2012 Green Ribbon Award winners

Green Ribbon Awards logo

The winners of the 2012 Green Ribbon Awards were announced by the Minister for the Environment, Hon Amy Adams, on 5 June 2012.

The 2012 winners in each category are listed below.

Supreme winner

Villa Maria Estate

Villa Maria Estate is a family owned business and an award winning winery. The owners have a strong sustainability ethos which is a cornerstone of how the business operates.

Villa Maria Estate

Villa Maria takes a holistic approach to environmental best practice, implementing a variety of effective initiatives nationwide. These range from growing grapes organically through to projects to reduce environmental effects of operations in the processing plant.

Specific initiatives include reducing fungicide and pesticide applications, energy conservation, and a comprehensive package of emissions reduction projects. The initiatives are significant, ongoing and the benefits are measurable in environmental and financial terms.

Villa Maria is a founding member of Sustainable Winegrowing NZ, have BioGro Organic Certification, and have an effective annual emissions plan in place.

Villa Maria has begun to influence other businesses that are part of its supply chain. They have demonstrated that environmental best practice can be part of everyday business, and that it can help drive profitability.

 


Protecting our biodiversity

Moehau Environment Group

Moehau Environment Group

The Moehau Environment Group is taking action to control pests, and reintroduce and recover endangered bird species on private land in Northern Coromandel.

For 11 years this volunteer organisation has coordinated intensive predator control and restored native habitats on more than 13,000 hectares. This has enabled the recovery of many endangered species including dramatic turnarounds for kiwi, fern bird, bittern, kaka, and marsh crake.

The group works closely with over 450 landowners and multiple community groups. They coordinate and fund intensive pest control and species recovery and reintroduction projects, including a 7900 hectare Kiwi sanctuary, 30,000 hectares of stoat trapping, and 3500 hectares of bait station buffering.

The social and economic impacts of the project and the group’s efforts to involve at-risk youth, providing extensive employment opportunities, are key successes of the project.

 


Minimising our waste

Go Bamboo

Go Bamboo

Go Bamboo has developed a 100 per cent biodegradable toothbrush made from bamboo and packaged in recycled cardboard.

Toothbrushes and their packaging contribute towards the millions of tonnes of waste sent to landfill in New Zealand each year. Go Bamboo’s packaging can be recycled after use and the toothbrush can be disposed of in a compost bin. Bamboo is a raw material with many environmental benefits.

Toothbrushes are offered to schools as fundraisers in conjunction with schools educating on sustainability, being waste wise, and protecting our oceans and marine life.

This product encourages people to consider alternatives to disposable plastic items. Go Bamboo demonstrates ‘design for the environment’, designing out waste at the product design phase, avoiding the disposal problem at the end of the product’s life.

 


Protecting our coasts and oceans

West Coast Blue Penguin Trust

West coast blue penguin trust

The West Coast Blue Penguin project started in 2004 and has raised awareness and implemented practical conservation work to halt the decline in seabirds on the West Coast. This has been achieved by working with the local community and using research findings to target management.

Mortality rates are being monitored to establish the causes and location of deaths. This research is also valuable to the wider scientific community and other conservation initiatives.

The Trust is working with the New Zealand Transport Agency to erect penguin-proof fences along the coast road, and erecting road signs and signs at beach access points. They are also undertaking habitat enhancement, for example a native planting project at Hokitika Beach.

The project delivers benefits to the local economy as well as significant environmental benefits, not just for blue penguins but other seabirds.

 


Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions

carboNZero Holdings

carboNZero Holdings

carboNZero Holdings, a subsidiary of Landcare Research NZ Limited, is an internationally recognised greenhouse gas emissions management and reduction certification scheme.

The scheme provides rules, guidance and tools so greenhouse gas can be accurately measured. Once significant sources of CO2 emission sources are identified, appropriate reduction initiatives are developed, and their effectiveness monitored over time.

The carboNZero programme has made a significant contribution to helping companies around the world set and meet greenhouse gas reduction targets. The programme is innovative – encouraging firms to look within themselves to find techniques to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The scheme has gained prominent international recognition which is improving awareness of New Zealand’s green credentials and helps our exporters in discerning international markets.

 


Caring for our water

Waiau Trust

Waiau Trust

The Waiau Trust, sponsored by Meridian Energy, has improved the ecological health of the Waiau River through habitat enhancement since 1996.

The Trust has made improvements to a large area of wetland on the Lower Waiau River, creating habitat for birds as well as whitebait and eels.

Public awareness has been raised through engagement of farmers to enter into habitat enhancement agreements on riparian fencing. Riparian fencing protects streams from some of the impacts caused by intensive farming and provides an enduring solution for entire sub-catchments.

Research and monitoring gives a clear indication of the success of the work. There are also potential benefits to the local economy through tourism and the whitebait industry.

 


Improving our air quality

Nelson City Council

Nelson City Council

In response to Nelson having some of the worst air pollution levels in New Zealand, Nelson City Council notified its Air Quality Plan in 2003. This set in place the phasing out of all open fires in the urban area and certain enclosed burners in the airsheds with the most pollution.

The Council provided financial assistance to help homeowners upgrade to more modern, lower emitting fires or to other non-polluting heating appliances.

They also established the Good Wood Scheme where firewood retailers agree to sell either seasoned wood or green wood that’s sold well in advance of it being used.

The Council’s Clearing the Air Campaign has resulted in a significant improvement in PM10 levels, well within the National Environmental Standard. The number of breaches of the air standard has reduced from 81 in 2001 to 15 in 2011.

This campaign achieved the most rapid and largest reduction in air pollution levels of any municipality in New Zealand.

Nelson City Council also won a 2012 Green Ribbon Award in the Public sector leadership category.

 


Communication and education

Hurunui College – Nina Valley Restoration Group

Hurunui College – Nina Valley Restoration Group

The Hurunui College Nina Valley Restoration Group involves a group of high school students working in partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to trap and monitor predators, and reintroduce native species in the Nina Valley on public conservation land in Lake Sumner Forest Park.

The group is actively restoring and conserving the biodiversity of the Nina Valley while educating other students and the wider community about conservation and environmental research and development.

The pest control work of the group has gained NZQA accreditation and has led to professional opportunities for students.

This is an outstanding example of young people working collaboratively with their community, industry, DOC and the tertiary sector to achieve its research and education aims. It is providing research data, product innovation, and a model for working that could have widespread application in New Zealand and overseas.

 


Green economy

Yealands Estate

Yealands Estate

Yealands Estate has wineries throughout New Zealand and exports wine to 65 countries. They have demonstrated a strong commitment to using green technology, achieving Sustainable Winegrowing Certification.

They have implemented innovative approaches to reduce the environmental impact of their operations, for example using sheep to graze between the vines, avoiding the need for sprays and tractor mowers.

Yealands has also implemented many practical projects such as developing 25 wetlands, using solar panels and wind turbines to supplement electricity supplies, and harvesting rainwater from roofs.

Yealands has made good use of technology and methods to reduce their environmental impact. They have demonstrated that green technology can contribute to better economic performance providing an excellent example for others in the horticultural and agricultural sector.

Yealands Estate has been consistently at the forefront of environmental best practice solutions, which has contributed to company profitability and international respect for our wine sector.

 


Small business leadership

Celcius Coffee

Celcius Coffee

Celcius Coffee, a Wellington-based coffee roasting and café business, is committed to having a minimal environmental impact.

They have been innovative in developing two new products to deal with waste. The Ideal Cup is a reusable takeaway coffee cup, made of easily recyclable materials. At the time development started, no similar product was available. Sweet Grounds was also a new product for New Zealand at the time of its development. It provides a sustainable use for a waste product which would otherwise clog the waste system or go to landfill.

Celcius go above and beyond what is expected of a small business with their community work, and involvement in organisations such as the Conscious Consumers Café Project and Make Wellington Fair Trade. They are a good role model to other café and coffee roasting businesses.

 


Large business leadership

Villa Maria Estate

Villa Maria Estate

Villa Maria Estate is a family owned business and an award winning winery. The owners have a strong sustainability ethos which is a cornerstone of how the business operates.

Villa Maria takes a holistic approach to environmental best practice, implementing a variety of effective initiatives nationwide. These range from growing grapes organically through to projects to reduce environmental effects of operations in the processing plant.

Specific initiatives include reducing fungicide and pesticide applications, energy conservation, and a comprehensive package of emissions reduction projects. The initiatives are significant, ongoing and the benefits are measurable in environmental and financial terms.

Villa Maria is a founding member of Sustainable Winegrowing NZ, have BioGro Organic Certification, and have an effective annual emissions plan in place.

Villa Maria has begun to influence other businesses that are part of its supply chain. They have demonstrated that environmental best practice can be part of everyday business, and that it can help drive profitability.

Villa Maria Estate was the 2012 Green Ribbon Awards supreme winner.

 


Public sector leadership

Nelson City Council

Nelson City Council

In response to Nelson having some of the worst air pollution levels in New Zealand, Nelson City Council notified its Air Quality Plan in 2003. This set in place the phasing out of all open fires in the urban area and certain enclosed burners in the airsheds with the most pollution.

The Council provided financial assistance to help homeowners upgrade to more modern, lower emitting fires or to other non-polluting heating appliances.

They also established the Good Wood Scheme where firewood retailers agree to sell either seasoned wood or green wood that’s sold well in advance of it being used.

The Council’s Clearing the Air Campaign achieved the most rapid and largest reduction in air pollution levels of any municipality in New Zealand. The project has been recognised by other councils and overseas as being successful in achieving rapid improvement in air quality.

Nelson City Council also won a 2012 Green Ribbon Award in the Improving our air quality category.

 


Community leadership

Te Ara Kakariki – Greenway Canterbury Trust

Te Ara Kakariki – Greenway Canterbury Trust

Over the past 8 years Te Ara Kakariki – Greenway Canterbury Trust have brought about significant environmental change on the lowlands of the Canterbury Plains, and in particular the Selwyn District. Working with the community, iwi, landowners, Environment Canterbury and nurseries they have promoted using native plants within working lands for ecological restoration as well as for social, cultural, recreational and aesthetic reasons.

They have established an innovative and large scale “Greendot” network of native plantings where native plants, volunteer planters, and management plans are provided to landowners.

The Trust has invested significantly in gathering data and establishing an evidence base through research projects and initiatives, documenting the changes they have brought about.

Te Ara Kakariki delivers significant education and awareness programmes about their work which also benefits the community.

Reviewed:
07/06/12