2014 Climate Alliance Leadership Awards

For the fourth year, Climate Alliance has recognised business executives that have demonstrated leadership in the area of sustainability and managing the risks presented by climate change. Climate Alliance is aware that there are many business leaders in Australia that are taking effective action we take pleasure in recognising their efforts.

(L-R): Mr Ben Scheltus (CEO, Climate Alliance), Harry Troedel (University of Melbourne), Scott Hargreaves (Orgin Energy), David Kassulke (A.J.Bush & Sons Pty Ltd), Taimur Siddiqi (Secretary, Board of Advisors), Ms Tara Allsop (Chair, Board of Climate Alliance)

The awards are an excellent way of recognising companies and individuals who go over and above ‘business as usual’ and put effort into new approaches and demonstrate real leadership. Past award winners include the board of the National Australia Bank, AGL, Fujitsu and others.  

Ms Tara Allsop, Chair of the Board of Advisors, announced the winners of the Leadership Awards for 2014 at the Climate Alliance National Conference held in Melbourne on 10 April 2014.

Climate Alliance received a number of excellent nominations.  This year, in assessing a range of applicants, Climate Alliance has decided to recognise two boards which have demonstrated leadership in very difference ways: one organisation invested in practical and hands-on action to address the risks and costs of climate change; while the other has taken a stance to embed responsible thinking into their ‘business as usual.’

Board Leadership of the Year was won by A.J.Bush & Sons Pty Ltd and Teachers Mutual Bank.

A.J.Bush & Sons Pty Ltd was represented by David Kassulke. The award was generously sponsored by AGL and presented by Travis Hughes of AGL.

AJ Bush & Sons operates large meat rendering facilities in NSW and Queensland. As a Top 500 Polluter, AJ Bush & Sons faced a significant carbon tax liability. The organisation invested millions of its own capital, supported also by successful government and industry grant applications, to reduce its energy consumption by 46% and its emissions by 64%.

In adopting innovative approaches and new ways of thinking, AJ Bush & Sons have demonstrated leadership in the meat-processing sector and proven that developing capability in this area can result in a significant payback.

The second Board leadership was awarded to Teachers Mutual Bank.

This award was generously sponsored by Pacific Hydro, represented by Lane Crockett.

The Board at Teachers Mutual Bank has embedded environmental sustainability across their business and investment portfolio. In addition to being carbon-neutral, the bank does not invest in any large-scale greenhouse polluting activity or company. Yet they have not sought to adopt a market position around ‘boutique green products’ – every one of their 160,000 customs and $4bn of assets applies this climate lens across their business.

This is a great example of a board that has embraced sustainability as a core business value.

The Business Leader of the year award was generously sponsored by Fujitsu and was represented by Rachel Maddocks. The award recognises individuals who take action to manage the risks and opportunities of climate changes; impacts the broader community to increase awareness and act as a positive role model for their peers.

This year, the award goes to an individual who has worked at senior levels and at grassroots levels to achieve these outcomes. The winner was Harry Troedel from the University of Melbourne.

Since 2008, Harry has worked across the many University of Melbourne campuses to implement more than 200 projects which collectively have saved the organisation around $3m per year and saved the atmosphere over 30,000 tons of emissions.

Company Secretary of the Year award was proudly supported by Karstens Conference Centre, represented by Hendrik Karsten.

The Company Secretary of the Year is awarded to an individual who improves governance and takes action through their Boards in addressing the risks and opportunities of climate change and acts a positive role model for others.

This year, Helen Hardy, of Origin won the Company Secretary of Australia and she was represented by Scott Hargreaves of Origin.

Helen has been an active and vocal participant in environmental, social, and governance matters though her work at Origin and through her involvement with the Governance Institute of Australia. Through her leadership positions, Helen encourages discussion at senior levels around climate change and sustainability matters.