The Eco-Logic Awards – South Africa’s Greenest Honoured!

green vending machine

The 9th annual Eco-Logic Awards hosted by The Enviropaedia took place on 21 September (World Peace Day) and recognised the eco-logically beneficial products, services and people who are taking effective action to protect and preserve our environment. The Eco-Logic Awards event was held virtually for the first time and included an address from the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy, highlighting the economic and financial impact Covid-19 has had on climate change, and on South Africa’s conservation and tourism based industries. The minster emphasised the need to focus on a nature-positive future as part of South Africa’s overall economic recovery, calling for investment in green and sustainable solutions.

“ South Africa’s conservation landscapes and ecological infrastructure play an important part in the development of an inclusive and climate-resilient economy. Without the necessary and relevant financial backing, this sector faces a major setback that could lead to thousands of job losses as conservation-based tourism industries, the wildlife industry and related economic sectors feel the effects of the lockdown. All our efforts post covid-19 must ensure that the present situation does not further escalate and result in greater environmental harm.” 

Barbara Creecy

She went on to say that embracing a nature-positive future as part of South Africa’s overall economic recovery would  have a positive impact on job creation in new industries, offering potential for the creation of new enterprises, using new technologies. She explained how investment in green and sustainable solutions offers opportunities to promote our long-term economic competitiveness, and climate resilience.

Recognition of SA’s most sustainable solutions

Initially set to take place 5 June on World Environment Day, the Eco-Logic Awards were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Despite the restrictions we were faced with, we did not want to put off celebrating the good work of our SA eco-champions. Live streaming the event seemed like the perfect alternative and meant we were able to open it up to reach more than our 300 invited guests, to include members of the public. We even had international guests plugging in from London, Paris, New York, Australia and New Zealand,” says David Parry-Davies, Director of Enviropaedia and The Eco-Logic Awards.

Finalists in each of the 12 categories were selected from across the country in August this year. The entries were assessed by a panel of judges made up of influential environmental voices and included eco-initiatives such as smart driving programmes to reduce carbon footprint, sanitation systems for rural schools that operate off the grid and use no water, biodiversity tax and conservation funding initiatives, innovative recycling & waste management organisations and products such as a reverse vending machine that rewards shoppers with cash for their plastic waste, small and large-scale community clean-ups, micro-farming and food security education, youth conservation programmes and more.

Gold winner in the Recycling and Waste Management category, Kabega Primary School, said they hope to inspire other schools to take on the environmental challenge and help change the world. The PE based school’s green activities include robust recycling initiatives, donating money to wildlife rehabilitation, raising  awareness of recycling through talks at conferences, such as the Institute of Waste Management of South Africa’s conference, and the Sustainable Sea Trust conference, and more. Further to this, the school has obtained a WESSA International Flag, currently on Platinum 1 status.

photo of wikus olivier

“We are honoured to receive this award. It goes to every learner, parent, teacher, ground staff worker and community member that contributes to our ongoing success. Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world and that is why we at Kabega Primary instil values in our learners to ensure that we preserve our environment for future generations,” said  Wikus Olivier (pictured), Head of Natural Science and Technology at Kabega Primary School.

Parry-Davies echoed this sentiment and the value of environmental education and upliftment. “It’s so important to highlight these eco-initiatives. The more we empower people, communities, schools, organisations, and businesses who are taking steps to change our environmental footprint, the bigger the impact can be – every bit helps whether big or small. There is power in the hands of all people and consumers to support worthy causes and choose where they spend their time and money.”

A highlight of the ceremony was honouring Craig Foster from the Sea Change Project as this year’s Eco-intelligence award recipient. Recently making headlines for his award-winning Netflix documentary ‘My Octopus Teacher,’ Foster was selected for this award due to his profound understanding of what it means to be ‘eco-logical.’  According to Foster eco-intelligence may be as simple as realising that we are not separate from nature and that we rely upon her for every single thing we do, including breathing. 

Since measuring eco-intelligence was a reoccurring theme of the event, Enviropaedia also launched their new eco-logic calculator. The calculator is a digital tool that prompts users to answer a 5-minute questionnaire that assesses how eco-logically they think and how eco-logical their lifestyle is. “We are so excited about this calculator as it really provides people with a sense of how their daily actions are impacting the environment, something not many think about. A lot of people will be surprised to learn just how much influence they have as one person on our environmental health,” says Parry Davies.

photo of zolani mahola

The evening was hosted by actor and comedian Siv Ngesi, and included a host of celebrity shout-outs as well as a live performance from Freshly Ground’s Zolani Mahola, and poetry by Mbali Vilikazi who asked the question ‘Is there a Xhosa word for Sustainability?’ Informative Green talks were broadcast throughout the evening tackling topics like biomimicry and ‘how to green your home.’

Ending off with a charitable donation, an eco-art auction featuring 3 wildlife paintings by local artist Marc Alexander raised funds on the evening for The Endangered Wildlife Trust.

THE WINNERS at THE ECO-LOGIC AWARDS 2020

THE CLIMATE CHANGE AWARD 

Supported by Department Environmental Affairs

  • Gold : Western Cape Department of Agriculture – “Die Kwik Styg” Radio Programme
  • Silver: City of Cape Town – Smart Driver Programme
  • Bronze: Project 90 by 2030

THE INNOVATION AWARD 

Sponsored by INTERWASTE

  • Gold: Democratic Alliance – Plastic Road in Jeffrey’s Bay
  • Silver: University of Pretoria – Pushing back day Zero
  • Bronze: Wilderness Foundation Africa

THE RECYCLING & WASTE MANAGEMENT AWARD 

Sponsored by Plastics SA

  • Gold: Kabega Primary Eco-life
  • Silver: Imagined Earth – Reverse Vending Machine
  • Bronze: Virgin Active Constantia – Net Zero Waste

THE ECO-BUILD AWARD

Sponsored by Envirochem

  • Gold: USE-IT – Hammarsdale Waste Beneficiation Centre
  • Silver: Democratic Alliance – Plastic Road in Jeffrey’s Bay   
  • Bronze: BOXA Loo

THE WATER CONSERVATION AWARD  

Supported by Rand Water

  • Gold: Amalooloo
  • Silver: The South African Breweries (Pty) Ltd – City/SAB Water Partnership
  • Bronze: The Coca-Cola Foundation, Peninsula Beverages – GCTWF

THE GREEN ECONOMY AWARD

Supported by The National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) 

  • Gold: Abalimi Bezekhaya – Harvest of Hope
  • Silver: Wilderness Foundation Africa
  • Bronze: Khanyi Designs

THE BIODIVERSITY AWARD 

Sponsored by Ford Wildlife

  • Gold: WESSA Green Coast
  • Silver: SANBI Biodiversity Crimes Enforcement Project   
  • Bronze: CTEET – Biodiversity Offsetting 

THE MUNICIPALITY AWARD 

Sponsored by SANTAM

  • Gold: Sedibeng District Municipality – Installation of smoke detectors 
  • Silver: Cape Winelands District Municipality – Ward Based Risk Assessment            
  • Bronze: Garden Route District Municipality – Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF)

THE ECO-COMMUNITY AWARD

Sponsored by Dis -Chem

  • Gold: Abalimi Bezekhaya
  • Silver: CTEET – Sustainable Schools
  • Bronze: Scarborough Environmental Group 

ECO-YOUTH AWARD 

Sponsored by Pick n Pay

  • Gold: Siya Ntsumpa – Giving Them Wings Foundation  
  • Silver: Matthew Furlonger – Warrior Youth
  • Bronze: Sakhe Silwana – Silwana Industries

THE ECO-ANGEL AWARD

Sponsored by Pam Golding Properties

  • Gold: Fortunate Mafeta – Youth 4 African Wildlife
  • Silver: Jonathan Leeming – One World
  • Bronze: Blake Dyason – Love our trails                     

THE ECO-WARRIOR AWARD

Sponsored by Endangered Wildlife Trust

  • Gold: Phil McLean – SANBI Biodiversity Crimes Project
  • Silver: Blake Dyason – Love our trails
  • Bronze: Desmond D’Sa – SDCEA

ECO-INTELLIGENCE AWARD

Sponsored by the Enviropaedia

  • Craig Foster – The Sea Change Project

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