CODE RED: 3 Australian Businesses That Are Taking Climate Action Seriously
Updated: Aug 9, 2022
By Siena Nisavic – Content Marketer for TCE, Purpose Activist and Gen Z-er
An increase in the frequency, intensity and duration of extreme fire events across the country.
Widespread heatwaves, droughts and floods.
Sandstorms, dust storms, coastal flooding, river floods, heavy rainfall and retreating shorelines.
This is just a taste of what we can expect in Australia alone, if we continue along our current trajectory of destruction to our natural environment and resources.
The latest IPCC report paints a bleak picture of what our future will look like if we fail to address the climate emergency.
The report clearly outlines that there is no longer any room for debate- humans are undoubtably warming the globe at an unprecedented rate.
And yet, the very people who we’ve elected as the leaders of this country, are unable to come to a consensus on how to combat climate change.
Instead our Government claims to be ‘victimised’ by bodies such as UNESCO in their decision to include the Great Barrier Reef in the list of world heritage areas that were considered to be ‘in danger’. They refuse to commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and instead, point the finger to other countries when confronted with the lack of progress Australia is making, in addressing climate change.
A machine as powerful as the Australian Government, seemingly unable to make a positive change, is enough to make anyone feel inadequate when it comes to addressing climate change as individuals.
Our government continues to ignore that the majority of Australians are in favour of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
At a time when our governments refuse to listen to our needs as citizens, there is another option that we are able to turn to, as consumers in a capitalist world.
Voting with our wallets.
Unlike governments, businesses are forced to listen to the needs and wants of their market, otherwise running the risk of obsolescence. This has led to a movement of business as a force for good.
And I don’t mean businesses just trying to make their supply chains less unethical. I mean businesses existing to address societal and environmental issues. Existing beyond profit.
By purchasing and supporting these businesses we can effectively vote with our wallets. We can send a message out to businesses and governments that we want climate action. We can effectively set a standard, by exerting the power of our consumer choice. Because where the people go, the money flows. The more we support businesses with purpose, the more the rest of the market will catch on and adopt the sustainable practices themselves.
So rather than wallow in the defeat of our government’s response to the latest IPCC report, start flexing the power of your wallet.
Here are a few Australian owned businesses that are doing a better job in tackling climate change than the Australian Government…
Future Super is committed to empowering Australians to use their savings to create a fairer, brighter, renewable energy powered future. As a super fund, Future Super – like its competitors – aims to deliver Australians money for their retirement.
Super funds are ultimately responsible for providing future income for their members in retirement.
However for many of its competitors, this means funding fossil fuels, tobacco, offshore detention, nuclear and uranium, live animal exports and animal cruelty, armaments and militarism, slave labour, gambling and pokies, and old-growth logging.
A study commissioned by UTS in partnership with Future Super found that just 7.7 per cent of Australia’s superannuation savings invested up to the year 2030 could fully fund the transition to a 100 per cent renewable energy, power electricity grid.
In 2019 Future Super led an initiative, ‘Not Business as Usual’- an alliance
of companies publicly pledging to allow their employees to protest for climate action on 20 September, without fear of retribution.
Listen to our podcast interview with co-founder of Future Super, Simon Sheikh
One of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions is transport, with transportation activities accounting for 17 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For those within the postal industry, it’s a hard one to get away from. However, Sendle- an Australian-based courier company, is showing that it’s possible to become a 100 percent carbon neutral shipping carrier.
Sendle achieves this by filling unused spaces in trucks within existing delivery networks. This ensures that every route is as efficient as possible. Sendle then offsets the emissions of every single package shipped by purchasing carbon credits through its partner South Pole. Sendle also gives its community of business owners the chance to vote on which projects its carbon offsetting will support over the next 12 months.
Since the company launched in 2015, Sendle has offset the carbon emissions associated with more than 13 billion miles of package delivery.
Alongside Future Super, Sendle was involved in the ‘Not Business as Usual’ movement back in 2019.
Zero Co is on a mission to un-trash the planet by stopping the production of new single use plastics and cleaning up the current plastic waste that is in our ocean.
The Byron Based start-up creates planet-friendly personal care and home cleaning products. This includes body wash hand soap, laundry liquids, and more. The formulas are completely plant based and packaged in ‘forever bottles’, made from recycled plastics collected from beach clean ups Zero Co funds across Australia.
Every refill equals one less new-plastic-bottle being made, used once and thrown away.
So far they’ve removed over 6,000kg of plastic rubbish from the ocean. That’s the equivalent of more than 500,000 water bottles worth of plastic that they’ve already pulled from the sea
Zero Co delivers these products straight to your door, with a set of empty dispensers along with colour-matching refill pouches and a reply-paid postage satchel. All you have to do is empty the contents of the refill pouches into the dispensers and send back the empty refull pouch via the postage satchel- free of charge!
From there, Zero Co cleans, refills and reuses the pouches...putting an end to single-use plastic. For good.
Zero Co aims to collect 21 tonnes of Aussie ocean bound waste and turn it into product bottles, spending $5 from each purchase to clean the ocean in their Oceans 21 project.
Listen to our podcast interview with founder of Zero Co, Mike Smith
It’s easy to feel frustrated when an issue so clear and imminent is continually shrugged off by our politicians.
While that frustration is completely valid- we can’t rely on it to create the change that we want to see in the world.
In a world that puts so much value into the worth of a dollar- we have an opportunity to let our spending do some of the talking. Much like the companies mentioned above, there are plenty of businesses out there that are authentically looking to improve the state of the world.
The key is to find them and support them.
And the power is within our wallets.
BEFORE YOU GO…
Over the past 2 years, myself and Carolyn Butler- Madden have been building a database that captures organisations much like the examples above, that are using their businesses as a force for good. We call it the ‘Do Good Sh*t’ database- #DGS for short. You can find it on our website here…
By the end of this year, our goal is for this database to reach 200 examples of businesses being used as a force for good.
If you’re aware of any initiatives that might fit well into the database- we’d love to hear about it. You can reach out to me via my linkedin...