2018 BANKSIA LARGE BUSINESS AWARD

OUR WINNERS

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BANKSIA FOUNDATION

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HONOUR
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2018 BANKSIA LARGE BUSINESS AWARD

 

 

Finalists:
• International Convention Centre Sydney, NSW
• Sodexo, WA

Winner:
Officeworks in partnership with Greening Australia, VIC

Restoring Australia is an Australian first initiative that sees two trees planted for every one used, based on the weight of the paper based products that customers buy at Officeworks.

In partnership with Greening Australia, the initiative is leveraging consumer action to invest in large-scale environmental repair and restoration to help threatened plants and wildlife, and combat global climate change, creating healthy, productive landscapes for people and nature to thrive.

With around 8000 products in Officeworks’ office supplies range being paper based, we saw a huge opportunity to empower customers to shop more sustainably and contribute to improving Australia’s landscapes. Officeworks is inspired to ‘help make bigger things happen’ for the environment and the communities in which we operate, while giving our team, customers, suppliers and investors an initiative that they can engage with and be proud of.

Restoring Australia gives customers an opportunity to make sustainable decisions, to reduce their environmental impact, shop sustainably and feel better about their office supplies purchases. The initiative is focused on establishing native plants, increasing water quality and re-vegetating bushland, in turn helping local wildlife and communities flourish.

Greening Australia has partnered with farmers and landowners across SA, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania to ensure that all the planted trees will preserve their conservation status, with a long-term commitment to increasing the natural habitat to reverse threatened species in decline and benefit biodiversity.
The initiative has already seen more than 200,000 trees in the ground. Our aim is to have 326,000 trees in the ground across 650 hectares by the end of 2018. That’s the equivalent of filling the MCG four times, all whilst supporting 31 farmers and landholders.

Seven threatened species will benefit from the initiative including the Corangamite Water Skink, Diamond Firetail and Malleefowl with twenty different types of seeds and seedlings being planted in the Tasmanian Midlands, Great Southern Highlands in NSW, Victorian Volcanic Plains, Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island where over 85% of the natural habitat in these regions has been cleared.

“Greening Australia are so proud of what has been achieved in the first 12 months of this initiative. It’s a great example of the way we can build partnerships between business, the not-for-profit sector and landholders for impact. To have more than 200,000 trees in the ground now, and much more by the end of 2018, is a testament to the hard work of our restoration experts, scientists, researchers and planting team. And of course, Officeworks’ customers.” < Greening Australia CEO, Brendan Foran>

Restoring Australia is one of the many ways Officeworks aims to give back to the environment, with many tech and ink and toner cartridge recycling programs currently in place. The current plastic bag ban implemented by many retailers across Australia comes ten years after Officeworks eliminated single use plastic bags nationwide in 2008.

Winner:
Bank Australia in partnership with Greening Australia and Trust for Nature, VIC

Bank Australia is a small customer-owned bank headquartered in Melbourne with 367 full time staff and 130 000 customers. In October 2017, the bank announced an ambitious ten year strategy for the Bank Australia Conservation Reserve – an environmental conservation project that had been in existence since 2008, but lacked a long-term strategic vision.

The reserve is a world-first project for a bank. It is located in the West Wimmera region of Victoria, an area of Australia within Habitat 141, a landscape scale national conservation project. Comprised of three parcels of land, the 927 hectare reserve features a number of threatened plant and animal species, and rare vegetation types. Over ten years, nearly 85000 trees have been planted on the reserve and 2.5 million has been invested in the project.

In 2016, Bank Australia formed a new partnership with Greening Australia (GA) and Trust for Nature (TfN). In October 2017, we launched our ten year strategy for the project ‘Reimagining the Future’. The strategy was developed using the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation, which is an internationally recognised and adopted framework for natural resource management planning. In developing our approach we combined scientific expertise with local knowledge and worked with BarengiGadjin Land Council (BGLC) to ensure that traditional land management would be incorporated into our ongoing management plans.
The strategy has 13 carefully crafted SMART goals, which, in summary, seek to:
• Protect and enhance the reserve’s ecosystem and increase populations of 4 threatened animal and 5 threatened plant species.
• Revegetate the reserve and develop long-term modelling and resilience plans that address climate change impacts.
• Embed Indigenous land management, create employment and educational opportunities for local Aboriginal people, and share the reserve with the broader community.
• Demonstrate corporate environmental leadership
• Deliver value to staff and customers – increase customer awareness of the reserve and have 50% of staff visit by 2021.
Bank Australia hope that our ten year vision for the Bank Australia Conservation Reserve has created a model that can be shared with other corporations to enable more investment in private land conservation and environmental protection. We hope that our project will inspire others to follow our lead and develop innovative solutions to complex global challenges in partnership with organisations with the expertise and capability to create strong environmental and social outcomes.