In this issue:
2010 â€“ International Year of Biodiversity Christmas gifts with a Greenfleet twist Creating the link for bushfire recovery On the road to greener fleets Supporter news Tips to avoid and reduce emissions
Celebrating biodiversity! 2010 has been declared International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations. The whole world has been invited to celebrate life on earth and cherish the biodiversity that supports it. Home to about 1 million of the estimated 13.6 million species of plants, animals and micro-organisms on earth, Australia is one of the few megadiverse countries in the world. About 85% of Australia’s terrestrial mammals, 91% of flowering plants, and 90% of reptiles and frogs are found nowhere else in the world. This extraordinary environmental heritage is essential and should be preserved. Through the native forests we plant, Greenfleet strives to protect and enhance Australian indigenous flora and fauna. By planting indigenous species – species that belong to the land where they are planted – we help restore balance in the ecosystems. As they grow, the trees supply the best resources for the local wildlife, in terms of habitat and food. But that’s not all – the forests also bring benefits to the soil, fighting erosion and salinity, to assist native flora in its development. They also act as filters to reduce air and water pollution, delivering clean air and water to all inhabitants of the planet – including us!
Humans are part of nature’s rich diversity and have the power to protect or destroy it. In the International Year of Biodiversity, our efforts to protect and enhance Australian biodiversity have been recognised on two occasions. Together with collaborators Biolinking Australia, we were finalists for the Biodiversity Award in the UNAA World Environment Day Awards and for the Land and Biodiversity Award in the Banksia Awards. To further celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity, this edition of our newsletter includes a number of tangible examples of Greenfleet’s work in the biodiversity field. If you want to do your bit for biodiversity: plant native forests through Greenfleet; help protect precious habitat for the future by doing as much as you can to tackle climate change; take an interest in a local park; keep a look out for birds, possums and wildflowers; share your knowledge and realise how lucky we are to be surrounded by these unique Australian treasures! On behalf of Greenfleet, I wish everyone a safe and happy festive season and a wonderful 2011 – the International Year of the Forests.
Sara Gipton CEO Greenfleet 2
Christmas gifts with a Greenfleet twist Yes, it’s that time of year already - the festive season is fast approaching and most of us are still hunting for special gifts that will make a difference. Always here to help, we thought you‘d like these ideas for the upcoming celebration season. Whether it’s for friends and family members who ‘already have everything’ or for staff and corporate clients, Greenfleet and Universal Gift Cards have the perfect Christmas gift: a new prepaid VISA Gift Card that also helps the environment - the ‘Plant a Forest’ Universal Gift Card. Each card includes a $50 donation to help Greenfleet plant more native forests, along with spending money on a pre-paid VISA Gift Card for your gift recipient. For example, a $100* Gift Card includes a $50 donation to Greenfleet and $50 for the recipient to spend wherever VISA cards are accepted. Not only are they fantastic Christmas gifts, they are a smart idea all yearround. They’ll be great for staff rewards or incentives, customer thankyou gifts, trade reward programmes and much more.
Of course, if you prefer to opt for a gift of 100% trees, think about a Greenfleet Gift Certificate. A $60** gift certificate (tax-deductible) Greenfleet will plant 17 native trees to help offset the greenhouse gas emissions that the recipient’s car produces in one year. We know you’ll want the option of giving your gift personally, so Greenfleet will send the Gift Certificate to you, along with an explanatory letter, our latest newsletter and a vehicle sticker. Please place your order before the 13th December to be sure it will arrive in time for Christmas.
Find out more about these green gift ideas at www.greenfleet.com.au
Greenfleet will plant 15 native trees for every card sold, creating new forests to help absorb greenhouse gas pollution, as well as restoring habitat for native wildlife. So you can feel good about offering a gift with genuine environmental benefits. Contact Universal Gift Cards on (02) 9352 3888 to order your cards for Christmas.
* A range of denominations is available. A $9.95 premium is charged per card to cover carrier, message, postage and handling. ** Includes a quality certificate, introductory letter, vehicle sticker, three newsletters per year, postage & handling.
Creating the link for bushfire recovery In August, the Greenfleet team along with 40 volunteers from Suncorp (AAMI, GIO, Apia) and Parks Victoria rangers got their hands dirty and planted almost 1,300 native seedlings, ranging from wattles and eucalypts to shrubs and grasses, near Kinglake National Park in Victoria. This planting day was part of the Watsons Creek Biolink Project, which aims to link the fire-affected Kinglake National Park and the unburnt Warrandyte State Park, to revegetate the area and assist with fauna recovery. In 2009, bushfires destroyed 90% of Kinglake National Park severely affecting plant life and populations of small mammals. Before the fires the Brush Tailed Phascogale was found in both parks – however surveys since the fires have not recorded any of these vulnerable small mammals in Kinglake National Park.
Revegetating the area between the two parks will provide a land-bridge for the Warrandyte population of Phascogale to recolonise Kinglake National Park. In addition to increasing the habitat available to the small nocturnal marsupial, the project will also benefit other vulnerable species such as the Common Dunnart, which is sadly not so common anymore.
“It’s vital to revegetate this area to encourage animals to come here from Warrandyte and eventually, as Kinglake National Park rejuvenates, this will help speed up the recovery process.” Parks Victoria Ranger, Tony Fitzgerald Greenfleet had already funded 7,000 plants on behalf of its supporters; and thanks to the support of Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses and a donation from Suncorp’s staff and organisation, Greenfleet planted a further 10,000 indigenous seedlings on the site. Since April, local community groups have planted more than 5,500 seedlings at the site. “While the media and communities not directly affected by these fires have moved on, the recovery process is still very much ongoing. We are pleased our biodiverse forest projects not only take carbon pollution from the atmosphere to tackle climate change, but they also aid recovery of this fire affected landscape,” said Sara Gipton, CEO Greenfleet. Thank you to Suncorp’s staff for their helping hand on the planting day and to Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses for donating the yummy treats for morning and afternoon tea.
Building a better home for the Rufous Bettong
Located between Melbourne and Geelong, Mt Rothwell, also known as Little River, Earth Sanctuary, lies in the northern end of the You Yangs. Mt Rothwell was originally occupied by the the Yawangi people (later known as the Worinyaloke), one of the 16 clans of the Wathaurung group. Upon European occupation in the 1830-40’s, the area was converted to crops and pasture. These practices had a major impact on local vegetation and the introduction of the rabbit further advanced the destruction of native habitat. This, as well as the introduction of the fox and the cat to the region severely affected native fauna. Many of the indigenous plant and animal species have disappeared from the region in the last 180 years. In 2000, the area was designated as Mt Rothwell Research and Conservation Centre and became Victoria’s largest predator-free ecosystem. Today it harbours hundreds of native animal species; including many vulnerable and endangered mammals released on the site, like the Rufous Bettong and the Southern Brown Bandicoot, along with various species of reptiles and birds.
Since 2006, Greenfleet has planted about 19,000 seeds and seedlings, including wattles, eucalypts and Kangaroo Apples, on behalf of supporters to capture carbon, restore the landscape and preserve its biodiversity. On a chilly August day, 20 volunteers from some of our corporate supporters helped plant 500 eucalyptus seedlings amongst the blooming 2-metre tall wattles, with the local Rufous Bettongs and Red-Bellied Pademelons keeping everyone company. As the eucalypts grow, they will form the upper-storey of a self-sustaining biodiverse forest. It was great to see some of our corporate supporters enjoying this opportunty to take an active role in the project and and to witness firsthand the direct benefits of previous years’ plantings – indigenous trees providing food and habitat for the native wildlife. Thank you everyone for rolling up their sleeves to assist Greenfleet with planting trees and to SkyBus for donating the transport to and from Mt Rothwell.
On the road to greener fleets
After the success of the first event last year, Greenfleet did it again and organised the second round of Greenfleet Drive Days: two drive events with an environmental theme, focusing on the AVOID, REDUCE and OFFSET approach to managing greenhouse gas emissions.
Reducing your vehicle’s environmental footprint is easy; you can achieve great efficiency simply by driving better, choosing the most efficient model for your intended use and
Each day saw a number of keen participants: from our Foundation Sponsor LeasePlan and their clients on the first day; to fleet and sustainability managers, and other interested staff from some of Greenfleet’s corporate supporters on the second day.
Along with the AVOID and REDUCE message, everyone had the opportunity to experience the OFFSET aspect of our programme. Parks Victoria Rangers took us around the Watson’s Creek site, among the recently planted native seedlings. They stressed the environmental benefits of planting native forests both for the protection of endangered local wildlife and the well-being of the community.
After learning fuel efficient driving techniques from World Record holders, Helen and John Taylor, the participants took a range of lower-emission cars for a road trip from Central Pier in Melbourne to the Watson’s Creek Biolink planting site and then Yarra Glen before heading home again. Putting the new Hyundai i45, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Mitsubishi ASX and Volvo C30 DRIVe to the test, participants were dared to reach the best possible fuel efficiency and compared against the Green Vehicle Guide. The vehicles and their drivers faced a combination of real life challenges including substantial hills, slow and windy gravel roads, stop-start inner city traffic and stretches of freeway driving – definitely not perfect fuelefficiency test conditions. But thanks to the Taylors’ tips; like avoiding idling, keeping calm, driving smoothly and using air-conditioning sparingly; the vehicles and their drivers performed well! In nearly every case, the vehicles delivered fuel consumption equivalent to or better than the Green Vehicle Guide figures.
offsetting any unavoidable emissions by planting native forests.
On top of this practical demonstration of the Greenfleet philosophy – AVOID, REDUCE, OFFSET – we had the pleasure to welcome two Greenfleet Board members and motor industry experts, David Lamb and Gunther Jurkschat; who respectively gave us an insight into fuelling Australia’s future and the sustainability journey of the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce. At the end of the day, the participants had learned how simple choices can reduce the environmental impact of their vehicle fleets, and they are lessons that easily extend to anyone who drives a car. Reducing your vehicle’s environmental footprint is easy; you can achieve great efficiency simply by driving better (see our tips on the Greenfleet website), choosing the most efficient model for your intended use and offsetting any unavoidable emissions by planting native forests – with Greenfleet of course.
Here’s what some of the participants took from the day...
“The most important lesson I learnt is that you can contribute and take action yourself to lower emissions and conserve energy. Although I don’t drive very often, I am very conscious of keeping my car serviced and well maintained. The other key takeout is to think and plan the journey in order to be more fuel and time efficient. I have produced a report for the business outlining the efficiency of the vehicles driven, and with the Sustainability team posted an online report on our Intranet highlighting the day’s learnings, and what we can all do to reduce our emissions.” Lynton Pipkorn, Product Development Advisor, Personal Insurance, Suncorp “Since the Drive Day, I am more conscious of my fuel consumption: the default display on my dashboard is now ‘L/100 kms’. From a corporate perspective, I think it would be useful for our fleet management arm to organise a similar day for our clients in conjunction with Greenfleet and the Taylors. Most, if not all, of our clients all consider the environmental aspect of their fleet as a key focus.” Dave Adler, Chief Marketing Officer, Smartsalary Pty Ltd “It was great to network with the Greenfleet team and others, I enjoyed driving the new cars and I particularly enjoyed visiting the planting site - it is great to see the evidence of our offsets. I have been paying particular attention to accelerating and braking, and using the imaginary egg under the accelerator pedal. I’ve noticed a difference in my driving behaviour, although I still have to think about the tips while driving, especially on the freeway; it is challenging but practice makes perfect!” Jane Harris, Customer Service Manager, The Body Shop Australia
“It was very informative and interesting. Although I have been driving for some years now the information was eye-opening and refreshing. The planting site visit gave me a greater understanding of how important sequestration was to Australia’s carbon future. I am now much more aware and cautious when driving, especially long distances. I have begun to slow down more, and have noticed that this makes my drive much less stressful and more fuel efficient.” Sarah Thomas, VACC Environmental Advisor
Banksia Award Finalists We are excited that in the Year of Biodiversity Greenfleet was a finalist for a second award - this time the Land and Biodiversity award in the 2010 Banksia Awards. The recognition was again for our collaboration with Biolinking Australia, on the Victorian Biolinks Project. Since 2008 this collaboration has established more than 2,000 hectares of biodiverse forest for carbon sequestration, and purchased over 1,000 hectares of existing biodiverse remnant vegetation, which is protected and managed specifically for safeguarding and enhancing biodiversity. Thus beginning the long-term task of reconnecting the fragmented landscapes of Victoria to protect and improve biodiversity. Although we did not win the award, we are very proud to be a finalist to highlight the importance of protecting and enhancing Australiaâ€™s environmental heritage. We would also like to congratulate Landcom, one of our corporate supporters, named as a finalist in the Leading in Sustainability (large organisations) category for leading the urban development industry in the pursuit of sustainable development for the past ten years.
In collaboration with
Cardinia Creek to be home to a Greenfleet forest Greenfleet was pleased to receive a grant from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation in October for a revegetation project along Cardinia Creek in Berwick, Victoria. Cardinia Creek Parklands, on Melbourne’s south-eastern urban fringe, is a mix of cleared grazing land with patches of remnant indigenous vegetation and wetlands. It is an important conservation area within a larger wildlife corridor that extends from the Dandenong Ranges through to Western Port. Many flora species considered threatened in the region are present, along with several significant mammal and bird species. However, there are a number of threats including weed invasion, pest animals, inappropriate grazing, loss of mature trees, drainage and erosion. Thanks to Greenfleet’s Lord Mayor’s grant, 12.2 hectares of cleared land, currently grazed by local farmers’ cattle, will soon be home to about 12,000 indigenous seedlings, including eucalypts, wattles and melaleucas. Of particular significance is the Eucalyptus fulgens (Scent Bark), as forests comprising of this species – which were already infrequent – have declined dramatically due to land clearing.
Greenfleet will initially plant the over- and mid-storey to establish the forest, helping to link the patches of vegetation and create a corridor for both plants and wildlife. Then, in 2012, Greenfleet will look at bolstering the mid-storey and providing a ground layer to enhance biodiversity values. This project will complement a larger Parks Victoria programme which aims to create a vast park network, linking remote patches throughout the Beaconsfield and Berwick areas. Ultimately, these trees will form a forest that not only takes carbon pollution out of the atmosphere, provides cleaner air to the community, but also provides habitat for the native animals and birds of the region, protecting and enhancing existing biodiversity, to create a natural heritage the community will be able to enjoy fully.
Farewell and thank-you As you know Greenfleet is supported by a Board of Directors who all volunteer their time and we thank them for this generous contribution. We’d particularly like to thank two of our long-standing Directors who resigned their positions in October to seek new horizons. Thanks to Rob Joy for all his work and support as Chairman of Greenfleet’s Board for the past six years. Thanks also to Julie Hansen for her great contribution during five years as Director.
We wish them all the best for their future endeavours. We would also like to congratulate Ian Porter for his appointment as Chairman of the Board and thank him for taking on the additional responsibility.
Wilson Parking’s Carbon Offset – Donation Match Wilson Parking, Australia’s largest parking operator, will soon release a carbon offset donation matching programme for their monthly and PlatinumPark customers.
“Carbon emissions continue to be of great social, political and financial significance for all Australians and Greenfleet is a pioneer in delivering forestry offsets,” said Wilson Parking CEO, Craig Smith.
Wilson Parking has been offsetting vehicle fleet emissions with Greenfleet for about two years; and they now promote Greenfleet to encourage their customers to reduce their carbon footprint. For every offset donation made to Greenfleet through Wilson’s Parking Carbon Offset programme, Wilson Parking will match the donation.
“At Wilson Parking we pride ourselves on raising awareness of important issues, and offering our customers the chance to make a difference in a very simple and cost-effective way.” For more information call 1800 PARKING or visit www.wilsonparking.com.au/go/greenfleet
City of Whittlesea tests alternative fuel Whittlesea Council has begun testing the use of biodiesel fuel in one of its heavy vehicles, to find a solution to cut their carbon emissions. The one-month trial sees a street sweeper running on B20 fuel; a blend of 80% petroleum based diesel and 20% biodiesel. The biodiesel consists of waste vegetable oils and fats, collected from cafes, restaurants and other food-processing factories. The use of B20 can reduce carbon emissions by up to 15% when compared with regular diesel fuel*.
Fuel efficiency, emissions and cost implications are being rated throughout the test. “The research we’ve done so far has made us very optimistic about the outcome,” says Ben Harries Whittlesea Council’s Team Leader Environmental Operations. Mr Harries also explains that the costs of using B20 are around the same as using petroleum based diesel and there will be no need to modify the vehicles expected to use the new fuel. “If the test is successful, Council’s entire heavy vehicle fleet, some 60 to 70 vehicles could be running on B20 by the end of the year”, he explains. That includes all street sweepers, hard waste collection trucks, litter collection trucks, backhoes and smaller utilities. In 2009-10, Whittlesea Council’s corporate and light vehicle fleets produced 1,300 tonnes greenhouse gases (CO2-e). Council offset more than half of these emissions through Greenfleet programme, planting native trees to form a self-sustaining biodiverse forest. * Source: Biomax
We'd like to thank the following organisations for supporting Greenfleet
Visit greenfleet.com.au for more supporters. 11
Tips to avoid and reduce emissions Avoiding and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is something everyone can do. It is often just common sense, but we thought we’d look at some less obvious options.
The goods we consume create greenhouse gases in a number of ways: 1. The energy used to produce the product (embedded energy); 2. The energy used by the product while you are using it; 3. The emissions generated once we are finished with a product (end-of-life). By thinking about each of these stages when making a purchase, there is potential to reduce your carbon footprint dramatically. In fact Australians lead the world in recycling newspapers* – but what else can we do?
Repair, refill and re-use items where possible. If you do upgrade, your older products may still be useful to a friend, family member, charity, etc. Ask around to find out if someone else can make use of your disused goods – or try a website like the Australian Recyclers’ Classifieds (www.ozrecycle.com) to give it away to a grateful recipient.
Recycle materials instead of sending them to landfill – this means the materials are recovered and fed back into the system to make new products, reducing both the emissions released from waste and the need to source virgin materials. Regular collections are available for paper, glass, aluminium and some plastics in most residential areas – check with your local council.
Buy recycled products – or those with some recycled content at least, to reduce the demand for virgin materials. You’re not really recycling unless you’re buying recycled products; there needs to be a market for the materials you send out for recycling. Dispose of disposable items – using and tossing disposable batteries, razors, cutlery, tissues, water bottles (and so-on) has an undesirable long-lasting impact on the environment. Use rechargeable batteries and reusable products with a longer lifespan instead. Not only will you help reduce landfill and pollution, you will also save money! So for this summer’s picnic think reusable plates and cutlery, fabric table cloth and napkins!
Contact Greenfleet Postal address: Greenfleet PO Box 16011 Collins Street West VIC 8007
* Source: Publishers National Environment Bureau
Keep up-to-date on:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.greenfleet.com.au Individual supporters and enquiries: 1800 032 999 Business supporters and enquiries: 03 9642 0570
Cover images: Sara Gipton, Linda VanderVen.
Thank you to Fishprint for donating the printing of this newsletter, using waterless offset technology, non-genetically modified soy ink and 100% recycled paper donated by Focus Paper. Graphic design by Subgreen Design.
100% POST CONSUMER WASTE
Greenfleet's Summer 2010 newsletter - celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity and much more