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Whitehorse Sustainability Awards

The eighth Whitehorse Sustainability Awards 2014 were held at the Box Hill Community Arts Centre on Thursday 20 March 2014. The annual Sustainability Awards recognise and acknowledge individuals, schools, businesses and community groups within the Whitehorse community who achieve outstanding levels of sustainability in their daily lives.

The winners for the 2014 Sustainability Awards were: 

The Cowling ResidenceSustainability Awards 2014 1

Winner of the Sustainable Household Award
Winner of the Mayor’s Sustainable Choice Award 

The Cowling residence has integrated a diverse range of energy and water saving opportunities into their home. This includes:

  • A 3kW solar PV system that makes the home energy-neutral in terms of power use and production
  • Clerestory windows for natural light
  • 3000 litre water tank for vegetable and herb garden. 

They have also installed a hand-made pizza oven in their back garden and commute on an electric bike to and from work. 

The family enjoy the surrounds of Bellbird Dell and are active in advocating the importance to preserve the Healesville Freeway Reserve as open space. 

Their holistic approach towards retrofitting their home with environmental sustainable design in mind and embracing a sustainable lifestyle were a stand out to the judges. 

Highly commended for the Sustainable Household Award: The Steele residence. 

Nunawading Christian College Sustainability Awards 2014 2

Winner of the Sustainable School Award
Highly commended for the Overall Whitehorse Sustainability Award
Nunawading Christian College have a strong whole-school approach towards sustainability, where they have achieved 5 Star Sustainability Accreditation. The school has installed a solar PV system and solar powered car park lights as well as integrated water tanks aboveground and underground. Its water-saving efforts have reduced mains water consumption to 1.94kL per student per year, where the benchmark target is 4kL per student. 

The college also has a vegetable garden, chickens and a rainwater garden which students are hands-on in maintaining and gathering the produce. Ongoing student participation in community clean-up and planting days assist with maintaining the school’s surrounding natural environment. 

The judges were impressed by Nunawading Christian College’s whole school commitment towards sustainability, not only from an infrastructure perspective but for engaging students, teachers and the wider school community to get involved in making the school more sustainable. The school’s partnership with neighbouring residents and community groups to maintain and conserve the local environment not only has environmental benefits, but also creates community connectedness. 

Jade Village Chinese Restaurant

Winner of the Sustainable Business Award (Small Business category) 

Sustainability Awards 2014 3Despite being limited to what they can do to the building’s structure, they have integrated a number of water efficiency features including a hand-held trigger hose, special control levers to switch wok-cooling water on and off rather than running continuously as in other restaurants, and collecting return water from coffee machine so this can be applied to the nature strip garden. 

Jade Village have incorporated a diverse range of waste minimisation practices such as recycling of cooking oil, recycling cooked and raw meats using a specialised meat recycling company, recycling soft plastics, collection of vegetable scraps through the Composting Mates program, and reuse of polystyrene and cardboard boxes. 

Jade Village plays a mentoring role for new and existing businesses in the building complex on all things waste management. 

The judges were impressed by their efforts, setting a great example of what can be done with little resources for long-lasting, positive outcomes, particularly in the area of waste minimisation. 

The Pastry Lounge 

Winner of the Sustainable Business Award (Medium Business category)
Winner of the Overall Whitehorse Sustainability Award 
The Pastry Lounge is a pastry factory located in Mitcham. It has retrofitted the factory shell with wall and ceiling insulation to reduce the use of air conditioning and has installed an impressive 45kW solar PV system on the factory roof that saves 1185 tonnes of CO2-e annually. 

To reduce energy consumption, the factory has installed strip curtains for the refrigeration area and factory entrance as well as the use of energy and water saving appliances, such as a food steam-convection oven and water-efficient floor scrubber. Sustainability Awards 2014 4

The Pastry Lounge plays an active role as a body corporate committee member and has successfully advocated to improve and increase greenery and streetscape of the business park. The business also donates remaining food stock to FareShare to provide meals for those in need. 

The judges were impressed by their proactive efforts in creating a sustainable business which started as a humble home business 13 years ago. Now with a fully equipped kitchen, integrating water and energy saving machinery and continuously improving sustainability infrastructure, The Pastry Lounge has not lost sight of their ongoing drive to conserve resources and operate in a sustainable manner as their business grows. 

Highly commended for the Sustainable Business Award (Medium Business category): Healthways Recreation Centre. 

Highly commended for the Overall Whitehorse Sustainability Award: Nunawading Christian College.

Peter Wise 

Winner of the Sustainable Community Leadership Award

Peter Wise joined the Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Advisory Committee in the early 1990’s. Founder of the regular ‘walks through the Sanctuary’, Peter continues to contribute to the committee as well as working tirelessly in his own time on a range of projects and regular activities at Blackburn Lake Sanctuary. Sustainability Awards 2014 5

Peter’s valuable and sustained contribution to Blackburn Lake Sanctuary has included the weekly weeding group, monthly working bees, Clean Up Australia Day events and sharing his extensive knowledge of the local bushland, particularly identification of invasive weeds. 

Peter’s longstanding volunteering efforts at Blackburn Lake Sanctuary were a stand-out to the judges. His 20-plus years contribution towards maintaining and preserving the health of Blackburn Lake is a testament towards his passion and value of Whitehorse’s natural environment. 

For more information on the Whitehorse Sustainability Awards contact Council’s Sustainability Officer on 9262 6155 or email

Previous Years' Winners

For more information about winners from previous years, please click on the following PDFs:

pdf icon  Sustainability Awards - 2011 Winners (481.54kB)
pdf icon  Sustainability Awards - 2012 Winners (1.46MB)
pdf icon  Sustainability Awards - 2013 Winners (794.95kB)

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