On Saturday evening I attended the first Eco-Logic awards. It was held at the ICC and overall it was a top notch event which was well attended. However, there was one fundamental problem with the award, which if they address for the next awards, it will be an event well worth attending.
What did I like about the awards? The venue, it was held in one of the ICC auditoriums. Normally I don’t like the ICC for events but the auditoriums are very good for this sort of thing. They look good, the seating is comfortable and the audio visual setup is great.
There was time to network before with snacks and a bar if you felt like a drink. Seeing as it was well attended, it was a good opportunity to meet people and have some interesting conversations. Michelle Garforth-Venter was the MC, and although she was not as dynamic as one would have liked (sorry Michelle!), she is the appropriate person in terms of her green credentials and presenting experience. There were also some great standout moments like the live cheetah on stage. And not least important, there were a lot of prizes for the audience too!
In terms of the actual competition, the judges were of a high calibre, there was substantial sponsorship. The awards were organised by David Parry-Davies of Enviropeadia and he has a large number of contacts and is well respected in the industry.
So it was an enjoyable and worthwhile event. I firmly believe these awards will become an important element of the Green movement in South Africa and hope they grow from strength to strength.
So what did I not like about the awards? Well, there was just one thing really. But, it’s a biggie. There was no information about the entrants nor the winners. Event the glossy booklet they handed out told you about the entrants in terms of their business but not about the project they had entered.
I expected when they announced the nominations for each prize to see a 20 second video of each nominated project so we could see what all these awesome projects are about. Then we would love to have heard a presentation from the winner in each category. Just 2 mins, nothing serious. The thing is, these are inspiring stories. We want to hear about the good work that is being done out there.
As David Parry-Davies said himself, there’s enough doom and gloom already, we need to celebrate the achievements. But how can we celebrate the these award winning projects and be inspired by them when we know nothing about them?
There was a short presentation by the winner of the lifetime achievement award, John Ledger, and he was awesomely interesting and inspiring. Also, the talk about the rhinos and the cheetah outreach programme were all inspiring. We would have loved to hear about all the projects. If time was an issue they could have axed the live music from the programme. We didn’t attend for a concert, we attended to be inspired.
I would also have liked to hear from the judges. How did they judge? What were the criteria? How were they affected, were they inspired? Why did they choose this project over that project? I personally would like to hear some justification for some of the awards. For instance, awarding the recycling award to Plastics SA. I’m sure they are doing great things to promote recycling, but fundamentally Plastics SA exists to promote the use of plastic. The fact of the matter is that reducing the use of plastic is a much more environmental solution than making more plastic then recycling it. That’s why it’s reduce, reuse, recycle and not recycle, reduce, reuse. So I would probably award the recycling award to an individual or organisation that is promoting recycling but not also promoting the use of non environmentally friendly product at the same time.
I’m sure the judges would have a response to this, but we never heard it. As I said at the beginning of the post, if they address the issue of communication and share more info about the projects and especially the winners, it will be an interesting and inspiring event to attend.
So, without further ranting, here are the winners:
Eco-Angel Award: Mike Kerr, Animal Outreaches;
Eco-Warrior Award: (sponsored by MTN) Mariette Liefferink;
Eco-Logical Youth Award (sponsored by Pick n Pay Schools Club): Tanya Meyer;
The Recycling Award (sponsored by HP): Plastics SA;
The Biodiversity Award (sponsored by SABC3): Diamond Route;
The Climate Change Award (sponsored by ACSA) Rocking the Daisies and WESSA Share-Net.
Best Programme, Product or Service that results in Energy Saving (sponsored by Menlyn Maine): Imperial Logistics;
Best Programme, product or Service that results in Water Conservation: Avis;
Best Programme, Product or Service that reduces Environmental Impact in Transport (sponsored by Gautrain): Imperial Logistics;
Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by LG): John Ledger