MCi Carbon founder, Marcus Dawe, accepts the Circular Transition Award at the
34th Banksia National Sustainability Awards in March 2023.
For proof that sustainable development is possible, one needs to look no further than the coveted Banksia National Sustainability Awards, according to Banksia Foundation CEO Graz van Egmond.
“The Banksia awards are a leading light for sustainable development in Australia, uncovering and recognising progress and alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Ms van Egmond says.
“For people and organisations striving for beyond business as usual, the Banksia awards create recognition nationwide. For everyone else, stories from the awards’ finalists and winners inspire us to do better.”
Ms van Egmond urges trail blazers and innovators leading the charge in environmental and social sustainability to submit an entry for the 35th Banksia National Sustainability Awards before the deadline on 18 December 2023.
“Entrants in the Banksia awards get an opportunity to build a public profile for their work, share their story, attract investors and funders and have their efforts recognised and rewarded,” Ms van Egmond says.
Newcastle, NSW, based MCi Carbon, the winner of the Circular Transition Award at the 34th Banksia National Sustainability Awards in March 2023, benefitted from the recognition. MCi Carbon, featured on the front page of The Australian this month as part of the paper’s Green List of top 100 energy players.
MCi Carbon was singled out for a Banksia Award for its chemical engineering breakthroughs achieved at its Pilot Plant Facility in Newcastle, using a patented mineral carbonation process to decarbonise global industries.
Now, the company is set to begin construction of a second plant, called ‘Myrtle’ which MCi Carbon Head of Communications Todd McHenry describes as the “Swiss Army knife of mineral decarbonisation – call it an end-to-end carbon refinery”.
MCi Carbon’s plant at Newcastle, NSW.
Recently unveiled at the Purpose Conference in Sydney, Myrtle was funded by the Federal Government’s CCUS Development Fund in 2021 and will be a rapid validator for MCi technology as the company scales towards commercialisation in Europe and Asia. Earlier this year, MCi Carbon signed on its first global commercial customer RHI Magnesita, the global leader in refractories.
Mr McHenry says Myrtle is the world’s first multi-purpose carbon plant. “We can take any source of Co2 emissions and mineral-based feedstock and react them together and create brand new inputs for the built environment,” he says. It will be located in Newcastle NSW.
Myrtle will capture and transform between 1000 to 3000 tonnes of CO2 per annum from industries like steel and create up to 10,000 tonnes of low carbon and negative emissions materials for use in building products, such as concrete and plasterboard, and other valuable materials for the circular economy.
Mr McHenry says MCi entered the awards because they recognised the calibre of the sustainability projects and initiatives it had featured in the past, and its long-standing reputation over many years. Initially, MCi entered the NSW Banksia Awards and as a result of that success, entered the National Awards.
He says the win provided validation for the growing team at MCi and is included in all its marketing materials.
“Banksia is at the upper echelon of awards, and recognition in the global sustainability community. The Banksia brand is really that stamp of approval for our technology,” Mr McHenry says.
MCi was also singled out as the number one global clean tech start-up at the global climate talks, COP26, in Glasgow.
‘Myrtle’ is expected to be constructed and fully commissioned in 2024.
Banksia’s Ms van Egmond says the awards are a platform for showcasing innovative, replicable, and scalable solutions that demonstrate how individuals, communities, businesses, and governments can make a tangible difference in our ecosystems.
“These solutions have the potential to inspire others and catalyse positive change,” Ms van Egmond says. “Beyond inspiration, we celebrate the resounding impact of individuals, organisations, and businesses in confronting the monumental challenges of our era, to produce real solutions. It’s about collective power, and it’s the heartbeat of the Banksia Awards.”
This year, a new award category, the Climate Impact Technology Award, has been added and the Biodiversity Award has been renamed the Nature Positive Award to reflect developments in natural capital.
“The Nature Positive Award recognises initiatives that are actively contributing to the restoration and preservation of our natural world. In a time of increasing environmental challenges, this category recognises our commitment to nature’s well-being,” Ms van Egmond says.
The Banksia Climate Impact Technology Award is a platform for start-ups to showcase their ground-breaking climate solutions.
“We’re committed to empowering climate entrepreneurs who are driving real change. If your start-up has a game-changing technology that mitigates climate change, this is your chance to gain recognition and support on a national stage,” Ms van Egmond says.
The winners of the 35th Banksia National Sustainability Awards will be announced in April 2024.
The Banksia Foundation is one of Australia’s most respected sustainability organisations. For over three decades, the foundation has been dedicated to recognising, promoting, and celebrating sustainability achievements across all sectors of society. Through prestigious awards programs, knowledge-sharing initiatives, and advocacy efforts, the Banksia Foundation plays a pivotal role in driving positive change and inspiring sustainable practices in Australia.