2012 Green Ribbon Award finalists

Green Ribbon Awards logo

The finalists of the 2012 Green Ribbon Awards are listed below.

Protecting our biodiversity

Moehau Environment Group (winner)

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

Moehau Environment Group

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.

Project Crimson

Project Crimson

The Project Crimson Trust has been working closely with communities for two decades to restore and protect pohutukawa and rata trees and their ecosystems throughout New Zealand. The Trust has three objectives:

  • educating – highlighting in particular the cultural, historical, ecological and social relevance of these trees
  • supporting communities to undertake their own protection initiatives
  • undertaking significant restoration work.

The Trust contributes significantly to the protection of pohutukawa (90 per cent of coastal pohutukawa in Northland had disappeared by 1990) and rata by pest eradications (possum in particular); planting (over 90,000 trees in 2011); and education programmes (especially in primary and intermediate schools) to minimise people’s impact on these species.

Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park Partnership – Tui 2000

Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park Partnership – Tui 2000

The Partnership has planted 182,000 ecologically sourced native plants, covering 16.5 hectares of the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park, where less than 1.6 per cent of the indigenous vegetation remains. It has reconstructed a restiad peat bog and established three regionally significant forest ecosystems.

The Partnership has a strong engagement with local Māori and has initiated extensive links with local businesses and public bodies. These relationships have helped integrate the restoration work into a wider recreational and environmental programme, based on public awareness, education and advocacy, and expert business planning and market analysis.

Enormous community support has been generated for the Partnership, which has taken a professional approach to ensure the viability of the project. They have successfully coupled this with research and monitoring programmes involving stakeholders.

Minimising our waste

Go Bamboo (winner)

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.

Kaibosh Food Rescue

Kaibosh Food Rescue

Kaibosh Food Rescue started in Wellington in 2008 and recovers edible food waste from suppliers such as markets, bakeries and manufacturers that has not been sold or is near the best before date. Food that would otherwise be sent to landfill is given to charities to distribute to individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet.

Kaibosh Food Rescue’s vision is zero food poverty, zero food waste. Volunteers redistribute food to those who need it the most. Food maintains its value and is given to hungry human mouths as opposed to being composted or sent to landfill.

Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park Creeksyde

Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park Creeksyde

Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park Creeksyde showcases New Zealand’s ‘clean and green’ image by being environmentally sustainable.

The holiday park educates guests and staff about re-using, recycling and reducing rubbish. Guests are encouraged to think about what they buy and then to divide any waste, including food waste, into recycling bins. Diverting different kinds of waste reduces the amount going to landfill, and reduces the collection and disposal cost for the holiday park. This is measured and monitored monthly.

Staff use home made products to clean around the holiday park to reduce packaging and avoid unwanted chemicals.

The park’s owners also raise waste minimisation awareness in their local community by hosting public seminars with community groups.

Protecting our coasts and oceans

West coast blue penguin trust

West Coast Blue Penguin Trust (winner)

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.

Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust

Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust

The Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust was formed in Christchurch in 2002 as a community initiative to produce an integrated management plan for the Avon-Heathcote Estuary to improve water quality and ecosystems.

The Trust has taken a collaborative approach which has produced a strong management plan with community buy-in. They work with volunteers on practical restoration work and have been successful advocates for the environment in the Resource Management Act process. Advocacy for an ocean pipeline to remove treated effluent was a significant achievement.

The Trust has continued to work through what must be very difficult times following the Christchurch earthquakes.

The Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust was also a finalist in the Community leadership category.

Sustainable Coastlines

Sustainable Coastlines

Auckland organisation, Sustainable Coastlines, deliver education and coordinate volunteer beach clean ups, including involvement in the Rena clean up.

The organisation has reached many people through education initiatives and volunteer involvement. Not only have many kilometres of beach been cleaned, but communities have been involved and awareness of the issue has been raised. The benefits of the work are likely to continue well into the future as more people are aware of the problem of marine litter.

Sustainable Coastlines’ work has resulted in significant environmental benefits with a large number of people involved and areas covered.

Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions

carboNZero Holdings

carboNZero Holdings (winner)

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.

Energy for Industry

Energy for Industry

Energy for Industry, a wholly owned subsidiary of Meridian Energy Limited, provides a service to energy plant owners and operators to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from existing operations, whilst maintaining operational capacity, can be difficult. Energy for Industry has worked with Dunedin Energy Centre to successfully retrofit the plant and achieve a 9000 tonne reduction in CO2 emissions.

The project has allowed a significant reduction in CO2 emissions in Dunedin and has complementary and beneficial health effects by also minimising SOx and NOx emissions.

J. Friend and Co, NZ Artisan Honey

J. Friend and Co, NZ Artisan Honey

NZ Artisan Honey was the first New Zealand honey producer to be certified as carbon neutral.

The company has a proactive and innovative business approach to sustainability and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions from all parts of its operations.

They have embedded environmental best practice into their business management – as well as working with their supply chain to encourage them to do likewise. The company is a great example of how a small business can be profitable while demonstrating a strong commitment to the environment.

The company is both carboNZero accredited and certified organic status (asurequality). Their environmental responsibility and product traceability have been highlighted as major factors in their success at winning three Cuisine Artisan Awards and two NZ Food Awards.

Caring for our water

Waiau Trust

Waiau Trust (winner)

The Waiau Trust, supported 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.

Hulls Creek Restoration – Upper Hutt Forest and Bird

Hulls Creek Restoration – Upper Hutt Forest and Bird

For the past 10 years Forest and Bird has carried out restoration projects on Hulls Creek in Silverstream. Stream banks have been colonised by native plants, resulting in reduced erosion and improved habitat for aquatic species.

Monitoring has shown the fish pass to be effective, with young fish of species not previously recorded now present.

Local community involvement is high and awareness of environmental issues has been raised with local schools, scout groups, and other community groups.

Mangakotukutuku Stream Care Group

Mangakotukutuku Stream Care Group

The Mangakotukutuku Stream Care Group in the Waikato has carried out habitat enhancements in the Mangakotukutuku Stream including installing a fish passage and planting native vegetation. The fish passage allows migratory species to move through the area and the riparian planting has been associated with recent improvements in the health of the stream.

One of the greatest benefits has been the involvement of the local community and raising awareness of environmental issues in an urban area where the environment might not have been a high priority.

Improving our air quality

Nelson City Council

Nelson City Council (winner)

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.

Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing NZ

Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing NZ

Sanitarium operates a breakfast cereal manufacturing plant in Auckland, which emits contaminants to air including PM10.

The company recently invested a significant amount of capital and resources into reducing its atmospheric emissions and improving its environmental performance. Sanitarium has commissioned and implemented an extensive, staged programme of upgrades on its emissions control equipment. The programme began in 2010 and was completed in 2011.

Although a condition in Sanitarium’s resource consent is to mitigate discharge, the company has gone the extra mile to establish a plan to reduce atmospheric emissions and improve the plant’s environmental performance.

Even though the plant operates in a residential area, no air pollution complaints have been received from the public.

Communication and education

Hurunui College – Nina Valley Restoration Group

Hurunui College – Nina Valley Restoration Group (winner)

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.

Kauri 2000 Trust

Kauri 2000 Trust

Kauri 2000 Trust is re-establishing significant stands of Kauri on the Coromandel Peninsula for future generations to enjoy. The Peninsula was once covered in magnificent kauri forests but today fewer than 400 mature giant kauri remain.

The project replants large numbers of kauri, and improves the trees’ chances of survival by keeping them free of weeds and re-growth, sometimes for decades, until they are tall enough to survive on their own. This ongoing care promotes the idea of stewardship of the environment for future generations. Around 36,000 kauri have been planted on 36 sites since 2000.

This project makes environmental issues personal by connecting particular trees with memories of individuals, families, or friends. It works with schools so children plant the trees then return to look after ‘their’ trees.

The Trust has fostered innovative partnerships and has a supporter/donor base from New Zealand and around the world.

The Outlook for Someday sustainability film project for young people

The Outlook for Someday sustainability film project for young people

The Outlook for Someday project is a sustainability film challenge for young people. The project gets youth telling their stories on sustainability issues by the powerful and empowering medium of film and in spaces where they are socially active – online, on video, and on their phones.

This inspirational project potentially has a huge reach and high impact, particularly with the categories for all age ranges, and its national and international links. The value of the project is not just in the final product – the short films – but in the creative and educational process of researching and making the films.

There is the potential for important environmental messages to go viral and to reach future generations. The project successfully engages young people in communicating through channels that excite them and that they are most familiar with.

Green economy

Yealands Estate

Yealands Estate (winner)

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.

Fine Particle Application

Fine Particle Application

Fine Particle Application has developed and refined a practical and affordable technology which significantly improves the efficiency of fertiliser application in the agricultural sector.

Fine particle application allows fertiliser to be applied accurately and evenly. Targeted application achieves enhanced pasture growth rates, a 48 per cent reduction in fertiliser leachate loss, and a 32 per cent reduction in atmospheric volatilisation.

Poor fertiliser application means lost productivity for farmers, and can result in significant adverse environmental effects in nearby water bodies.

Following extensive research, the company has refined a technique to address a common problem within the agricultural sector. Unlike many other technological solutions, fine particle application requires only minor adjustment to existing farm apparatus.

Given the widespread nature of fertiliser application in New Zealand and elsewhere, the net benefit to agricultural production and the environment is potentially immense.



TenderRest makes modern eco-friendly funeral caskets. The company has overcome multiple challenges to develop a competitive product in keeping with the principles of sustainability.

As a result of its innovative approach, chemical use has been reduced and caskets are manufactured from natural biodegradable materials – paperboard made of recycled newspaper core, and non-toxic glues and ink. The company implements low energy and water efficient manufacturing processes, and has applied an innovative and holistic approach to product development.

TenderRest has shown a combination of innovative thinking and determined commercialisation, resulting in a novel product that brings sustainability to the fore and challenges established thinking.

The business model successfully ‘lays to rest’ any notions that incorporating environmental management into a manufacturing process will result in products being uncompetitive.

Small business leadership

Celcius Coffee

Celcius Coffee (winner)

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.

Ratanui Development Company

Ratanui Development Company

Ratanui Development Company is a mixed farm system (pigs, sheep and beef, and cropping) run by Neil and Andrew Managh.

The Managhs have consistently undertaken their farming activities to a high standard, ensuring environmental stewardship as well as innovation. They have integrated operations on the farm, effectively closing the nutrient loop. They have addressed air quality issues – odour emissions which affect neighbours of the farm and greenhouse gas emissions – by installing a covered anaerobic pond system.

Ratanui is consistently used as a model ‘green pork production farm’, and the owners/operators make themselves and their farm available to improve industry best practice.

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Limited

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Limited

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Limited runs the only privately operated walking track on Department of Conservation land in Southland. The track was built by the local community in 2001 to generate income in the wake of mass closures of the local sawmills.

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is committed to the long-term well-being of the environment and the Tuatapere community. In developing the track as a tourist attraction, the Trust has worked to reduce the impact on the environment.

Measures taken include using renewable energy resources at the back country lodges; educating clients about water conservation; waste management; avoiding excess packaging; and setting traps for stoats and possums.

Tuatapere Hump Ridge track is an excellent role model for back country lodges and track management both nationally and internationally.

Large business leadership

Villa Maria Estate (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 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 are the 2012 Green Ribbon Awards supreme winner.

Honda New Zealand TreeFund

Honda New Zealand TreeFund

The TreeFund was established in 2004 by Honda New Zealand and its network of independently owned agents.

Funding is provided for 13 native trees for each car Honda sells. The trees are given to local authorities and community groups to use in a variety of areas and ways, including planting in rural and urban streamside zones, coastal restoration on sand dunes, erosion protection, and restoration (forest) plantings.

Through this programme, Honda has provided over 480,000 trees, with a value of over $2.4 million. Whilst there is a direct biodiversity benefit, the programme also raises environmental awareness amongst those buying cars and in the wider community.

Honda has ‘stepped outside the square’ in demonstrating environmental leadership. Instead of traditional projects for environmental management, Honda has led a programme to enhance biodiversity with a strong focus on community engagement.

New Zealand Steel Limited

New Zealand Steel Limited

New Zealand Steel operates an integrated steel mill at Glenbrook in Auckland. The company has made good progress towards reducing its environmental impact on a large scale.

Tangible outcomes include 60 per cent of site energy supplied by two co-generation plants; 350,000 tonnes of production waste diverted from landfill; and 98 per cent of site stormwater treated and used within the plant.

New Zealand Steel has demonstrated that good infrastructure and management approaches can foster ongoing environmental improvement. Key challenges of solid waste management, water and energy efficiency, and water treatment have been addressed successfully.

New Zealand Steel has demonstrated that not only can practical solutions be implemented, but that they can make a significant contribution to business profitability – something for other large organisations to emulate.

Public sector leadership

Nelson City Council

Nelson City Council (winner)

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.

Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord – Horizons Regional Council

Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord – Horizons Regional Council
Photo courtesy of the Manawatu Standard

Horizons Regional Council recognised the need for a community-wide response to the state of the Manawatu River. They initiated discussions with key leaders who debated the issues from contrasting perspectives to reach an agreed solution. This solution came about by way of the Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord and subsequent Action Plan.

The concept of an accord to promote collaborative ownership of a problem and solution is a new approach for New Zealand and demonstrates the power of collaboration, led by the Regional Council.

Outcomes are monitored and this information has been used to develop targeted solutions with greater certainty that these will be effective.

The Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord has taken account of social and economic benefits as well as environmental benefits in setting goals.

Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy – A joint project with Ngati Toa Rangatira, Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington and led by Porirua City Council

New Zealand Steel Limited

Porirua City Council worked with 12 agencies and organisations to develop the Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan.

Clear and measurable targets have been set to reduce sedimentation and pollutants, and to restore the ecological health of the Porirua Harbour and Catchment. The Strategy was developed over a four year period and adopted in December 2011.

In addition to environmental benefits, social and economic benefits have been considered. The ongoing importance of education and engaging with the community to achieve objectives is recognised.

This innovative project is the first project in New Zealand to take an integrated estuary/catchment approach to management, focussing on protecting the harbour waters. It is also the first time a limits-based approach to manage sediment effects in an estuary has been used in New Zealand. Using NIWA expertise has enabled this to be done.

Community leadership

Te Ara Kakariki – Greenway Canterbury Trust

Te Ara Kakariki – Greenway Canterbury Trust (winner)

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.

Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust

Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust

Christchurch’s Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust was formed in 2002 to address a lack of integrated management in this highly urbanised catchment.

The Trust worked with the community to develop a non-statutory management plan that provided a vision for protecting a unique estuarine environment, with a set of practical and achievable goals.

They developed the Ihutai Management Plan and have implemented, monitored and evaluated what has been achieved. This includes community involvement in restoring ecosystems and habitats following the removal of waste water discharge and after the 2010–12 earthquakes.

The Trust has worked with Environment Canterbury to improve people’s understanding of the effects their activities and behaviour has on the Estuary.

The Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust was also a finalist in the Protecting our coasts and oceans category.

Project Litefoot Trust’s “Liteclub” Programme

Project Litefoot Trust’s “Liteclub” Programme

The Litefoot Trust’s Liteclub Programme, led by seven of New Zealand’s top sportspeople, seeks to inspire Kiwis to be environmental champions. The primary focus of the programme is to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the New Zealand sports sector.

One of the aims of the Liteclub Programme is to influence the 800,000 members of sports clubs to adopt good environmental practices at home.

This ambitious programme aims to reduce clubhouse emissions by 3150 tonnes and members’ home emission by 7875 tonnes over three years.