Upcycling waste celebrated at Australia’s top sustainability award

Banksia Foundation

A company that has reimagined the value of waste from water and sewerage has won gold at Australia’s longest running and most prestigious sustainability awards.

Icon Water, which supplies water and sewerage services to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT),

took home the Gold Banksia Award at an online event for the 32nd annual Banksia Sustainability Awards last night.

Owned by the ACT Government, the water utility’s resource recovery program ‘No opportunity wasted’ recovers by-products from water and sewerage management such as sludges, soils and biosolids.

By re-using agri-ash, spoil and water treatment solids, recovering sand and producing soil conditioners Icon Water minimises waste to landfill (for example, 11 kilotonnes of agri-ash and spoil diverted from landfill in 2019-20 and is now enhancing soils on local farms) and in doing so actively contributes to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG12).

Icon Water won the Large Business Award before claiming the ‘best of the best’ Gold Award.

“The Banksia judges admired Icon Water’s innovative and holistic approach to resource recovery,” said Banksia Foundation CEO Graz van Egmond.

“Icon Water has shown great leadership in the water industry, by adding to the industry knowledge of alternative solutions to landfill, providing examples of sustainability in action, and winning the support of regulators.”

Ms van Egmond said the company had shared their learnings and included local businesses in their impressive sustainability and environment activities.

She said many of the other category winners also demonstrated innovative solutions to reduce waste and support a circular economy. All entries explain how they align with SDGs – the global framework for sustainable development from the United Nations designed to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

“Reducing waste, repurposing goods and closing loops emerged as themes among the finalists in this year’s Banksia Sustainability Awards,” Ms van Egmond said.

Icon Water is joined by 7 other category winners. Other winners include the World’s Biggest Garage Sale, Yume Food and residential development Arkadia. See the full list of winners on the next page.

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