When it comes to convincing your employer to take more tangible action on climate, it can help to have some super-solid case studies and success stories up your sleeve. After all, you can’t be what you can’t see.
Luckily for you, Australia is full of organisations of all shapes and sizes that are putting people and planet before profit. Here are four that are talking the talk – and walking the walk – on climate action.
Bank Australia runs their branches and offices off 100% renewable energy
Bank Australia has been kicking climate action goals for years. From establishing a 2117-hectare conservation reserve in Western Victoria, to their efforts to become carbon neutral and a certified B Corporation, the customer-owned bank has long made a commitment to environmental sustainability and positive social impact.
In 2020, after participating in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project, they achieved their target of switching to 100% renewable energy. “We now get 100% of our electricity from the Crowland Wind Farms, just outside Ararat,” explains Fiona Nixon, Head of Strategy and Communications.
“Our customers told us that encouraging growth in renewable energy is a priority for them,” adds Bank Australia Managing Director Damien Walsh. “Participating in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project is a great way we’ve been able to do that.”
Great Wrap produce plant-based cling wrap that’s fully compostable
When is a potato peel not a potato peel? When it’s been turned into a plastic-free alternative to cling wrap, thanks to the brains at Mornington Peninsula-based Great Wrap.
Founders Julia and Jordy Kay have created a plant-based wrap that will break down completely within a matter of weeks in a home compost bin. “We’re working towards having all of our products made from food waste,” Julia and Jordy explain. “We are converting that waste into a biopolymer that’s home compostable and marine biodegradable. And even if our products do end up in landfill, they’ll release the tiniest amount of methane and carbon dioxide, compared to if it were raw food waste.”
Along with keeping food waste out of landfill, they create their great Great Wrap in a 100% solar-powered production plant.
“The use of solar at our first facility was a really easy choice for us. We think a lot about what goes into everything we make, so why shouldn't where our power comes from be a part of that?” Julia says. “A lot of our customers really love that we manufacture using solar power and we're proud to be setting the bar in Australian manufacturing. We're in the midst of transitioning our second mega factory over now and the team have found the process easy to navigate.”
Intrepid Travel is reducing carbon emissions across their operations and supply chains
Intrepid Travel, the world’s largest small-group adventure travel company, has been helping people explore the world for over 40 years. They’re also the first tour operator to set a global science-based target, committing to reducing emissions across their operations and supply chains for a 1.5°C degree future.
Environmental Impact Specialist Susanne Etti is one of the driving forces behind Intrepid’s shift to science-based targets. After joining the team in 2019, she was pleased with what they were doing in the climate space, but could see that more needed to be done. “If you want to keep your reputation, you have to do more than just be carbon neutral, because that’s not enough anymore,” she told WorkForClimate in an interview last year.
“Our hope is that we can use these targets as a rallying cry to the entire industry to take meaningful collective action on climate as a critical priority in travel’s post-COVID recovery. We simply can’t rebuild at the expense of the planet.”
4 Pines is brewing beer you’ll feel good about drinking
The beer industry is responsible for a lot of waste: water, energy and brewery by-products, like spent grain and hops.
Fortunately, the team at 4 Pines are changing the way they brew. Their venues and breweries are all powered by 100% renewable energy, sourced from a wind farm in New England and a solar farm in Wagga Wagga under a Power Purchase Agreement. They also use less water than the industry average to brew their beer, currently sitting at 3.85 hectolitres of water per hectolitre of beer produced (compared to the average 5.3HL/HL. And if that’s not enough, they also donate their spent grain to a local farmer who uses it to feed their cows.
“We just make sure that we really keep on top of monitoring and reporting all of our energy usage as there's always space to do better,” explains Ttobie Arowobusoye, 4 Pines’ Sustainability and Social Impact Advisor, in an interview with Bank Australia. “Keeping an eye on things is the only way to know how we can improve.”
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Image supplied by Great Wrap.