Sustainable business

To support local businesses on their economic recovery journey, we committed to the development of the Economic Recovery Unit.

Energy$mart: subsidised hot water upgrades

All businesses and organisations in Darebin can apply for a subsidised electric heat pump hot water upgrade through our Energy$mart program. Heat pump hot water systems are efficient, effective, low cost to run and can be powered by 100% renewable energy.

Our Sustainable Business Team as your local program experts can guide you through this program. It's quick and easy to register online:

Sustainable business registration

Light$mart: free LED lighting upgrades

All businesses and organisations in Darebin can apply for a free or subsidised LED lighting upgrade through our Light$mart program.

Our Sustainable Business Team as your local program experts can guide you through this program. It's quick and easy to register online:

Sustainable business registration

You can also email to get involved.

Solar for business

Darebin's Business Solar Bulk Buy program is now up and running. Through this program you can access support for installing solar on your business, as well as a quote from a reliable installer that offers value for money and has been selected through a competitive tender process.

Go to Darebin's Solar Bulk Buy page to find out more and register your interest.

Head to our Sustainable Business Playlist to hear from 12 local businesses who have installed solar.

Buying GreenPower and Renewable Energy

Buying GreenPower and renewable energy is one of the best things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Use the Green Electricity Guide to help you find the greenest energy providers.

You can also use the 'Go Green' filter on the Victorian Government's Energy Compare (a free independent energy price comparison tool) to help you identify competitive GreenPower options. Be sure to hover over the Green Flower icon to determine what % of GreenPower is included in the offers presented. The % can range from 10% to 100%, with 100% GreenPower being the best!

Local circular economy business Use-ta shares their experience of purchasing 100% renewable energy and using these tools. Watch the video about Use-ta.

If you are a larger energy user, entering into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with a retailer or wholesaler may be a great option for you. Such an agreement can deliver great prices, reduce risk to price fluctuations and slash your carbon footprint.

Darebin Council, joined together with 50 other local Victorian local governments to purchase 100% renewable energy for all its electricity through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). This was part of the VECO (Victorian Energy Collaboration) Project. Watch this video that explains how it works.

Solar, GreenPower and PPA's aren't for you? Another way to reduce or eliminate the carbon footprint of the electricity you use is by purchasing and retiring Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) from a retailer, or directly from a wind or solar farm.

The Business Renewables Centre Australia has some great tools and resources to help you explore purchasing GreenPower, LGCs and setting up PPAs.

Energy Compare

The Victorian Government's Energy Compare tool is a free independent energy price comparison tool that will help your business get the best electricity and gas offer.

Use the the 'Go Green' filter to help you identify competitive GreenPower options that can slash your carbon footprint. Be sure to hover over the Green Flower icon to determine what % of GreenPower is included in the offers presented. The % can range from 10% to 100%, with 100% GreenPower being the best!

You can use the Energy Compare tool to help you work out your best energy rates on offer for your small business and home. When using it for home you may be eligible for a $250 bonus saving bonus payment, just for using the tool, i.e. you don't even need to switch providers.

Sustainability Matters 2023

If you missed this year's successful Sustainability Matters event don't despair, you can watch the Stories of Darebin Businesses Investing in Renewables and Batteries.

You can also hear directly from the 13 businesses who shared their stories and experiences with installing solar, batteries and purchasing renewable energy by going to our Sustainable Business Playlist.

And if you want to catch Damon Gameau's short documentary 'Regenerating Australia', which explores what Australia looks like in 2030 after we transition to a fairer, cleaner, more community focused economy head to The Regenerators.

We hold regular sustainability events, including our annual Sustainability Matters and Green Business Networking events. A number of these are recorded and can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Register to be added to our event email list

Watch our past online events

Past online events can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Single-use plastics

On 1st February 2023, single-use straws, cutlery, plates, drink-stirrers, expanded polystyrene food and drink containers, and cotton bud sticks were banned from sale or supply in Victoria.

See the Victorian Government's Single use plastics ban website for more information.

Check out our plastic free Darebin business guide to find reusable alternatives. Our sustainable cafes video also highlights some of the reuse alternatives you could adopt.

If you are a caterer, have a look at the Boomerang Alliance's Caterers plastic-free guide ( and watch this short video on local social enterprise Free to Feed and what they are doing to eliminate single use plastics in their kitchens and catering.

Other programs to support you reduce your use of single-use plastics include:

If you are running an event and looking for reuse options these organisations may be able to help:

If you have a food business watch our video about cleanliness to ensure all food is safe to consume, in containers fit for purpose and you meet all your legal responsibilities.

Business organic waste recycling

Our organic waste recycling services guide provides a number of free and paid organic recycling options available to Darebin businesses. You can also access useful information and resources on the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre (CEBIC) website.

Cafe to Garden

Our Cafe to Garden program helps local cafes recycle their coffee grounds. You can discover what cafes are currently participating in the Darebin food harvest network.

Email: to join up.

The circular economy and sustainable purchasing

Is your business ready to join the circular economy and move from a "Take → Make → Waste" model to the "Borrow → Use → Return" model?

Watch our Circular Economy videos Leading Circular Economy businesses in Darebin and How businesses in Darebin are working in the Circular Economy videos to get inspired. You can also watch and hear from other local Circular Economy businesses on our Sustainable Business Playlist and Sustainability Matters Playlist.

You may also be inspired by our case study videos on these local Circular Economy business champions - Paperloop, Fungi Solutions and Green Earth Recycle/Sunny Electronics.

The Buy Recycled Directory produced by Sustainability Victoria helps to support the Circular Economy with your purchasing decisions.

Sustainable business leaders

Darebin has many inspiring sustainable business leaders featured on our Sustainable business playlist.

Efficiency and sustainability health check

Our efficiency and sustainability health check helps you reduce energy bills and waste. Making your business more resilient and sustainable. Eligible businesses get a green business certification and will be promoted on our Business map and Sustainable Darebin map.

Email: to request a check.

Our business and sustainability maps

Is your business listed on our Darebin business map? Use the "add your business" button to get listed.

On our Sustainable Darebin map you can find out where to take your items to be recycled. Support businesses that are going single-use plastic-free.

Free timers for non-perishable drinks fridges and other equipment

We provide free timers for businesses with fridges that contain non-perishable items, helping you reduce energy costs. You may also be able to access them for other equipment like sandwich presses and hot bain-maries.

To request a timer email:

Free bike racks for customer parking

You may be able to get a free bicycle parking hoop installed outside your business as part of our Bicycle Racks for Businesses program. Conditions apply.

Read more about bike parking hoops and how to request them.

Environmental upgrade agreements

Environmental upgrade agreements are available for businesses interested in installing large solar systems or undertaking significant energy efficiency upgrades. These agreements allow businesses to access a loan to undertake an environmental upgrade. This loan is repaid via a Council rates charge.

Email: to find out more.


You might want to tap into some of these resources from other sustainability groups, programs, and organisations.

Funding and grants

Our Darebin Light$mart and Energy$mart programs can offer rebates of up to $1,000 to help Darebin businesses upgrade their lights to LED and hot water systems to utilise efficient heat pump technology.

Sustainability Victoria also offers a number of grant and funding schemes. Visit the Sustainability Victoria website to find out what current grant and funding programs are available.

More information

Sustainable Business Officer
Phone: 03 8470 8344
Sustainability Matters 2022
Acting sustainably increases your business