2023 ECO-INNOVATION Award Finalists


For an innovative Design, Construction, Technology, Methodology, Product or Service that serves the needs of humans whilst also being supportive of and beneficial for the Earth's biodiversity and eco-systems.

EWT: A high-tech solution that saves threatened birds from power line collisions

To solve the current energy crisis, energy generation capacity is being bolstered by new developments, such as renewable energy projects. Each new project requires auxiliary infrastructure connecting it to the national grid, including overhead power lines. Unfortunately, power lines have a known and, for some species, significant impact on our wildlife. Power line collisions account for 47% of power line-related bird mortalities in South Africa. There are effective mitigation measures, such as fitting markers known as ‘bird flight diverters’ to improve the visibility of power line cables to birds in flight. However, as we increase the network of transmission and distribution power lines, this mitigation work takes valuable time away from live line workers. To improve both the efficiency and safety of power line marking, we developed a way of using a drone to attach bird flight diverters to power line cables.


Urban Surfer

Support for 50 informal waste reclaimers in Johannesburg (pilot project). Reclaimers received equipment in the form of an innovative collection trolley that transforms into a temporary shelter. Clothing, PPE, solar charger & lights, shoes, sun hat, raincoat & gloves.

Recycling activities are tracked with GPS waste trackers fitted to the collection trolleys. This provides us data on collection areas, sorting camps and places of selling. Recycling volumes, type & value are tracked. Reclaimers partake in community upliftment activities which help transform the relationship between communities and reclaimers to create a cleaner, safer and more socially integrated community. Community initiatives provide additional income to reclaimers. Over 50,000km of informal waste collection has been tracked and reported daily through our reporting application. To date, each reclaimer has recorded over 1,000km of trolley movements. Equipment is serviced and maintained to good working order.


Wetland-in-a-Box: Vertical Up Flow Modular Constructed Wetland Water Treatment System

Globally there is a growing problem with wastewater management. This is particularly acute in SA where we produce around 5 billion liters of sewage daily, most of which is returned to a river semi-treated. Necessity is the mother of invention, so a wetland was engineered in Calcutta to treat waste from a densely populated industrial city.

The East Calcutta Wetland has demonstrated that solutions in partnership with nature are viable. The microbiota in that system have rapidly evolved to metabolize complex toxins and reduce pathogen loads. In SA this concept has been taken to the next level by optimizing the contact between the roots of wetland plants in a patented design known as a vertical up-flow modular constructed wetland water treatment system that is infinitely scalable. Known as the Wetland-in-a-Box (WiaB), it has been demonstrated in the treatment of effluent from a wine estate. This is technically scalable, socially acceptable, and financially viable in a circular economy.