New Zealand construction products manufacturer that has developed a concrete product called Envirocrete using 50% recycled materials from construction and demolition waste. The development of Envirocrete has resulted in the diversion of C&D waste from landfill, and has reduced the need for quarrying of virgin aggregates for concrete mixes. A similar product was recognised for its innovation at an Industry Conference in the USA in 2010. CEMIX Ltd is a prime example of a New Zealand small business leading the way internationally to drive sustainable practices in their industry.

 

Eco Stock Supplies

Eco Stock Supplies is a small business making a difference in waste minimisation by turning food waste into a high quality food product for livestock. Eco Stock Supplies collect food waste from processors, retailers, importers, and transport companies, and instead of going to landfill, it is processed into high-quality stock food at their plant in South Auckland. Eco Stock Supplies currently services the upper North Island, and in the past 12 months has diverted 25,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill. Eco Stock Supplies is an example of an innovative small scale commercial operation helping to minimise waste for measurable environmental benefits.

 

Seat Renew Global Ltd

Seat Renew Global Ltd has developed an innovative method for restoring worn out plastic stadium seating. Stadium seating can have a short life span, sometimes as little as two years.  Hundreds of thousands of plastic stadium seats are replaced each year, requiring recycling or disposal in landfills.  The Seat Renew process returns seats to near new condition, significantly lengthening their lifespan and reducing the need for seat disposal and replacement. Other forms of stadium cleaning can involve high water volume use. Seat Renew uses a very low volume of water (about 15ml per seat) and no harmful by-products are generated. Restoration means that seats can continue to be used for longer, with economic and environmental benefits.

Environmentally responsible large organisations

 

Downer NZ

Downer NZ provides engineering and infrastructure management services to customers operating in  the  resource, water, energy, transport, communications and social infrastructure sectors, in Australia, New Zealand, Asia-Pacific and the UK. Downer is setting an example in environmental responsibility by implementing a wide ranging environmental sustainability programme across the company operations in New Zealand. Downer’s initiatives focus on education, reduced resource use, energy efficiency, waste and water minimisation, and incentivising sustainable achievements. Downer has adopted energy efficient technology upgrades and is using best practice erosion and sediment control at their Ruby Bay project near Nelson. They have site-based Sustainable Development Action Plans and have set targets for fuel and energy efficiency. Downer measures sustainability progress with regular environmental audits and reporting, and their embedded continual improvement ensures that progress will continue to be made.

 

Love NZ Public Place Recycling Programme

The Love NZ Public Place Recycling Programme is a cooperative of government and industry partners lead by the Glass Packaging Forum. The programme is installing, maintaining and servicing recycling infrastructure across all of New Zealand and is being supported by 23 local councils around the country. There will be over 1600 permanent and temporary recycling facilities set up in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The target is to reduce packaging container waste from public places to landfill by up to 20 per cent annually across 22 public locations, not only during the Rugby World Cup, but continuing into the future. The investment in infrastructure will leave a lasting legacy of recycling facilities for all New Zealanders to use.

 

Meridian Energy and Department of Conservation, Project River Recovery

Project River Recovery is a joint project by the Department of Conservation and Meridian Energy. Project River Recovery is improving and protecting the unique braided river habitat around Twizel, Tekapo and Omarama in Canterbury and Otago. The work has lead to significant successes in the eradication of weeds, protection of flora and fauna and has contributed greatly to the scientific knowledge available on these unique New Zealand ecosystems. The project also involved a number of local education initiatives to raise awareness about these unique braided river habitats and how others can help to protect them.

Central and local government stepping up

 

Kapiti Coast District Council

Kapiti Coast District Council has undertaken an extensive range of sustainability initiatives within its own operations and throughout the district over the last five years. Some initiatives that the Council has adopted include:

  • installation of a wood-fired boiler for sewage sludge drying to reduce council carbon emissions by 23%
  • upgrading a number of pensioner homes with insulation and solar water heating systems
  • Holding an annual ‘Sustainable Home and Garden Show’ to promote environmentally friendly lifestyles
  • providing support for the Clean Technology Centre New Zealand to open in November 2010, and
  • Providing a range of grants and practical support to community groups, schools, businesses and individuals for environmental protection.

These initiatives demonstrate the Council’s commitment to reducing their environmental impact beyond statutory obligations and are providing measurable benefits for the environment and the community of Kapiti Coast.

 

Nelson City Council

Nelson City Council’s Solar Saver Scheme, developed in conjunction with EECA, is a key aspect of the Council’s goals to reduce the communities greenhouse gas emissions. The Scheme helps to remove some of the barriers associated with installing solar water heating, as the Council pays the upfront cost of installation of the solar water heating system. Residents then pay for the scheme over a 10 year period as a voluntary targeted rate on their property.  Since December 2009, nearly 200 systems have been installed using the targeted rate approach, making a difference in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the Nelson community.  The project is an example of a council stepping up to a challenging issue faced by many communities.

 

Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council

Ecofest is an annual event educating and empowering the public to live sustainably. It has been going for 10 years and attendance at Ecofest is around 6,000 visitors each year.  The event mixes retail with hand-on education and participation. Ecofest supports community engagement in a range of topics such as self-sufficiency at home, waste management, water conservation, solar and alternative energies, sustainable transport and local conservation issues. The event works collaboratively with community groups to ensure they can also involve people across the region in key issues relating to sustainability.

Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council have seen positive spinoffs in the community, particularly in relation to air quality, waste management and sustainable housing. Ecofest is an innovative way of raising the collective understanding of the role of our environment and building a stronger, more connected community.

Protecting our biodiversity

 

Pomona Island Charitable Trust, Haast Kiwi (Tokoeka) Crèche

Since 2005, the volunteers of the Pomona Island Charitable Trust have worked to create pest free sanctuaries on Pomona and Rona Islands in Lake Manapouri, Fiordland. The Trust has undertaken an extensive pest eradication programme, removing stoats, rats, mice, possum and deer, and continues trapping to prevent re-invasion of the islands. These islands are now supporting nationally endangered species recovery programmes by providing a safe habitat for threatened Yellowheads (Mohua) as well as acting as a crèche site for the critically endangered Haast Kiwi (Tokoeka). The Trust works in partnership with the Department of Conservation and local businesses to maintain these island sanctuaries, so that locals and visitors can see, hear and learn about New Zealand's native flora and fauna.

 

Trees for Canterbury

Trees for Canterbury have been providing native plants for community revegetation projects across the Canterbury region since 1993. Over this time, more than 670,000 trees have been donated. The group runs major planting events attracting up to 150 volunteers and seeing up to 20,000 seedlings planted each year. During 2010, native seedlings were donated to 132 different organisations including schools, churches, sports groups and environmental groups. Trees for Canterbury also run school and community education talks, tours and work placements, providing a valuable service to the community as well as the environment.

 

Tuhoe Putaiao Charitable Trust

The Tuhoe Putaiao Charitable Trust has been carrying out environmental protection work in the Bay of Plenty for many years in collaboration with the Department of Conservation, local iwi, the Regional Council and forestry operators. The Trust has been instrumental in the restoration of wetlands and indigenous forests through pest trapping and native flora and fauna protection. The partnerships and cooperation they have fostered means they are now a resource for advice and information on conservation for the other Marae within their valley. The Tuhoe Putaiao Charitable Trust is demonstrating conservation leadership in the Bay of Plenty leading to lasting environmental and social benefits.

Reviewed:
20/02/12