We are extremely proud to be named as a finalist in the 32nd Banksia Sustainability Awards (Large Business). 

Ventia was recognised for our SourceZone® innovation, a first-of-its kind, low-emissions, patented technology for removing PFAS contamination from soil.

The Banksia Sustainability Awards aim to raise the profile of the current sustainability issues facing Australia and recognise those whose initiatives are an encouragement and an example for others to follow.

Ventia PFAS Manager Charles Grimison said that the finalist award was recognition of many years of hard work by the entire team.

What started as a vision to create a PFAS removal solution that was highly effective, sustainable and economical is now available across Australia and New Zealand to tackle some of the largest legacy PFAS challenges, he said.

"A huge congratulations on this wonderful recognition — to everyone who has been involved in the development of this world-first technology." 

PFAS - A legacy problem across the world

PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are a diverse group of synthetically produced chemicals that are highly resistant to heat, water and oils. From the 1950s, PFAS were used in industrial applications and in household products, including non-stick cookware, food packaging, cosmetics, sunscreen, and fabric and carpet stain protection products.

Many PFAS do not break down in the environment. They are highly soluble and mobile, and are found in soil, surface water and groundwater. 

From the 1970s, firefighting foams containing high levels of PFAS were used extensively throughout Australia and the world, including during firefighting training. As a result, PFAS contamination is common at defence bases, emergency service facilities, airports, petrochemical plants and mine sites.

From idea to proven solution

In 2014 the vision of the Ventia SourceZone team was for a solution that removed the greatest amount of PFAS mass from the environment in the most cost-effective way. In 2020 this was achieved. 

In 2019, SourceZone had been proven through the treatment of 2,500 tonnes of clay soil during a proof-of-performance trial with a major government client. 

Continuing on from the proof-of-performance trial, over 10,000 tonnes of PFAS-impacted clay soil and 1,500 tonnes of sandy soil from another site were successfully treated and up to 99% of PFAS was removed.

A sustainable solution

At Ventia, we recognise that every decision and action we take is an opportunity to make a positive impact on the people and world around us. So, whilst it was vital to create a solution that was cost-effective, we also needed to ensure it was sustainable. 

Generating less than 1% waste, weight for weight, SourceZone is a sustainable solution to a very complex problem. The PFAS removed during the process is hyper-concentrated, allowing it to be safely managed at a licensed facility.

Beyond this, SourceZone has further enviable sustainability credentials including lower carbon dioxide emissions compared with thermal destruction and the ability to reuse 99% of the soil as backfill onsite, eliminating the need to purchase clean fill, as well as the financially and environmentally expensive cost of transportation and off-site disposal.

Read more about PFAS and the team behind it here: https://www.ventia.com/capabilities/pfas-remediation