Sustainability celebrated with new business awards
Published on 26 October 2023
The best of the best from Kingston’s business community were celebrated at the inaugural Kingston Sustainable Business Awards gala event last night.
Five outstanding businesses across six categories took home trophies. In total, 24 businesses of varied sizes were finalists for the awards, showcasing the vast dedication and commitment of the Kingston business community to sustainable practices.
Mayor Hadi Saab said we have a remarkably innovative and diverse business community in Kingston and it’s important we recognise and applaud those businesses and individuals making the world a better place.
“It was a terrific celebration and acknowledgement of those leading the way in environmental and ethical practices and a great chance to hear about the innovation and leadership all our winners are bringing to their work,” Cr Saab said.
"Their achievements are certainly paving the way for a more innovative and sustainable Kingston while also boosting the local economy.
“We hoped these awards would encourage networking, the sharing of information on good environmental and ethical practices and more of our businesses integrating sustainable practices into their operations moving forward – and we feel they have done just that!”
Winners of the Kingston Sustainable Business Awards 2023
Waste Reduction and Circular Economy - Reluv Clothing
Located in Moorabbin and applauded for their innovative online marketplace for preloved clothing, promoting waste reduction.
The judges praised their unique business model, use of technology, payment incentives for users, and support for garment workers, recognising its contribution to the circular economy in Kingston.
Ethical Sourcing and Procurement – EcoSouLife
EcoSouLife, located in Dingley Village, offer environmentally friendly tableware alternatives to harmful plastics, foams, and metals. Their products naturally degrade when buried.
The judges were impressed with EcoSouLife's rigorous supplier vetting, third-party verifications, and their recognition as a supplier by Woolworths. Their investment in a significant procurement team underscores their commitment to understanding and managing supply chain risks.
Diversity and Inclusion - Brainwave Bikes
Located in Dingley Village, they retail second-hand bicycles to reduce landfill waste and have processed over 2,000 bicycles, many of which are donated to needy communities. They also provide work opportunities for youth with disabilities.
The judges highlighted their employment of individuals in transition programs, partnerships with local businesses, and effective volunteer management.
Sustainable Leadership – EcoSouLife
Eco SouLife takes out a second award for their profound social and environmental influence. This has been demonstrated with the way they have positively impacted Indonesian communities by utilising leaves, once considered waste, to make biodegradable bowls sold in Australia. This has significantly uplifted the local economy, enabling children to attend school.
Innovation is central to their approach, focusing on creating reusable products rather than single-use items. The judges applauded EcoSouLife's commitment to ethical sourcing and their innovative business model.
Sustainable Leadership (Individual) - Darren Whittaker (Azolla Certified)
Darren won for founding Azolla Certified, located in Mordialloc, an accreditation agency recognising sustainable and ethical business practices.
The judges were impressed by Darren's commitment to broadening the accessibility of third-party certification for SMEs. His services are priced competitively, making it easier for smaller businesses to get certified.
His focus on positive impacts for both people and the environment, as well as his active stance against corruption in auditing, stood out.
Young Changemakers and Innovators - e2environments engineered
The judges highlighted the innovative "Click In system", a quick-to-install window and door system that ensures watertight, airtight, insulated, and enhanced acoustic performance.
Founded by David Morehouse, who identified a gap in the window industry, the company aims to address energy wastage and related health concerns.
David adapted a Swedish design over several years to create a universally accepted product that's user-friendly, recyclable and minimises the use of high-emission aluminium.
Special Commendation - 2 Brothers Brewery
For their exceptional accomplishments in the Net Zero 2030 category.
The respected geoscientist, sustainable business strategist, and TV weather presenter Rob Gell AM hosted the night, blending recognition, celebration, networking, and inspiring conversation.
Supported by Community Bank Parkdale, the event demonstrated Kingston's commitment to sustainability across all sectors.
Every aspect of the evening exemplified sustainability, from the use of eco-friendly materials, to reduced carbon footprint, taking a digital approach, to local sourcing.