News #18 years & growing In this issue: 15 years and growing 2011 at a glance Helping preserve the Glossy Black Cockatoo 5 minutes with a long-time Greenfleet supporter Supporter news 10 easy ways to reduce your emissions
15 years and growing “Growing” perfectly captures the essence of what 2012 represents for Greenfleet - an auspicious year as Greenfleet celebrates its 15th birthday.
We’ve inspired change and have been inspired in turn by the dedication of our supporters to make a difference and the trust they place in our program.
15 years ago the journey started, when the seed of an idea germinated in the minds of a small group of people. Originally developed as a project of The Foster Foundation, Greenfleet was launched in October 1997 to offer Australian motorists a tree-planting program to recapture CO2 emissions, and promote fuel-efficient technologies to reduce emissions at the source. It was the first program of its kind, at a time when climate change was still a disputed phenomenon.
In these 15 years, we’ve seen other players come and go, but we’ve remained focused on our mission: to create a low carbon future for Australia by helping Australians reduce their environmental impact, sharing knowledge and restoring landscapes with biodiverse, native forests.
15 years and 7.5 million trees later, we’ve come a long way.
What we’ve achieved in 15 years is amazing and it would not have been possible without your tremendous support. From everybody at Greenfleet, we thank you. Thank you for choosing to act. Thank you for helping us protect and enhance Australian biodiversity. Thank you for inspiring us to continue our fabulous program – together we are making a real difference and we look forward to doing even more in the future.
Climate change is a reality that most people and organisations are no longer ignoring, with more and more taking action.
Over the course of this year, we will take you on a journey through 15 years of achievements, from seeds to forests, with our newsletters and some surprises. We’d love to celebrate with you, so stay tuned!
Since 1997, Greenfleet has grown (literally), matured and become more rigorous in the management of every aspect of our program. We’ve forged strong relationships with key organisations on the national stage, as well as with local and smaller businesses.
As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in 1935,
“Men and nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of nature throws out of balance also the lives of men.” It rightly describes what Greenfleet has been all about since 1997.
Sara Gipton CEO Greenfleet March 2012
Greenfleetâ€™s first ever planting in 1997 near Wonthaggi, VIC â€“ Looking high up at the canopy of the 15-year old forest
2011 at a glance As we farewell the United Nations’ International Year of Forests, we look back and reflect on 2011; and it fills us with a real sense of achievement. In 2011 Australia stepped up for the environment: The Clean Energy Future plan introduced a price on carbon pollution; P assage of the Carbon Farming Initiative legislation. Greenfleet was one of only two forest sink providers invited to address the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee in relation to the proposed legislation; A nd a more discrete yet significant change - the reform of FBT rules to remove perverse incentives to drive further in order to obtain better tax rates. Greenfleet welcomes these initiatives which we think will have a positive impact on climate change. The Greenfleet team conducted 300 site visits across NSW, QLD, SA and VIC; and planted over 570,000 native trees on behalf of our supporters. As they grow, the resulting forests will capture more than 150,000 tonnes of CO2-e. We reached out to the community, with the help of event sponsors, to organise a Community Planting Day on World Environment Day. It was a great opportunity to increase awareness about environmental issues among children and adults, and demonstrate what can be done to counteract them as a community. We also offered a backstage pass to a number of corporate supporters’ staff at four planting days. It was great to mingle with the volunteers and show them firsthand where their donations are used. They all appreciated these ‘behind the scenes’ days which gave them a better understanding of what planting forests means for the climate, landscape and wildlife. 4
Greenfleet’s supporter community continued growing as we welcomed more than 450 new individual and corporate supporters who chose to take action and offsetting their emissions through our native forest planting program. Our online community also expanded, with more and more people and organisations following us on Facebook and Twitter for day to day tips, news and photos. We launched an interactive map on our website, showcasing a number of Greenfleet planting sites, making it easier to see the difference your donations are making on the ground. Here is to a great past year and an amazing one to come!
Helping preserve the Glossy Black Cockatoo Nestled at the foot of Mt Barney in south-east Queensland is Minjelha Dhagun, a co-operative of eight indigenous clans from the Yugambeh language group. The 400 ha property was once cleared for farming and logging purposes. Until April 2008 that is, when Greenfleet helped to reforest this area bordering Mt Barney National Park by planting 60 ha with a mix of locally native trees. Minjelha Dhagun means ‘Happy People’; putting the original forest back brings more than happiness for the traditional owners.
“Greenfleet’s tree planting is important for us as the new forest is helping us to heal our land. The new trees are sustaining the lives of the wildlife which in turn is helping our people to reconnect to our land and our culture,”
Greenfleet Senior Forester, Tim Powe pointed out that the plantings benefited from the end of the decade-long drought in much of eastern Australia and the forest’s growth has been very impressive. “The seedlings have responded to a couple of relatively wet years and are now well established. Being next to the national park has also helped, with several understorey species establishing across the fence. This all builds on the biodiversity importance and integrity of the site, and to its cultural value to the traditional owners”, explained Tim. In November 2010, Greenfleet completed the first carbon measurements at Minjelha Dhagun. The growth of the trees is running ahead of schedule and the biodiversity values are exceeding even the most optimistic forecasts.
Mt Barney is also a key habitat for the Glossy Black Cockatoo, listed as vulnerable in Queensland and endangered on a national level - with habitat loss its greatest threat. Tim explains that Greenfleet and the Yugambeh people included Forest Sheoak (Allocasuarina torulosa) in the planting to provide crucial habitat for the Glossy Black. “Glossy Black Cockatoos are notoriously fussy eaters with their diet exclusively consisting of seeds from the Forest Sheoak. We’ve included several hundred Forest Sheoak trees in the planting mix as food trees and the gums will eventually provide shelter”, said Tim.
said Robyn Currie, President of Yugambeh Land Enterprises Ltd.
The plantings at Minjelha Dhagun started out as ten-centimetre seedlings. Four years later many of the trees are over three metres - some reaching five metres. With Mount Barney in the background, Minjelha Dhagun’s projects coordinator Scottie Hunter (right) discusses the progress of the new forest with Michael McCormick (left). Michael was one of the youths who worked on the property and helped to plant the trees almost four years ago.
Photo courtesy of Wayne Johnston
The seed... Henry O’Clery is a member of the team that started the Greenfleet program back in 1997 and was a Director through to 2006. So we thought we’d ask Henry to take a look back at how it all started. A longer version of this interview is available on our website.
What was your inspiration to start Greenfleet? A couple of us were driving to Gippsland from Melbourne one day in 1996 and heard an interview on the radio with Dr Leo Dobes, then Research Manager at the Bureau of Transport & Resource Economics. He had just completed a study on what could be done to reduce the impact of CO2 emissions from the car fleet. He had a throwaway line at the end: “Really, the best thing you could do is plant millions of trees.” We found that a fascinating idea and wondered what it would look like if we could plant the original mix of trees to create biodiverse forests around the country. At the time I was working for a not-for-profit organisation called The Foster Foundation. We were working on transport and teaching kids to plant native trees, so we saw an opportunity to expand what the Foundation was doing. Greenfleet was created in 1997, becoming the first biological offset program offered to motorists anywhere in the world.
What was the greatest reward? Probably our most exciting moment was when QFleet (Queensland Government’s fleet) signed up in 2002. It was the first state government to sign up its fleet and resulted in 214,000 trees being planted. That was huge.
What was the biggest challenge? Supporters at the beginning just dribbled in. I can remember the excitement whenever we saw a Greenfleet sticker on the back of a car, we’d want to take a photo, or to stop them and send them a personal message or something. The idea was so different, out-of-the-box, that everybody was telling us we were insane. That was a really interesting thing - the number of people who initially said “it’ll never work” and the contrast with the number of potential competitors who came up to me 6 or 7 years later when the program was successful and said “we’re going to put you out of business,” believing they’d developed a better model. Of course, some people blatantly did copy our model. I suppose that’s a form of flattery as well as a form of competition.
Are you proud of the achievement of setting up Greenfleet? I’m very pleased that it’s still there. I think it was a good model and in lots of ways we were very lucky. We just hit the right thing at the right time and persevered with it. As of the end of 2011, Greenfleet had planted 7.5 million trees. That’s fantastic! That’s 7.5 million trees that wouldn’t otherwise be there. I think that is the fabulous thing – there’s now around 7,500 hectares of native forest and habitat out there that would not be there if we hadn’t tuned into Leo Dobes 15 years ago!
The Greenfleet journey, so far... • Greenfleet project launched - first to reduce impact of cars & other transport on the environment in the world • First trees planted at Bass River, VIC • LeasePlan Australia signs up as Foundation Sponsor
2000 1 millionth tree
• Greenfleet Australia, the independent organisation established • Deductible Gift Recipient status gained - donations become tax deductible • Greenfleet listed on Register of Environmental Organisations 2001 • Murray Darling Rescue project commences (with Scouts Australia) • The Future of the Car Forum (with Holden & Government of South Australia)
• Greenfleet website launched • Greenfleet Class introduced to World Solar Challenge to showcase fuel-efficient cars & low-carbon fuels • Emerging Transport Technologies Conference held (with CSIRO & World Solar Challenge) • Workplace giving program established with Telstra
2 millionth tree
• Tree Totaller released - online emissions calculator for vehicles, flights & utilities
• ‘Race to 5,000’ supporter drive launched by motor racing legend, Peter Brock & Victorian Minister for Environment, John Thwaites • 2nd Emerging Transport Technologies Conference • Greenfleet Class features in World Solar Challenge • Decision Makers’ Forum & Dinner - hosted by EU Ambassador & Head of Delegation of the European Commission to Australia & New Zealand • Greenfleet Technology Trial and display at Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix
2006 3 millionth tree
4 & 5 millionth trees
• Greenfleet Class features in World Solar Challenge • 3rd Emerging Transport Technologies Conference
6 millionth tree
7 millionth tree
• First NFP to gain Greenhouse FriendlyTM Approval for forest sink methodology • Finalist - World Environment Day Awards, Meeting the Greenhouse Challenge • 1 millionth tree planted for Murray Darling Rescue project • Greenfleet planting projects commence in Kosciuszko National Park, NSW • First corporate ‘Drive Days’ organised • Bushfire Recovery Projects - Tarra Bulga & Watsons Creek, VIC • ‘Your sustainable transport guide’ released • Finalist - World Environment Day Awards, Biodiversity • Finalist - Banksia Awards, Land & Bioidiversity
• Address Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee, re: proposed Carbon Farming Initiative • Greenfleet CEO, Sara Gipton awarded Churchill Fellowship to investigate carbon credits on public land • Finalist - World Environment Day Awards, Biodiversity • Greenfleet celebrates 15th Anniversary
For she’s a jolly good fellow In July 2011, Greenfleet CEO Sara Gipton was awarded The Lamington National Park Churchill Fellowship to investigate ‘Driving mechanisms to invest in biodiversity in a changing climate’. Last October and November, a 6-week research trip took Sara to the US, UK and Germany, where she gained a greater understanding of expected future standards and carbon market models for biodiverse revegetation projects, with a focus on National Parks. Sara met with a number of key players in carbon forestry, National Parks and climate change agencies across the three countries with meetings highlighting a number of differences with Australia. Australia’s Carbon Farming Initiative does not require minimum ecological standards for carbon sink forests. By contrast, standards and expectations in other parts of the globe put greater emphasis on ensuring that carbon forests are resilient, sustainable and do not disrupt ecology. To this end, Europeans and Californians (who lead the US) do not allow (or are lobbying to prevent) clear felling and planting introduced species. Australia has unique advantages. Australian National Parks can benefit from injection of carbon market capital as there are vast areas that need more trees. However we must work hard to ensure that plantings are additional, and protect and respect natural systems within the park. Greenfleet’s existing revegetation projects in Australian National Parks (in NSW and Victoria) are working examples of how this collaborative approach can succeed.
“I also attended a course at Harvard University that emphasised the need to collaborate across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Solving climate change is a massive challenge which can only be tackled by working together,” explained Sara.
Greenfleet CEO, Sara Gipton meeting with Forest Carbon’s Director, Stephen Prior in the UK
Sara’s report is available on both the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and Greenfleet websites.
5 minutes with Ruth Anderson Ruth Anderson is a Melbourne-based IT trainer and mother of three, who, although not considering herself an activist, is concerned about the environment and climate change. When Ruth offset her car’s emissions through Greenfleet back in 1997, she did not know she would become one of Greenfleet’s longest standing individual supporters. Since then, Ruth has helped Greenfleet plant 255 native trees by offsetting her vehicle’s emissions annually. Ruth’s contributions have helped plant biodiverse forests around Lake Hume in NSW (featured in the previous newsletter), at Jigsaw Farm near Hamilton in Victoria, and on many other sites across both states. Ruths’ most recent tree donations have been allocated to a large project in Niemuroo, NSW, where the forest was sown by direct seeding in August 2011.
What inspired you to donate to Greenfleet?
How do you avoid and reduce emissions in everyday life?
I was becoming concerned about the environment and this seemed an easy thing to do to make some sort of difference.
I generally catch public transport to work - in fact I normally don’t drive my car very much. We have also installed solar panels and energy efficient light bulbs.
Why do you continue to support Greenfleet? It’s one simple thing I can do to slightly counteract my use of vehicles. We live in the inner city so can’t plant many trees ourselves. Also my life tends to be very busy so I don’t have time to do as many ‘green’ things as some people - I look for things I can do simply that I think will make a difference.
What do you see as the major benefits of Greenfleet’s program? The main benefit I am aware of is reducing carbon in the atmosphere. However, increasing forests is also beneficial in a number of other ways, as explained on your website - e.g. reducing salinity and soil erosion.
What is the greatest ‘green’ thing you have done? Installing solar panels and rainwater tanks we have two toilets and the laundry operating on rainwater.
What has changed during the time you have been offsetting with Greenfleet? I am much more conscious of being energy efficient now than I was 15 years ago - there’s a lot more publicity, more options and the problems are more visible.
How have you inspired others? My husband has also signed up to Greenfleet. Our three children (now young adults) are all reasonably conscious of being as energy efficient as possible.
Greenfleet supporters achieve great things! Congratulations to Yawarra Information Appliances who won Knox Council’s 2011 Sustainable Business Award. Nikki Stokes (pictured right), from Yawarra Information Appliances said: “We are extremely proud and excited. We were up against some other very impressive projects, and it’s great to see so many businesses doing so much to help the environment.”
Yawarra Information Appliances offers a range of energy-efficient, ultra-small, durable desktop computers. Their key products, the fit-PC2 desktop computers, use 7 times less electricity, and last twice as long as regular PCs. In addition, the company offsets the remaining electricity usage of their customers’ fit-PC2s with four trees from Greenfleet. Since 2010, this promotion has resulted in the offset of 536 tonnes CO2-e with Greenfleet on behalf of Yawarra’s fit-PC2 customers and contributed to forests planted near Wedderburn and Nhill in Victoria.
Greening the greens More and more organisations are seeing that what is good for the environment is good for operations – benefitting both the quality and the bottom line of your business. Here’s another concrete example. With a combined 2.4 hectares of grass to cut three times a week at both the Dorset and Ringwood Golf Courses, Maroondah City Council needed something that was rugged, economical and ideally environmentally friendly.
Golf course management use two John Deere 2500E greens mowers, which are hybrid machines. They have a diesel powered engine for propulsion; however an electric generator replaces the traditional hydraulic system to drive the cutting units on the mower. “The electric system is what initially influenced the purchase, as traditional hydraulic system cutting units can be prone to leaking oil which in turn kills turf. “Further investigation showed a number of added environmental and cost benefits. These include fuel savings of 40-50% over the traditional hydraulic machines, due to the efficiency of the electric generator and the ability to generate maximum power at very low revs,” explained Council’s Golf Course Superintendent, Jeremy Cutajar. The low revs in turn have reduced noise pollution during operation, which has been well received by machine operators and golfers alike. Maroondah City Council has been a supporter of Greenfleet since 2003, and with a fleet of 132 motor vehicles and plant, has offset just over 5,000 tonnes CO2-e through Greenfleet’s tree planting program. This has helped establish forests on seven sites across NSW and Victoria, including the Werribee Open Range Zoo. Harley at work on one of the greens at Maroondah City Council’s Dorset Golf Course
We’d love to share your story 10
If you are a business, organisation or agency offsetting emissions with Greenfleet, and have achieved great things for the environment and your business operations, we’d love to hear from you. Send your stories and pictures to Aline at email@example.com
We'd like to thank the following organisations for supporting Greenfleet
Visit greenfleet.com.au for more supporters. 11
10 easy ways to reduce your emissions You’ve got 15 minutes? Take a quick tour around your home with this checklist and tick the tips off the list as you go: S witch off your appliances at the power point. When left on standby they are still using power and this can add up to 10% to your power bill. C heck your taps for leaks. A dripping tap wastes around 2 litres of water every hour. This is equivalent to emitting 41 kg CO2-e per year.* H ave a bucket handy next to the shower. Just place it under the flow of water when it’s warming up and use this to water your plants. C heck your window and door seals, and draught-proof where necessary.
C hange your home thermostat to 26°C during summer and 18°C in winter. U nplug that second fridge. Fridges are the most significant energy-consuming appliances in your home; second fridges are almost always older and less efficient. D ust off your bike, pump up the tyres and grease the chain. It will make for a smoother ride next time which will entice you to ditch the car for the bike.
There you go, you are now saving $$$ and reducing your impact on the planet. * Source: carboncompass.com.au
C heck the pressure of your car tyres. A tyre that is under-inflated by 1 psi can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 3%. R emove unnecessary items from the boot of your car. For every extra 45 kg carried in a vehicle, the fuel efficiency can drop by 2%.
Contact Greenfleet Postal address: PO Box 16011 Collins Street West VIC 8007
N ow put your feet up and plan for your next holiday locally. We all tend to think a holiday means travelling a long way from home, but you’ll be amazed at the tourism options close to home when you start looking.
Keep up-to-date on:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.greenfleet.com.au Phone: 1800 032 999
Thank you to Fishprint for donating the printing of this newsletter, using waterless offset technology and non-genetically modified soy ink, on 100% post-consumer recycled paper donated by B.J. Ball Papers. Graphic design by Subgreen Design.
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