Local businesses recognised for sustainability achievements at a stellar night across 9 categories, People’s Choice, and Better Business of the Year

North Sydney Mayor Jilly Gibson, Amanda Choy, Nicole Inskip, Joel Houghton

Last night on Thursday 17th June, at the Better Business Partnership Awards, the best local businesses who exemplify sustainability in their respective industries across the Ku-ring-gai, North Sydney and Willoughby City Council areas, were recognised for their achievements. Out of the 52 local business finalists, the winners and runner-ups in 9 diverse category industry areas were announced.

North Sydney Mayor, Jilly Gibson presented the 2021 Better Business of the Year Award to Sessions Hairdressing – a boutique sustainable hair salon owned by Nicole Inskip. Jilly said the Council was proud to have a McMahons Point business win the Better Business of the Year Award. “Nicole is a leader in sustainability, not only locally but within her industry. It was inspiring to hear that her business, Sessions Hairdressing, is the first in Australia to be BCorp certified. I congratulate Nicole and her team for their wonderful achievements.”

Mayor Gibson added, “I would also like to congratulate the team at the Better Business Partnership for the excellent progress they have made in changing the culture of local businesses. When the Better Business Partnership was established, North Sydney Council hoped that the program would encourage our local business community to incorporate at least some sustainable initiatives into their business operations. The range and initiatives of our award winners are evidence that sustainability is being embraced by businesses in many different industries.”

Nicole Inskip, the owner of Sessions Hairdressing was overwhelmed and thrilled to be the winner of two awards – Retails Services and 2021 Better Business of the Year. “It was a beautiful and inspiring evening surrounded by like-minded businesses passionate about sustainability and I am honoured to have taken home two awards. I am humbled to see the range of contributions in sustainability from all businesses and I feel a renewed excitement that together we will impact positive change.”

Amanda Choy, Better Business Partnership Coordinator said that all the winners and runner-ups of the 9 category areas were deserving recipients for their ongoing improvement and commitment to sustainability. “It’s wonderful to see these businesses recognised for having strong sustainable philosophies, and demonstrated actions that they have taken over the past 18 months to improve in becoming more sustainable. Importantly they have been influencing others to show that being a sustainable business is achievable and within everyone’s reach. I look forward to seeing these businesses flourish.”

Award Industry Categories Winner Runner-up
1.   Childcare Little Steps East Lindfield (KMC) Devonshire Street Children’s Centre (WCC)
2.   Foodservice Cassius Café (WCC)


The North Spoon (NSC)

Flat Rock Brew Café (WCC)

3.   Light Industrial and Manufacturing Shed Eleven (KMC) Evoke (WCC)
4.   Pubs, Clubs, Leisure and Fitness North Sydney Yoga (NSC) Sydney by Kayak (NSC)
5.   Office Based and Professional Services Interactive (WCC) Bijl Architecture (WCC)
6.   Retail Products Based The Uniform Exchange (KMC) Neo Australia (WCC)
7.   Retail Services Sessions Hairdressing (NSC) Sudu Hair (KMC)
8.   Shopping Centres and Markets St Ives Shopping Village (KMC) Chatswood Chase (WCC)
9.   Social Enterprise and Community Worn Up (WCC) North Sydney Community Centre (NSC)

KMC – Ku-ring-gai Council; NSC – North Sydney Council; WCC – Willoughby City Council

The People’s Choice Award as voted by the public was given to The Uniform Exchange – a second hand uniform shop based in Pymble whose goal is to ensure no uniform or text book ends up in landfill. The public got behind their favourite businesses with over 1700 votes in total placed.

Sue Turner, owner of The Uniform Exchange is passionate about her purpose; “Every uniform and text book we receive is either resold to local parents or if un-sellable but wearable is sent to another who can use. There are so many dis-advantaged children in underprivileged countries in the world. School uniforms are designed to be long lasting and used again and again – we cannot let this reusable resource be wasted”

The night was celebrated by state MPs, local Mayor and councillors, environmental leaders, and the community. 130 people attended the carbon neutral event which was held at the Kirribilli Club. The event was self-measured and determined that the carbon footprint was 7 tonnes. The Better Business Partnership purchased 10 tonnes of EcoAustralia credits from South Pole to compensate for unavoidable emissions from the event. These credits went to supporting the protection of biodiversity and habitat restoration in wetlands and woodlands in South Australia’s Coorong area. Plus a Gold Standard verified project in Taiwan that helps mitigate climate change with expanding Taiwan’s renewable clean energy of investment into wind farms.

As is customary for the Better Business Awards, the winner’s trophies are created with a clear link to sustainability. For 2021, Defy Designs were commissioned to develop and design the unique winner plaques that were made out of post consumer-used plastic that were then heat moulded into the trophies. The plastic was sourced from Sustainable Salons which recycles the plastic bottles from hair salons.

The Better Business Partnership program also engaged two Better Business Partnership accredited businesses, The Possibility Project and Shed Eleven to come up with a sustainable creation for the table decorations. These two BBP businesses designed and created flowers that were hand-crafted and made from recycled sari materials. These creations made unique and different table centrepieces. Fanny Clarsen (Shed Eleven) and Kath Davis (The Possibility Project) said, “We were delighted to be able to contribute to the BBP awards event with our artistic knowledge and using recycled materials to demonstrate how you can stage events in a sustainable way. The collaboration on this activity between The Possibility Project and Shed Eleven was a great pleasure as we share many common values. One of the best things about our involvement with BBP is meeting like-minded people and being part of a community to create a more conscious approach to business, for people and planet.”

For further media enquiries contact;

Amanda Choy
Better Business Partnerships Program Coordinator
9424 012


Better Business Partnership is a free business sustainability program funded by Ku-ring-gai, North Sydney and Willoughby Councils in Sydney to promote and support small and medium sized business to be more successful through sustainability. Operating since 2009 the service educates and provides free advice on ways for local businesses to be more efficient with resources used, and make operational improvements to achieve environmental, social and economic gains for long term success. Local businesses who become members are assessed and accredited across 9 sustainability areas of; energy, water, waste, purchasing, business health, community, single use plastic, staff, and transport.