Sustainability Matters 2020
Want to find out from other local businesses/organisations what you could be doing to be more sustainable and save money? Come along to our annual Sustainability Matters event on Thursday 30 April 2020 at the Darebin Arts Centre from 6 - 8 pm. Our keynote speaker for our April 2020 event will be Abigail Forsyth, Managing Director and Founder of KeepCup, the world's first barista-standard reusable coffee cup. Register for this free event now.
Sustainability Matters brings the stories of local businesses taking the lead in sustainability to other businesses, residents and interested community members. You can hear about local businesses are adopting green practices and cutting their costs, whilst reducing their carbon footprint, waste and often growing their business. There is also time for networking with other businesses and connecting with sustainable product suppliers and service providers who can help you get started with your own actions. This year's sustainable product suppliers will be focused around helping you reduce your use of single-use plastics.
If you would like to be kept informed about this and other events sign up to our Business ENews monthly newsletter. To hear about what some of last year's local Sustainability Matters speakers and panel members have been doing click on the links below:
- Joanne Schoof from A Little Light and her sustainability story (video)
- Sam Fisher from Moon Rabbit and their sustainability story (video)
- Rebecca Rose from a Exquisine and their sustainability story (video)
- Ryan O'Connor from Terra Madre and their sustainability story (video)
To view the stories of speakers and panel members in previous years go to our Sustainable Business Playlist on the CityofDarebin YouTube page.
VIC Bag Ban
From November 2019 the Victorian State Government will be banning lightweight plastic shopping bags. For more details regarding the type of bags that will be banned and those that are allowed go to www.vicbagban.com.au or call 1800 817 723.
Darebin City Council supports sustainability in business
We can all make small changes within our business to reduce waste and our use of single use plastics. For retail, cafes, restaurants and food vendors alike, educating our customers and clients on the use of sustainable programs including Boomerang Bags , Retub, Trashless Takeaway and Responsible Cafes is a great place to start.
Remember though, food businesses have legal responsibilities to ensure all food is safe to consume. This includes ensuring that food is served in containers that are fit for purpose and have been cleaned and sanitised. To find out more, go to our Food Safety webpage, or watch our video on Cleanliness.
Local Sustainability Business Leaders
Many businesses in Darebin are taking a lead in terms of environmental sustainability. Be inspired and learn more about how each are taking incremental steps to reduce their impact on the environment, reduce their carbon emissions whilst gaining local support in the process.
Want to save money and greenhouse gas emissions at the same time?
Take advantage of our Darebin Light$mart program and subsidy to help you upgrade your lights to LED. Over 200 local businesses have upgraded their lights to LED through the Light$mart Program. As a result of this over 15,000 lights have been made more energy efficient and businesses are saving thousands of dollars on their electricity bills.
Light$mart works with local businesses, organisations and practitioners to retrofit and install energy efficient lighting. Through Light$mart Council subsidises the LED lights by 50% (GST exclusive) with the Council rebate capped at $1,000.
For a free quote from one of our Light$mart installers or to find out more please email email@example.com.
Want to stop sending recyclables to landfill?
We offer a fortnightly Business Recycling Service for a one-off fee of $96.00 per 240 litre bin, with a maximum of two bins available. All items recyclable in the Darebin residential recycling bins are accepted. To find out what you can put in your business recycling bin go to What can go in my recycling bin?.
To order your business recycling bin(s) go to www.darebin.vic.gov.au/Recycling
Want your organic waste to become a resource rather than go to landfill?
Support is available if you are a local business or organisation that wants to start recycling your organic waste. For local cafes you might be interested in participating in our Cafe to Garden program that links you into customers and residents that will pick up your coffee grounds and in some instances other organic waste. We currently have 13 local cafes participating in this program, to find out who they are go to www.darebinfoodharvestnetwork.org.au/cafetogarden
For all local businesses/organisations we also have support if you are interested in processing your organics on-site via a worm farm(s), or want to find out who might be able to pick up your organics and turn them into valuable compost or renewable energy. If you are interested in starting to recycle your organics, or if you are already doing it and we don't know, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want support and financial help to install solar and/or other energy and materials efficiency measures?
Register your interest in the Business Solar Saver Program and/or an Environmental Upgrades at www.darebin.vic.gov.au/solar
More and more businesses in Darebin are realising the financial, environmental and business benefits of installing solar on their rooftops. As energy prices continue to go up, solar for business becomes not just a good idea, but an excellent business proposition for reducing on-going costs in a very cost-effective way. The Darebin Business Solar Saver program is making it easy for you to join with over 110 other businesses who have installed solar locally.
Darebin's Business Solar Saver program allows you to install a solar system of up to 99kw at no upfront cost. Council will pay the upfront cost for the system, then you (or your landlord) pay it off over ten years, interest free, via a rates charge. The savings you make on your energy bills will more than outweigh your repayments to Council.
For businesses interested in installing a system larger than 99kw or undertaking energy efficiency upgrades, we can help you to source funding to achieve this through an Environmental Upgrade Agreement. Watch this short video to find out more about what an Environmental Upgrade Agreement is and how it works.
Want to connect with others interested in saving money and doing great stuff for the environment within their business/organisation?
CERES Fair Food hosted our last Green Business networking event in November 2019. If you missed this event, don't worry, you can find out about some of the great sustainability actions CERES Fair Food and Fair Wood have been undertaking by watching this great video.
The Green Business Network meets bi-annually. At least one of these events is held within a local business that showcases their sustainable actions and initiatives. It is a chance to network, share ideas, inspiration and resources. Signup for our Business ENews monthly newsletter to keep informed about future events and details.
Are you a local Sustainable Leader in Manufacturing or do you want to become one?
If so, join our SLIM (Sustainable Leaders in Manufacturing) program by emailing us at email@example.com.
We are working with over 30 local manufacturers to help them reduce their energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions and waste. Through their participation in SLIM all these businesses have saved thousands of dollars through making changes to help their businesses be more environmentally sustainable.
All our SLIM businesses have installed LED lighting, many have installed solar, some have formed industrial ecology business partnerships to turn their waste into a resource for others, and all have reduced their waste going to landfill.
We are also looking for businesses interested in accessing a highly subsidised Energy & Materials solutions assessment. If you are a local manufacturer and are interested in getting support to save money and reduce your energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions and waste and interested in connecting with other sustainable leaders in manufacturing email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 8470 8550.
Want to stop wasting energy and money by installing a free timer on your non-perishable drinks fridge?
If you have fridges that contain non-perishable items, you could be saving between $400 - $500 a year by switching them off when your business is closed. We are offering food and beverage businesses free fridge timers as part of our Darebin Fridge Timer Program to reduce electricity consumption.
To register your interest email email@example.com call 8470 8344.
Want to stop wasting energy and money by installing a timer on your coffee machine?
Commercial coffee machines use a lot of energy. It is estimated that over 50% of these machines are not turned off when businesses are closed. We are interested in working with businesses that would like to install a timer on their coffee machines to turn them off when they are not being used as part of our Darebin Coffee Timer Trial. This can save a business between $300 - $600 a year on their electricity bills. As part of this trial Darebin Council will subsidise the cost of the timer by 50%. The cost of installation of the timer to a business will be no more than $300.
To register your interest email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 8470 8344.
Want to get a free bike rack on the nature strip outside your business?
Council is committed to encouraging green travel and will install a free bicycle parking hoop as part of our Bicycle Racks for Businesses program outside eligible local businesses.
To find out if your business meets the eligibility criteria for safety and accessibility please complete our online form and a transport officer will contact you.
Are you listed on our Darebin Green Business Directory, or do you want to be?
If your business sells ‘green’ products or services, or is actively working to reduce energy consumption, water usage and waste you may be eligible to be listed on our Green Business Directory.
Over 200 businesses, including cafes, accountants, retail shops, osteopaths, mechanics, solar power installers, manufacturers and more are listed on the Darebin Green Business Directory. These businesses are working to operate more sustainably and/or offering ‘green’ products and services that help reduce environmental impact. Why not think about doing business with them!
To find out more email email@example.com or call 8470 8344.
Do you have a "We are Greening our Business" sticker or certificate?
Does your business/organisation have solar, or are you recycling and working to reduce energy consumption, water usage and waste? If so, do you have your ‘We are Greening our Business’ sticker and are you listed and promoted in our Green Business Directory?
The ‘We are Greening our Business’ stickers have been developed to recognise and celebrate the effort you are making to reduce your environmental impact. A certificate can accompany the sticker to let your customers and peers know about your efforts.
Bronze, silver or gold stars are allocated to mark each area of action (lighting, energy efficiency, solar, water, waste, food, chemicals, transport, and sustainable products). The more actions you take, the more stars you get.
If you have taken action to reduce your environmental footprint and would like to participate in the program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 8470 8344. To find out which businesses in Darebin have a 'We are Greening our Business' sticker go to our Darebin Green Business Directory.
Want some financial help from the State and Federal Government to take action to reduce energy and waste within your business?
Sustainability Victoria has just released the following grants: E-waste Infrastructure; Research, Development and Demonstration; Resource Recovery Infrastructure and Recycling Industry Transition Support. Keep your eye on their Grants and Funding page to see what is currently on offer and available. Also check out their broader directory/page to help you find funding (from a number of sources) to save energy in your business. Sustainability Victoria also offers a range of case studies, tips and resources to help your business become more sustainable.
The Federal Government's Energy Efficient Communities Grants will be open in early 2020 to help businesses and community organisations undertake energy efficiency projects. Some funding may be available for installing solar pv, hot water and batteries for community organisations only through this grant program as well.
Other places to go for help on your sustainability journey?
The following websites offer some great tips and resources:
Sustainable Business Officer
Phone: 8470 8550