Sustainable Coastlines has won the Tech for Good Award at the 2020 Sustainable Business Awards held on 19 November, in a continuation of triumphs this year for its innovative and trail-blazing programme, Litter Intelligence.
The Sustainable Business Awards are New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainability awards, now in their 18th year. The awards recognise and celebrate success in sustainability. The Tech for Good Award is presented to a technological initiative designed for social or environmental change.
“We are incredibly proud of our team’s work growing the Litter Intelligence programme”, says Sustainable Coastlines co-founder Camden Howitt. “From humble beginnings we are now monitoring over 180 beaches around Aotearoa, and counting. This award continues to build on the scientific credibility of our work and motivate us to keep pushing for bigger and better solutions for litter. Kia ora to the Sustainable Business Network for this Tech for Good Award recognition; it is a major testament to the importance of this mahi. The SDGs are a brilliant blueprint to work towards and we’re honoured to be contributing through our now ‘award-winning’ Litter Intelligence programme”.
Of the win, the Sustainable Business Awards judges commented, “Sustainable Coastlines has developed NZ’s first scientifically-rigorous national litter database to determine how much litter is on NZ beaches. It engages citizen scientists and works with government. More than just analysing data, the initiative is focused on behaviour change. The technology is strong, the impact is clear and there is great clarity of focus. This is a home-grown success story with the potential to go global.”
Litter Intelligence programme manager, Shawn Elise Tierney, highlighted the invaluable contribution of community efforts, saying, “We’re humbled to accept this award on behalf of all the citizen scientists around Aotearoa who are contributing to Litter Intelligence. We wouldn’t be here without the many volunteers who mobilise their communities to turn rubbish into helpful data to inspire behaviour change. The tech has been a great tool for uniting individual efforts nationwide.”