South East Water has been recognised for its commitment to its customers and the environment in the AFR BOSS 2023 Most Innovative Companies List, claiming sixth place in the Mining, Agriculture and Utilities category. 

In recent years, the organisation has embarked on multiple innovative projects to rise to the challenges of this critical decade for water in the face of changing weather patterns and evolving customer expectations.

The award recognises, in particular, South East Water’s Environmental Sensitivity Map, a tool created to proactively protect the environment within Melbourne’s south-east in the event of a sewer spill. This initiative is just one of multiple projects that are helping the organisation protect its environment and deliver for its customers.

South East Water has also embarked on a significant digital transformation and is progressing with a substantial expansion of its recycled water network. 

To date, its digital metering program has saved customers close to one billion litres of water and more than $4.4 million by detecting household leaks. The next phase of the digital metering program will see it supporting business and industry to save water through the installation of next-generation digital data loggers.

The accolade also recognises the organisation’s commitment to empowering its employees to drive innovation at all levels and areas of the business through its innovation program.

South East Water Managing Director, Lara Olsen, said the organisation was incredibly proud to be named on the prestigious list, among many other inspiring and influential organisations. 

“Innovation is one of our driving forces at South East Water,” Ms Olsen said.  

“It’s what enables us to continually improve our operations so we can deliver healthy water for our customers, community and environment, both now and well into the future.   

“We’re constantly looking for new ways to protect the environments we work in. Often, this means inventing new tools and technologies ourselves – which is what we’ve done with the Environmental Sensitivity Map. 

“This tool is helping us not only to better understand the biodiversity in our region, but to act faster and more responsibly to protect it if there’s a risk to the health of our environment.”

In 2023, South East Water launched its five-year customer commitment, which sets out the organisation’s plan for the future, including the continuing expansion of its digital utility program, updating key assets to expand capacity for Melbourne’s growing population and investing in more smart tools to deliver a better customer experience. 

Each year the AFR’s Most Innovative Companies List celebrates influential Australian businesses that are creating unique and innovative solutions to solve problems and have the power to change people’s lives.

Read the full list of companies listed in the Mining, Agriculture and Utility category here.

Featured image: South East Water representatives (L-R: Environment Manager, Katrina Hall; Managing Director, Lara Olsen; Product Development Manager, Ninad Dharmadhikari) accept the award for joining the AFR BOSS 2023 Most Innovative Companies List. Image credit: South East Water. 

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