Is your business doing enough?
We all rely on natural resources such as healthy reef, beaches and crops for our food, livelihoods, lifestyles and health. But each step we take has an impact on those very resources that we depend upon. From the fuel required for travel, packaging for food, electricity to run fridges, air conditioners and tv’s, understanding the full impact of our livelihoods is important to protect our natural resources into the future.
Dr Adam Smith from Reef Ecologic has been undertaking reef restoration works in the Whitsundays and recently hosted a reef restoration and leadership workshop on Orpheus Island. By calculating the impact of running the workshop, reducing impacts wherever possible then offsetting the remaining emissions footprint, Reef Ecologic ensured that the workshop is not causing a negative environmental impact. Every action we take to reduce negative environmental impacts can help to mitigate climate change, the number one threat to the Great Barrier Reef.
“By understanding the fuel used by attendees to get to the island, electricity used during presentations and adding in some overestimation to make sure we are covering full impacts we can ensure that are not having a negative impact on the environment,” said Dr Smith.
“Each workshop participant is happy to invest in carbon offsets as part of their workshop fee. We invest in projects, offsets such as planting trees which also have reef water quality benefits.”
The Whitsunday Climate Change Innovation Hub encourages businesses to take a step in the right direction by considering how to reduce and then offset unavoidable emissions.
Olivia Brodhurst, Coordinator of the Whitsundays Climate Change Innovation Hub said businesses should start with one meeting, workshop, project or tour and then expand.
“Implementing a ‘user pays’ system is great to cover the costs of offsets and communicate that you are aware of the full impacts and are managing them,” she said.
Reef Ecologic have followed these principles throughout their business and have achieved Star Partner status through the Queensland Chamber of Commerce EcoBiz program. The program is free of charge and enables businesses to understand their impact and choose more sustainable options that save energy, water and/or waste, and save them 12 -21% of the expenses along the way. Reef Ecologic have also achieved a Climate Action certification through Ecotourism Australia and B Corp business status.