Boomerang-effect of sustainability benefits

The Sustainable Hour no 248 on 94.7 The Pulse on 9 January 2018

Guests in The Sustainable Hour on 9 January 2018 are:

Melanie Humphrey: Boomerang Bags
When Melanie Humphrey arrived in Geelong about 12 months ago, she knew no-one. But she was keen to get a Boomerang Bag group going in Norlane, and in doing this, she has created her own community. Melanie got involved with Transition Streets. The coordinator of the initiative, Monica Winston, encouraged her to apply for a council sustainability grant which to Melanie’s surprise and great joy came through: She was a successful recipient of $3,000. With this grant she’ll buy sewing machines, an overlocker, lots of second hand material, cotton thread, and labels for the bags. Not content with just this, she has all sorts of sustainability ideas for her sewing group.

Lane Crockett: Impact Investment Group
Lane Crockett
has been a champion of renewable energy for many years – he has headed up a wind energy company but became disenchanted by the inconsistency of government policy on climate and the associated uncertainty which this caused his business. So five years ago, he moved to impact investment where he has been able to raise funds from people who want their money to do no harm. Here he has been able to set up many renewable energy projects. He plans to move into funding other CO2 emission reduction and drawdown projects like regenerative farming.
See a transcript of the interview below on this page.
» Home page: www.impact-group.com.au

Kim Drew: Op Shop Sacred Heart
In our Sustainable People series, we interview Kim Drew, manager of Op Shop Sacred Heart in Clarendon Street in Melbourne – the flagship of the nine Sacred Heart Missions Op Shops in Melbourne. More info below. » Home page: www.sacredheartmission.org

Farm Stay at SageFarm
Farm Stay at SageFarm – images from booking.com

Chris Balazs: Farm Stay
Farmer and entrepreneur Chris Balazs explains about the newly renovated house at Sage Farm which is rented out to visitors as an opportunity to explore the farm and for the kids to run around.
» See more on www.booking.com
» Sage Farm’s home page: www.sagebeef.com.au

We also talk about the Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne during February, and about Extinction Rebellion Australia – and we play the two youtube-clips with Noam Chomsky and Barwon Water, which you can see below.

The songs we play are: ‘Sun Banditos’ by SolarEdge from 2017, and the Vietnamese all-star recording of ‘Rise for Climate’ – ‘Dung Lên Vi Khi Hâu’

“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
~ Pete Seeger, American singer




Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 248 on 94.7 The Pulse:

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 LISTENER SERVICE: 

Content of this hour

Links, excerpts and more information about what we talked about in this Sustainable Hour


» Boomerang Bags: www.boomerangbags.org
 
Right photo: Kim Drew together with two of her staff: Julie (left), Anna, Kim (right)

 #RECYCLING: 

Sustainable People 6: Kim Drew

Interview with Kim Drew, manager of Op Shop Sacred Heart in Melbourne

Kim Drew is the manager of Sacred Heart Missions OP Shop in Clarendon Street – the flagship of the nine Sacred Heart Missions OP Shops in Melbourne. The shop sells second hand clothing, bric & brac, and kitchenware for about $AUS100,000 a month. The money raised goes to the missions many initiatives for homeless and less fortuned people in St Kilda, Melbourne.

Asked about her job, Kim Drew answered: “I chose to do this job, certainly not for the money, more for the love. I always used to think, how I could help in my little corner. When I saw people on the street and people in need, I just didn’t know how to help, where as this job makes me feel like I am helping. Sacred Heart Mission are housing people, we are feeding people, we are clothing people, so from that side I think it is very satisfying and you know you go home knowing you done a little bit of good in this world. And then there is the larger scale with all the recycling.”

» www.sacredheartmission.org


 #INVESTMENT #SUSTAINABLEFINANCE: 

Lane Crockett: Investment in sustainability

Transcript of interview with Lane Crockett about Impact Investment Group – providing investment opportunities which have returns to investors and also have positive social and environmental benefits.

Lane Crockett: “We are about providing investment opportunities which have returns to investors, commercial level returns, but they have positive social and environmental benefits. We’re proactively trying to shift capital towards solutions and opportunities that are doing good in the world. Know that there’s an intent among certain investors to have their investment doing something that they are keen on or see as being beneficial to society. And so, they started up the Impact Investment Group. And so, this is where you’re able to put out investment opportunities to a broad range of investors to do things which obviously have positive impacts.

At the moment we have three business streams. We have the renewable infrastructure part, which I look after, there’s a property section and there’s a venture capital section. We all – those different sort of business streams – all do different things – so, the renewable part’s kind of obvious, we’re about the transition to a clean energy system, so it’s about getting rid of the old polluting infrastructure and bringing in the new clean and green infrastructure.

For the property group, what they tend to focus on is either building new assets, property assets, which have a lower carbon footprint, for example. At the moment, we’re building a property in Brisbane which is made out of cross-laminated timber, so its carbon footprint is much, much lower than a normal building because it doesn’t have all that concrete in it, which is a lot of embodied energy.

Or: taking an older building and creating a far more sustainable building – and a better building to work in, activating areas around it with the local community, putting solar on the roof, increasing the energy efficiency and trying to do some interesting social things like co-working spaces and that sort of thing. Effectively just taking an old building that’s not doing much and really creating all these social opportunities while improving its environmental credentials.”

Anthony Gleeson: “I guess the venture capital would fit in with that fairly closely?”

Lane Crockett: “Well, the venture capital is an interesting one. It runs on its own, it’s got a fully independent boards and advisers, and it really just tries to pick up businesses that are just at that point of needing some assistance, but really are about to change, have an opportunity to change the way we live.

The sort of businesses that have been invested in so far are like Sendle, for example. Sendle is a business that uses the power of networking to fill up vehicles that are driving around that are half full. It’s about moving, making the sort of distribution system of parcels and whatever, which is a massively growing sector as people buy online now and you’ve got trucks that are half full driving around, so, the idea is to fill them up. That makes the system more efficient, it means there’s less trucks on the road. So, it’s safer and it also means that there’s less carbon emissions per unit of parcel going around.

Another one, a recent one, is Glam Corner. That’s the hiring out of high-end clothing to try and reduce the amount of new clothes that are just part of our buying culture and try and break that down a little bit. And, so, there’s a number of different businesses that the venture capital fund is supporting at this point, and they’re quite broad in what they do.”

“Lots of good things, then. What’s the thing that you’ve been involved in personally that’s excited you the most?”

“Ah look, while firstly in terms of just alignment, here is something that makes me feel so lucky to work here, it’s just the alignment with the owners and the businesses, it’s just something that you don’t always see. You know, as soon as you’re at a corporation, for example, normally your owners are quite disconnected ‘cause they’re shareholders of a large business and so you’re relying on a board and sometimes even you’re executive and your board have misalignment. But here we have this beautiful alignment between owners, the board – or what they call the Guardians of Purpose – and the executive. Since I’ve been here, the first thing we did, was we launched the Solar Income Fund. It was a suite of Australian assets with long term power off-takes, and we sort of bundled up a portfolio of solar funds with those long terms agreements and put that out to investors – and boy, that went in a hurry!”

“What are the investors that invested in that?”

“The investors for us are mainly like very small institutionals, high net worth individuals, family offices and people would use their self-managed super funds as well. So, it is a wholesale investor, is our clients.”

“Maybe this is a chicken and the egg question: Do you start with the funds and then work out what’s available, or do you start with a project and then take that to funding sources?”

“It’s more: You start with the projects, you get them going, and then at a certain point, you just know you’ve kind of got them in a right space. That’s when you sort of bring them together and launch a fund.”

“That’s certainty, then, for the investor?”

“Yeah, yeah. We believe, and our investors tell us, that they like to be able to almost touch and feel these sort of solar farms before they put their money in it and that make absolute sense. So, we very much get those going before we launch the fund.

The next thing we’re kind of looking at past that is we’re starting to look in the South Pacific Islands. We’ve just put in a proposal to one of the islands to build two solar farms for them. Obviously solar farms there are displacing diesel generation so there’s like once those solar farms are built, there’s almost an instant rebate to customers on those islands, because it’s so expensive. And you can imagine, small island countries that are having to buy diesel on international markets, having to manage foreign exchange, and with their energy supplies so dependent on multi-national oil companies – it’s a great win-win for them. That’s something we’re starting to work with, and we just see that that’s abounding with opportunity. Hopefully one day when we’ve got a few of those together, we’ll do a separate renewables fund. That’s on our radar as well.”

“I think that would have a lot of support because they’re the countries in the front lines basically, aren’t they? – from sea level rise.”

“They are. They really are. They feel the impacts of climate change and their targets, like most of the south pacific islands have targets of 50 to 100 per cent renewables by, you know, 2025 or 2030… I mean, their targets just make ours look shameful.”

“They’re realistic” [laughs].

“Well, yeah, exactly, they’re realistic to the sign.”

“Any last-minute things you’d like to say, Lane, to our listeners? Just about, there’s a lot of doom and gloom around about what the future holds, but from your perspective.”

“I was just about to say that, and I think it’s great you focus on what the opportunities are and what’s going on and there’s a real trend around people starting to be thoughtful about their money and what it’s used for and where it goes. So to your listeners: You can always feel you can advocate with whoever is investing on your behalf – that you should be able to direct it into places that sit comfortably with you. And, it’s interesting that we’ve had a number of events here recently around impact investing, and we’ve currently got a Canadian author called Joel Solomon, who’s just visiting, who wrote ‘The Clean Money Revolution’ and talking about where impact investing is going. There’s a sense we’re on the edge of something much, much bigger as people do get interested on where their money is and what it’s doing.”

[ENDS]

» Impact Investment Group’s home page: www.impact-group.com.au

» Linkedin page

» Twitter page

» Lane Crockett’s Twitter page




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In this 3-minute animation, Managing Director Tracey Slatter explains Barwon Water’s commitment to lowering emissions, switching to renewables, and investing in innovative energy projects. “Barwon Water’s ability to deliver safe and reliable water is highly dependent on a stable climate. Climate change is expected to make our region drier and hotter. For example, by 2040 rainfall flows into our dams and reservoirs are likely to reduce by 7%. That’s why we’re switching to 100% renewable electricity, and aiming for zero net emissions by 2030.”

 

 ADDITIONALLY: 

In other news

From our notes of this week: news stories and events we didn’t have time to mention or go into depth with – but which we think you should know about




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https://twitter.com/EnviroVic/status/1084333979120033792







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Acknowledgement

We at The Sustainable Hour would like to pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which we are broadcasting, the Wathaurong People, and pay our respect to their elders, past, present and future.

The traditional owners lived in harmony with the environment and with the climate for hundreds of generations. It is not clear – yet – that as European settlers we have demonstrated that we can live in harmony for hundreds of generations, but it is clear that we can learn from the indigenous, traditional owners of this land.

When we talk about the future, it means extending our respect to those children not yet born, the generations of the future – remembering the old saying that…



The decisions currently being made around Australia to ignore climate change are being made by those who won’t be around by the time the worst effects hit home. How utterly disgusting, disrespectful and unfair is that?


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“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
~ Pete Seeger, American singer