Sustainable Cities Awards

What is the Sustainable Cities Awards and Who Benefits?

Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Sustainable Cities Awards Program is a community and environmental awards program for metropolitan communities in NSW. Projects that not only enhance the environment but improve the standard of living and well-being of urban communities have been a hallmark of the activities that have been recognised by awards through this program since 1994. The Sustainable Cities Awards inspires communities to make a genuine and lasting contribution to their area, with partnerships between local authorities, businesses, community groups, schools, and individuals.

The Sustainable Cities Awards Program incorporates two levels of awards, the Overall Sustainable Council Award and the individual category awards. These two levels recognise both individual and/or holistic projects and programs. Participants have advised us of numerous social, environmental and economic benefits of entering into the program:

  • Increased community pride, morale, spirit; and physical, mental & social well-being;
  • Social interaction & co-operation between community members and councils;
  • Improved natural environment and restoration of wildlife habitats;
  • Strengthening of current partnerships or initiation of new ones between community members and groups, councils and businesses;
  • Potential for increased tourism and amenities for the local community;
  • Reduction of waste, graffiti prevention, and enhanced management of waste services;
  • Permanent recognition for winners and valuable feedback on award submissions;
  • Public awareness of environmental education issues;
  • Networking opportunities between industry, government, and environmental leaders and experts;
  • Introduction and/or recognition of sustainability initiatives;
  • Recognition of good governance in local government;
  • Opportunities to showcase and celebrate the innovative work, expertise, and vision of your organisation or project;
  • Increased valuable media exposure for your local area and community projects;
  • Learning about other sustainability projects within NSW and sharing ideas with key stakeholders;
  • Creating excitement and motivation for communities by recognising their efforts in sustainability or other environmental initiatives and programs;
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"Since 1994 the Keep Australia Beautiful Sustainable Cities Awards have enhanced public understanding of the environmental issues affecting metropolitan NSW. The awards encourage Councils and communities to play an active role in creating a sustainable future for their cities. Projects that address environmental challenges and improve the standard of living and quality of life in urban areas are all encouraged to participate."

-Val Southam, CEO, Keep Australia Beautiful NSW

2018 Key dates

Applications Open30th April 2018
Applications CloseMonday, 16th July 2018
Judging finalised24th August 2018
Winners announced at the Sustainable Cities Awards Event at Blacktown7th October 2018

Award Categories

The Hey Tosser! Litter Action Award is for a project or program that reduces or prevents litter. This could include projects that use one or more of these approaches:

  • Behaviour change techniques to stop littering;
  • New or effective ways to communicate about litter and its impacts;
  • Build partnerships or networks to prevent litter;
  • Enforcement techniques to reduce litter;
  • Create effective infrastructure and place design to reduce litter (signage, bins, other landscaping).

Projects should demonstrate inventive techniques that specifically address their local litter issues, with quantifiable outcomes. Projects that use more than one approach will be highly regarded. Projects can address any form of litter in any environment.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Individuals and Community groups;
  • Local Authorities;
  • Businesses.

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category

  • A litter reduction campaign which involves the community;
  • A project or program aimed at specific section of the community - for example, children, young people; culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups, Indigenous communities;
  • A project aimed at addressing litter with a long-term solution based on behaviour change techniques;
  • Different strategies to target litter for example signage, phasing out plastic bags/bottles etc. Community Litter Grant applicants are encouraged to enter their projects.

The Waste Less, Recycle More Award is for a project or program that tackles a range of waste and recycling problems through:

  • Waste minimisation and reduction;
  • Effective and innovative waste and recycling programs - including education and infrastructure projects;
  • Incentivising behaviour change to improve waste management, recycling and stop illegal dumping.

Projects should demonstrate inventive techniques that specifically address their local litter issues, with quantifiable outcomes. Projects that use more than one approach will be highly regarded. Projects can address any form of litter in any environment.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Individuals and Community groups;
  • Local Authorities;
  • Businesses.

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category

  • Projects that use recycling and avoid material going to landfill.
  • The development of a Waste Management Strategy.
  • A local group addressing the problem of food waste in their community.
  • The planning and implementation of a program that facilitates appropriate disposal of items through free drop-offs and management of event sites to help tackle illegal dumping

The Return and Earn Litter Prevention Award is for a program or project that provides for and encourages the use of the Return and Earn Scheme in a local area, through:

  • Development and promotion of Return and Earn facilities for the return of beverage containers under the Container Deposit Scheme;
  • Community engagement and involvement in the development, design and set up of the system. This includes knowledge sharing with individuals and groups in the community;
  • Innovative use of the Return and Earn Scheme to benefit a particular community or group. For example, a refugee group, a school, indigenous group or sporting group who may not have participated in recycling initiatives previously.

Projects should demonstrate inventive techniques that specifically address their local litter issues, with quantifiable outcomes. Projects that use more than one approach will be highly regarded. Projects can address any form of litter in any environment.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Individuals and Community groups;
  • Local Authorities;
  • Businesses.

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category

  • Installing infrastructure and systems in consultation with the community that will provide community access to the Return and Earn scheme;
  • Developing long term plans to extend systems and facilities in the future, including accessing community feedback and measurements of success;
  • A community organisation or group who set up a facility or facilities in their local area. Includes the development, promotion, partnering and benefits to their community;
  • Clean up activities, specifically undertaken to collect beverage containers accepted as part of the Return and Earn Scheme, including data collection about how many containers and types collected;
  • An individual or organisation that develops a community engagement and awareness project for CDS containers that results in measurable success.

The Habitat and Wildlife Conservation Award is for projects which create, restore and sustain biodiversity of our native flora and fauna in urban environments, creating wildlife corridors and encouraging habitat conservation, through:

  • Leadership and innovation in the promotion and advocacy for conserving local biodiversity;
  • Actions which improve the wildlife and habitat in an area, through community participation. For example, Landcare, Bushcare, Dunecare, Land for Wildlife and Marine Rescue;
  • Partnerships that encourage the community to be proactive in the conservation of biodiversity;
  • Policy or mission that supports the protection of local biodiversity in an area.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Individuals and Community groups;
  • Local Authorities;
  • Businesses.

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category

  • Education programs and projects about local threatened species, habitat and communities and their protection.
  • Encouraging community participation in projects such as fauna and flora conservation. Includes the promotion and education, data collection and mapping, community involvement and feedback.
  • Development of or increased involvement by the community in Landcare, Bushcare, Dunecare or other community projects that enable increased biodiversity in an area.

The Heritage and Culture Award is for community projects that enhance and protect our unique, and built heritage, including celebration of a regions heritage, through:

  • Commitment to the conservation of a communities built heritage;
  • Building and other infrastructure restoration
  • Conservation and actions which promote and support indigenous heritage;
  • Education and research into an areas heritage
  • Proactive long-term planning that allows an areas heritage to be preserved.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Individuals and Community groups;
  • Authorities;
  • Businesses

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category

  • The restoration of a heritage building, or other infrastructure;
  • The conservation of an indigenous artefact, or development of indigenous story telling through art and culture, in consultation with local indigenous communities;
  • An event that recognises the history of an area, such as a cultural (non- indigenous) festival.
  • A Heritage Centre (or similar) that promotes heritage and facilitates local history documentation in an area.

The Young Legends Environmental Award is for an individual or groups of people 25 years and under who demonstrate outstanding commitment to their environment and show leadership in pursuing environmental outcomes in any of the preceding categories e.g. Litter, wildlife conservation waste minimisation etc. through:

  • Advocating for change in the local area, through participation on committees or clean-up activities, volunteering at community nurseries or Bushcare etc;
  • Working in partnership with other organisations to make significant change in relation to the environment.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Individuals;
  • Groups.

Examples of eligible projects may include:

  1. An individual, who volunteers by growing plants at their local community nursery for planting into a local area of bushland;
  2. A youth group who advocate the reduced use of plastic litter through active clean ups, education campaigns and partnering with the local community.

The Schools Environmental Achievement Award is for New South Wales schools that can demonstrate outstanding sustainability achievement, sustainable practices, reducing their environmental impact and leading the community by example through:

  • programs that encourage mentoring and development of sustainability throughout the school and in the community;
  • environmental programs or sustainability initiatives where students have led or participated in awareness raising campaigns;
  • The adoption of sustainable methods in operations such as retrofitting school infrastructure or undertaking of whole of school behaviour change programs.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Schools and Pre Schools;
  • Teachers, parents or students.

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category

  • A school who through development of their Schools Environment Management Plan (or similar), have conducted waste, water and energy audits and are making changes to their behaviour in relation to these areas;
  • An Eco-School that has implemented a project within their school or community;
  • School participation in a community of industry program;
  • Hosting environmental education conferences and seminars.

The Environmental Communication Award is for programs and projects that inspire environmental action, through:

  • Raising the awareness in environmental sustainability, such as energy, water, and waste reduction to create empowerment and behaviour change amongst the target audience;
  • Developing and building partnerships that enable sharing of resources, ideas and knowledge;
  • Creation of spaces and places for environmental education that demonstrate ideas and practical solutions for the community.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Individuals and Community groups;
  • Local Authorities;
  • Businesses.

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category

  • Programs and projects that engage community participation, encouraging behaviour change around a range of environmental issues;
  • Regional education programs that specifically target behaviours of a group or around a specific issue (for example, wood fire smoke);
  • A council that has implemented an effective communication program with their community

The Recycled Organics Award is for projects and programs that minimise the loss of organics to landfill and supports the community to avoid, reduce and recycle organics, through:

  • Innovative or new actions that support composting, worm farming or any other form of separation of organics from the waste stream;
  • Development of improved technologies for the separation of organics from the waste stream;
  • Education that supports community participation, by making composting/worm farming accessible and easy to use;
  • Innovative ideas and action for the use of compost.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Individuals and Community groups;
  • Local Authorities;
  • Businesses.

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category

  • An enterprise that supports composting/worm farming through education, resourcing and innovative systems;
  • A Council that extends its waste collection to a separate green waste collection. Or for an existing collection to include food organics;
  • A business that is avoiding food waste and maximising reuse/recycling of food waste through on site composting facility.

The Coastal and Waterways Protection Award – this award is for programs and actions that create, restore and enhance our natural waterways and beaches, through:

  • Actively advocating coastal and waterway protection through education, action, data collection and partnerships;
  • Developing projects that encourage community participation in the protection of waterways and coastal beaches;
  • Sustainably managing water resources within the community, through improved infrastructure, systems and planning;
  • Improving water quality and reducing litter;
  • Sustainable coastal use and development for healthy habitats;
  • Planning for a changing climate;
  • Protecting the cultural values of the marine estate;
  • Sustainable fishing and aquaculture.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Individuals and Community groups;
  • Local Authorities;
  • Businesses

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category

  • Building a fish ladder to improve fish movement upstream
  • Caring for a local beach, through community participation. Actions may include clean up’s, education through signage, data collection, improved bin infrastructure.
  • Weed control along streams, rivers and dunes.
  • Advocacy and action around threats to marine environments, including data collection; projects around minimising the use of single use plastic; fishing line management or water quality testing.

The Circular Economy Award - This award is for operationally viable projects in the circular economy which do, or could potentially, divert solid materials, fluids or energy from waste streams and return them to the productive economy. Projects may be submitted by:

  • Individuals;
  • Community groups;
  • Local Government Authorities; Businesses

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category

  • A business plan for a viable project;
  • A financed project in pre-commercial development;
  • A scheme in commercial operation;
  • A proposal by four or more participants to collaborate on developing a project.

This award is for projects in Sustainable Development and recognises innovations in, and the application of, technology to achieve improved environmental performance, within their spheres of influence.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Individuals;
  • Community groups;
  • Local Authorities;
  • Businesses.

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category. are

  • Systems that reduce waste, manage litter effectively and improve operational efficiency;
  • The introduction of software or apps that facilitate community engagement in reducing its environmental impact;
  • Realistic proposals or actual projects to co-locate manufacturing or commercial businesses in eco-industrial precincts;
  • Innovative programs designed to inform local societies about sustainable development and how it can be achieved.

The Renewable Energy Award is for progress and achievements in developing products or services associated with renewable energy.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Businesses;
  • Local Authorities.

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category

  • Developing or improving energy generation or usage within their own organisation. Reducing reliance on fossil fuels within their local communities;
  • Products or infrastructure that facilitate the use of renewable energy;
  • Improving business accountability for and reporting of energy use;
  • Long term plans to reduce energy demand, especially from fossil fuels.

The Response to Climate Change Award recognises actions taken by communities to tackle climate change, through:

  • Providing real and practical solutions to meet the challenges of climate change in their area;
  • Planning long term for the management of climate change events, which includes partnerships, collaboration and community engagement;
  • Educating communities and building capacity about the causes and effects of climate change and what individuals can do to take action;
  • Acting to combat existing climate change events and improving infrastructure etc to improve an areas resilience.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Individuals and Community groups;
  • Local Councils;
  • Businesses

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category

  • Installing erosion proofing along coastal areas, where rising tides are impacting the coast line;
  • Long term planning around the likely impacts of climate change, and actions to support this planning;
  • Education programs which provide knowledge and support for individuals, students and communities to learn, discuss and voice concerns;
  • esearch and scholarship projects that look closely at impacts and solutions.

The Community Spirit and Inclusion Award recognises communities that successfully address challenges. They must demonstrate proper planning, community partnerships and real outcomes to meet the challenge. This award is given to communities that refuse to ‘give in’ when facing a challenge.

Projects may be submitted by:

  • Community groups;
  • Local Councils;
  • Businesses.

The following are only examples of eligible projects. Many variations may also be considered in this category

  • A community coming together to restore and rebuild a community hub
  • Events, programs or festivals that celebrate an event and promote community spirit and inclusion.
  • Activities to promote civic pride, create community awareness, cohesion and wellbeing
  • Development or enhancement of community amenities and public areas which address a community’s need or increase access to community services
  • Celebrations organised, participated in or coordinated by the community.

For Further Information

For detailed information on how to enter an award submissions go to www.knswb.org.au and select Learn More.

Alternatively, please contact:
Yolande Franklin
Keep Australia Beautiful NSW
yolande@knswb.org.au
0429 614 298