Two new Samford-based organisations with a focus on sustainability will help businesses boost their environmental credentials.
The Samford Sustainable Business Precinct and Sustainable Startup Hub Moreton Bay are part of Regional Development Australia Moreton Bay’s mission to help businesses be more sustainable economically and ecologically through its Sustainable Moreton Bay program.
Facilitator Howard Nielsen says the groups bring together like-minded businesses to collaborate and share ideas.
“It’s about having a go at being sustainable,” Howard, a Global Advisor to the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme, says.
The Sustainable Startup Hub future-proofs startup businesses by ensuring they operate in an economically sustainable way with a practical climate consciousness, while the Sustainable Business Precinct enables businesses wanting to reduce their environmental footprint to work collaboratively.
Launched at Loop Growers Farm, with breakfast sponsored by the Samford Community Bank, the Sustainable Business Precinct is intended to be the first of several in the region, with plans in the pipeline to launch others at Narangba and Bribie Island in the new year.
“If you want to change things, you can do it yourself, but it’s more likely to happen if you’re in a group,” Howard says.
“We held a workshop at the launch, with our business members talking about what they could do to help other businesses become more sustainable and how to become more sustainable themselves
“We’re also looking at how businesses can get solar panels – ordinary households can get panels, but for businesses that are renting, there’s no advantage for the landlord in having solar panels.”
Already, the Sustainable Business Precinct is making a difference, with one business offering to collect household batteries for recycling.
“There’s collection points for car batteries, but not many places do ordinary batteries,” Howard explains.
With more than 30 members already signed up to be part of the Sustainable Business Precinct, Howard says 24 attended the launch – an encouraging sign of the community’s desire to build an environmental focus into their businesses.
“If you can make the assumption that consumers are more concerned about sustainability today than they were yesterday, then you can assume they will be more so in the future.”
Regional Development Australia Moreton Bay director Nette Griggs agrees, and says that’s why RDA Moreton Bay brought the programs to life.
“Companies are wanting to see the green credentials because their customers are demanding it – it’s going to deliver on the bottom line, and customers are also increasingly expecting you to have green credentials,” Nette says.
She says Samford is the perfect launchpad for the Sustainable Business Precinct before rolling it out in other parts of the Moreton Bay region.
“Samford really is the place to start. It’s ideal because the whole community is so aware and supportive of this type of initiative.”