What a night we had at the 7th Better Business Partnership Awards on the evening of Thursday 8 June 2023 at the Glasshouse in Artarmon. Approximately 120 attendees including local elected representatives including Federal Member for North Sydney Kylea Tink and Member for Willoughby, Tim James, joined the finalist businesses to celebrate and recognise the achievements of the best local businesses who exemplify sustainability in their respective industries across the Ku-ring-gai, North Sydney and Willoughby City Council areas. Out of 34 local small business finalists, the winners and highly commended runners-up in 8 diverse categories were announced.
Environmental celebrity Jo Taranto from Good for the Hood was MC for the evening while special guest Adam Axford, Magician and Wordsmith entranced and amazed the audience with an awe-inspiring performance.
Councillor William Bourke, North Sydney Council, Mayor Jeff Pettett, Ku-ring-gai Council, Laura Stone
Sydney by Kayak, Mayor Tanya Taylor Willoughby Council, Jo Taranto MC
Willoughby City Mayor, Tanya Taylor presented the 2023 Better Business of the Year Award to Sydney by Kayak– a family-owned eco-tourism business providing Eco-Kayak and Clean Up Tours of Sydney Harbour. The judges noted that Sydney by Kayak is a shining example of a small business that has transformative impact and shows others how business can be done.
Laura Stone, co-owner of Sydney by Kayak was overwhelmed and thrilled to be the winner of two awards – Leisure and Venues and 2023 Better Business of the Year. “What an amazing night! It was wonderful to be able to celebrate with members of our team and be recognised alongside such an amazing and inspirational group of finalist businesses.”
A new category was revealed at the Gala Awards, the Purpose and Impact Category which was won by Laurie Green Grow Gather Graze, a Ku-ring-gai based permaculture design consultant who started the popular CropSwap movement and cofounded the Edible Garden Trail.
The People’s Choice Award as voted by the public was also won by Laurie Green. Runner up in this coveted award was taken out by popular local Willoughby micro-brewery bar and restaurant Flat Rock Brew Café.
Lisa McDonald, Michelle Worthley and Michelle Nixon from North Sydney Community Centre Winners Social Enterprise and Community Category.
When BBP began, sustainability in business was not the norm. Today it is clear that sustainable business is the only way to do business, to ensure prosperity and longevity. While managing costs is still definitely a big driver, there are so many other reasons – new regulations such as the NSW Single use plastic bans, eco-conscious consumer demand as well as ever-increasing energy costs demonstrate that more than ever, the sustainable options are most effective in the long run.
There was a notable increase in submissions this year with small businesses formalising policies and processes around sustainability, seeking certifications, training their staff and embedding sustainability through targets and KPI’s. Amanda Choy, BBP Program Coordinator stated “We are proud to say that BBP has fostered several BCorps in this room. The BBP assessment may have planted a seed that then grew into a desire by the business to be more accountable, measured publicly and able to demonstrate a commitment to being environmentally and socially transparent.
The Better Business Partnership offset unavoidable emissions from the event by compensating for 10 tonnes of CO2 emissions with Gold Standard rated projects registered with South Pole which support the protection of biodiversity and habitat restoration in Australia and Borneo.
As is customary for the Better Business Awards, the winners’ trophies are created with a clear link to sustainability. BBP once again commissioned Defy Designs to create this year’s trophies from 100% recycled consumer plastic.
The full list of Winners and Highly Commended by Categories
HIGHLY COMMENDED SHED ELEVEN
LEISURE AND VENUES
WINNER Sydney by Kayak
HIGHLY COMMENDED Sterling Results Fitness Club
CHILDCARE AND EARLY LEARNING
WINNER KU West Pymble Preschool
HIGHLY COMMENDED Lady Game Community Kindergarten
PURPOSE AND IMPACT
WINNER Laurie Green Grow Gather Graze
HIGHLY COMMENDED Wildkids Australia
HIGHLY COMMENDED SwapUp
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE AND COMMUNITY GROUPS
WINNER North Sydney Community Centre
HIGHLY COMMENDED TOMbag
WINNER The Steam Engine
HIGHLY COMMENDED Blend Cafe
OFFICE AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
WINNER Risk Edge
HIGHLY COMMENDED Pop This!