A business that has helped more than 600 broadacre farmers learn more about carbon emissions from farming and how to reduce their carbon footprint has won the $10,000 overall prize in the first SA Climate Leaders Awards.

Port Lincoln business Regional Connections took out the overall prize as well as the Industry and Business category award.

The awards recognise the achievements of South Australians who lead the way in either adapting to the effects of climate change, reducing greenhouse emissions, supporting South Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy or raising awareness of climate change.

Chair of the Premier’s Climate Change Council Bruce Carter said the winners are to be congratulated for their pioneering actions to address and respond to the impacts of climate change.

“Their work is helping to build the State’s resilience to climate change, and inspire other individuals, business and organisations to take action to support SA’s transition to a low carbon economy,” said Mr Carter.

The awards are an initiative of the Premier’s Climate Change Council, the State Government's advisory body on climate change.

Other winners included Cecilia Woolford for her work pioneering regional climate change action, and Uniting Communities for their commitment to certified carbon neutrality, and leading behavioural change in their organisation and the community.

Regional Connections’ work has included the Australian Government’s Carbon Farming Futures Outreach and Extension Program, where 33 trusted farm advisers helped improve farmers’ knowledge, understanding and attitudes to carbon farming. As a result about 70 per cent of the farmer clients surveyed took at least one action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon storage on their farms.

Cecilia Woolford has been called “one of the most influential leaders of action on climate change in South Australia over the past decade”. She helped lead the development of the Eyre Peninsula’s first Regional Adaptation Plan and assisted in the development of a new approach to climate change planning. She is now a leader in developing the Far North and Outback Regional Adaptation Plan. Cecilia has engaged with regional communities by talking about the science behind climate change and the need for action in a practical and respectful way.

Uniting Communities are the first South Australian organisation and first registered charity in Australia to be Certified Carbon Neutral, as a result of reducing their carbon emissions by 34 per cent. Encouraging this behavioural change has had a positive impact on their workforce of more than 1,500 staff and volunteers and the wider community.