Top tips for entering 2019 Premier’s Sustainability Awards

As the winner in two categories of the 2018 Premier’s Sustainability Awards, online marketplace for surplus food, Yume, found that an extra spring in their step was an unexpected outcome of their experience.

Head of Finance, Roslyn Aikman says “The Yume team worked extremely hard over the past three years and it can be thankless work at times. The recognition we received at the Awards was uplifting and to celebrate as a team was a precious gift. We went back to our desks rejuvenated.”

At a recent information session at Sustainability Victoria for entrants into the 2019 Premier’s Sustainability Awards, Ros, and a member of the 2018 Awards judging panel, shared their valuable insights and experiences on entering and progressing through this year’s Awards.

Ros Aikman’s tips for the entering the Premier’s Sustainability Awards

  1. Optimise the Sustainability Victoria team and ask for help and connections.
  2. Leverage their functions and activities, ensure they understand your business and let them know how and where they can help your business.
  3. Don’t be afraid to enter multiple categories – entering these awards is easy so put your hat in the ring for all the categories that resonate.
  4. Name your project or award entries with a snappy title!

    Ros also suggests that if you receive a nomination and attend the event, make sure to jot down quotes on the night for your own social media campaign to boost your PR efforts and maximise any time in the limelight.

    “Yumeoperate on a tiny marketing budget – so the PSA awards generated PR we couldn’t afford to pay for ourselves”.

    “The external recognition essentially acted as independent due diligence and gave us credibility when we were out on the road. We didn’t have to explain who we were as much and at times were fielding internal queries”.

2018 PSA Judge, on what the judges are looking for

It’s important that your entry gives the judging panel enough information to assess your project fully. Make sure that your entry covers all the benefits of your project to help the judging panel see what makes your project stand out as a sustainable star.

  1. Back up your claims! Demonstrate the sustainability impact of your project or initiative, provide the evidence and show us the numbers! How much energy have you saved, how much waste has been avoided, how much have you improved on minimum standards? The judges will expect evidence and documentation in line with the scale of your project
  2. Highlight the social and community value of your project, especially if it benefits groups that are usually excluded. It’s great to hear when a sustainability project also has economic benefit.
  3. Tell us what you did differently to business-as-usual on this project. Did you change internal processes in your organisation, or use sustainability criteria to make procurement decisions? The judges will be impressed when your project has led to a permanent improvement or change, rather than a one-off.
  4. Explain how your project or initiative could be scaled up and/or replicated, across your organisation and sector and to others in your area- are you working with your business association, have you trained local suppliers or contractors?

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