Marlborough Environment Awards

Thursday 7 February 2013, 2:00PM

By Marlborough District Council


Paul Quinn of Marlborough Renewable Oils talks through the bio-diesel process with the Environment Award judges.
Paul Quinn of Marlborough Renewable Oils talks through the bio-diesel process with the Environment Award judges. Credit: Marlborough District Council


Smart businesses impress Enviro Awards judges.

Judging is over for this year’s Marlborough Environment Awards and the high standard of entries is not going to make it easy to pick the winners.

In the Business Innovation category, sponsored by Cuddon Engineering, judges found some great examples of companies approaching their business and the environment in a smart and connected way.

The Expleco glass crusher, designed and engineered by father and son team Tim and Geoff Barnett, is sold throughout New Zealand as well as exported to 16 countries. It is popular at remote resorts because it turns glass bottles into sand, which can be used on paths or in filtration systems. Previously the bottles were often just dumped in the sea.

Marlborough Renewable Oils is also finding a use for a waste product. In their case they collect used cooking oil from local restaurants and cafes and turn it into bio-diesel to run Arrow water taxis out of Picton. Judges praised the green technology and the benefits to the local hospitality industry and the Sounds ecosystem.

Back on dry land, the Kiernan Creek carbon sink forest is part of a business model that invests in permanent forest and sells the carbon credits to companies that need to offset their emissions. The Wairau Valley forest is owned by NZ Carbon Farming and is grown to absorb carbon rather than be cut down for timber. This permanent forest also controls erosion, and ecosytems are not disturbed by harvesting.

Another Business Innovation entrant is Fruition Horticulture, which works with Marlborough grape-growers to calculate how much water should be irrigated and when. Their vineyard monitoring and data collection service has led to significant savings in water, power and nutrients for their vineyard clients, who are irrigating 20% less than the Marlborough average.

The Environment Awards are supported by the Marlborough District Council and local sponsors. The winners will be announced at the Awards dinner at the Convention Centre on Friday March 1.

For tickets go to Marlborough-Environment-Awards or ring Nicky Eade at the Council, Ph: 03 520 7400.