Running a business can chew through a lot of resources. And at a butcher shop, with machinery, and refrigeration going all the time, energy consumption is an unavoidable necessity. We wanted to tackle that energy consumption head-on and work to reduce it’s environmental impact.
First things first, we switched to 100% renewable green energy. We engaged Momentum Energy to provide the electricity to all of our stores. Momentum is an arm of Hydro Tasmania who are Australia’s largest sole producer of renewable energy. They harness the power of the elements (wind and water specifically) and spin it into electricity. Lucky for us, the Tasmanian and Victorian power grids are linked, so we could take advantage of their good work and avoid hundreds of tons of emissions annually. It feels good not having to burn coal just to keep the lights on!
With energy coming from a renewable sources we looked across all our operations to assess where environmental impact could be lessened further. We identified a few areas that, while not depending directly on electricity, still contributed to our carbon footprint considerably – things like the use of refrigerants, non-organic waste processing, office stationary & running our refrigerated delivery van. This is where Carbon Neutral came in.
Carbon Neutral are a company dedicated to helping businesses measure, and offset their CO2 emissions. Every year, we supply Carbon Neutral with data on everything that happens in (and between) our stores. They crunch the numbers and generate reports on exactly how many cubic metres of CO2 we generate and then go about offsetting those emissions. Carbon Neutral specialise in Biodiverse Reforestation Carbon Offsets or BRCOs, which are achieved through calculated reforestation initiatives. One such initiative is taking place at the Yarra Yarra Wildlife Corridor in WA, where pockets of habitat which had been separated by agricultural development are being re-connected through the re-planting of native flora. This corridor allows formerly disparate species to interact again – promoting biodiversity. A biodiverse ecosystem is a resilient one, and one that can self-sustain much better than a monocultural population of just one species. So, not only are trees being planted to to transform the CO2 in the atmosphere back into oxygen, the trees in question are a range of native species that contribute directly to their ecosystem. See video below.
With power coming from Tassie hydro and CO2 emissions being offset through Carbon Neutral’s smart BRCOs, that left us to fill in the remaining gaps by; recycling all of the paper and cardboard used by our stores, using FSC certified recyclable paper bags and compostable plant starch BioPak carry bags, and even sending our organic waste like fat and bone to be turned into soaps and oils. Once all was said and done, we were confident to declare carbon neutrality across all our locations!