Five top tips to write an award-winning entry

By Fiona Stephenson

If you’re planning to enter the 2021 Sustainable Business Awards, check out these tips for success!

The Sustainable Business Awards are New Zealand’s pre-eminent sustainability awards. They’ve been running for 19 years and are a great way to get widespread recognition for your sustainability achievements. There are 10 categories to enter, including climate, circular economy, nature, food, social impact, communication and more. Entries close on 21 June.

The Awards are judged by a panel of experts in sustainable business, headed by Rod Oram, leading business journalist. He says:

“Essentials for all entries are a succinct explanation of the company’s achievements, solid evidence of them, and some plans for the future. The most compelling entries, though, are energised by passion and commitment.”

Here are some more pointers to help your entry stand out from the crowd:

  1. Share the big picture

Before you get started, make sure you understand how your initiative fits into the bigger picture. Check with colleagues. What’s the story you want to tell? Make sure your entry has a compelling narrative and it’s clear why you’re working on your initiative. Think of it as an elevator pitch!

  1. Demonstrate your impact

Back up your story with facts and figures. Give evidence of what you’ve achieved.

  1. Don’t assume

The judges will be assessing your entry based on what you write in the entry form. Don’t assume they already know all about your initiative or that they’ll do their own research. You can include links to further information, but the essence of the entry should be in the form.

  1. Focus on the highlights

Space is relatively limited in the initial entry form, so focus on the highlights of your initiative and what you’ve achieved. If you’re selected as a finalist, you’ll be asked to fill in a more detailed form in the second stage of judging. That’s when you can go to town with more detail about your initiative, your organisation and your story.

  1. Check before you send!

Ask a colleague to proofread your entry to make sure there aren’t any errors or typos. You want to make the best impression possible!

If you need some more tips, check out our webinar with Rod Oram or read our Guide to Entering. If you have any queries, contact us at awards@sustainable.org.nz

To enter, download the entry form for the relevant category on our website and email it to awards@sustainable.org.nz

Good luck!