A Queensland-based utility has been granted a position within the Business Review Weekly’s Top 10 most innovative Companies List for 2015.

Queensland Urban Utilities has been awarded this significant placement, being the first water and sewerage service provider to receive this prestigious ranking.

Queensland Urban Utilities CEO, Louise Dudley, said the Top 10 ranking was the result of a new culture of innovation right across the business.

“Through innovation we’ve been able to deliver $4.2 million dollars in operational savings, as well as safer work practices and better customer service,” she said.

“We are turning waste into useful resources, like fertiliser and energy; we are harnessing solar power to run our treatment plants and we are experimenting with green infrastructure to explore new and sustainable ways to operate.”

Queensland Urban Utilities established a dedicated iQ innovation group 18 months ago which has approved 70 ideas for development. Other innovations generated from across the business include an Australian-first nutrient offset scheme.

“We re-vegetated a severely eroded riverbank at Beaudesert with 8000 plants, preventing five tonnes of nitrogen and 11,000 tonnes of soil from entering the Logan River,” Ms Dudley said.

“By stabilising sediment loads in the river, we avoided the need for an $8 million upgrade to the local sewage treatment plant.”  

Ms Dudley said Queensland Urban Utilities was also experimenting with different ways to utilise treated waste.

“The sewage treatment plant of the future is more like a resource recovery centre, where waste is turned into useful products such as biogas,” she said.

“Let’s face it, we’ll never be in short-supply of sewage so we need to be creative and keep thinking outside the square to drive operational excellence now and into the future.

“It’s an exciting road ahead and we are delighted to be leading the way.”

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