The word ‘sustainability’ comes up a lot in our work. However it’s defined, sustainability isn’t an end point.
It’s a philosophy, a set of values in action.
It isn’t just about the environment (as vital as that is); it’s also about vibrant communities and how we all make a fair living. Last millennium it seemed like we had to make a choice between profit or planet, economics or ecosystems. Now, an approach to doing things sustainably is widely accepted as best practice. With a focus on sustainable development and the right degree of accountability, it’s possible to see that growth for sustainable businesses may be what we’ve been missing all along.
At Ecocreative, the way we see it, if we operate ethically and make a living we are well equipped to be part of ‘positive change for a sustainable society’.
We choose to work with clients who share this philosophy and engage with a network of collaborators who appreciate why this is so important.
Policy is the best honesty.
During many years of establishing a sustainable process, we’ve developed the belief that nothing matters more than why we do something (except perhaps the way we do it). To this end, Ecocreative’s policy every day is to create ethically, consume responsibly, waste nothing, and share everything we can about sustainability.
We pledge to continuously improve our performance as a business and we hope to learn from and inspire others to make good on this commitment.
If you would like to know more about our sustainability policy, get in touch with Sarah, our Sustainability & Operations Manager.
Like the canopy of the Red Gum, our policy is our overarching principle. It connects every part of our business and brings like-minded clients to our environment.
Design for good is great design.
There are a good number of designers working at Ecocreative, and each of us believes that designers should be leaders in being creative for the greater good. This is what inspires us to work for our clients in the sustainability sector.
We’re not the only ones who feel passionate about this. Ecocreative is proud to join others around the world and be an early adopter of The Designers Accord. Together with an international collective of professionals in fields such as education, design, architecture and engineering, we have committed to work towards a more sustainable society.
Matthew, our CEO, regularly speaks to groups and students about the importance of sustainability in design and communications and we continue to advocate for positive change across the creative industry and its vast supply chain.
There is no way we can possibly cover what inspires us as sustainable designers and communicators, though our blog, Twitter feed and Facebook site can be relied upon for updates on the wonderful and weird. You can also learn more about sustainable approaches, materials and processes in the work section (including projects from our archives).
No two pieces of bark are same. No two brands are the same.
We focus on your business as an organism unlike any other, with the potential, like every living creature, to shape the world and its environment … for GOOD!
— Hawken, P & Lovins, AB, 1999 ,
Natural capitalism: creating the next industrial revolution , Little, Brown and Co., Boston. p111
The lighter the footprint, the better.
At Ecocreative, we’re serious about treading lightly. A recent audit of our carbon footprint by Balance Carbon showed us to have a very low 1.99 tonnes of CO2e per full-time employee for 2010-11. Although this is slightly higher than last year’s footprint, we are happy this result considering the significant change associated with the move to a larger studio in the Adelaide CBD.
Many of our team engage in what’s known as active transport (also known as walking or cycling) to and from work and meetings. When time or other factors make this too tricky, we are public transport devotees and avid car-poolers
What we do emit, we offset with NCOS-certifed carbon credits. In doing so, we meet current Australian requirements for ‘carbon neutrality’, abating all direct emissions as well as our power consumption (we run on renewable wind power). As for our indirect emissions, we offset waste to landfill, paper consumption, business travel (including flights and taxis) and half of all employee commuting.
The goal of our emissions management plan is to continually reduce our carbon footprint and to keep expanding our scope for what we consider our climate responsibility.
Unlike trees, we are made to be carbon polluters, simply by breathing! However, we can choose to leave a lighter footprint by maximising the efficiency of the resources we do use, and minimising our use of unnecessary things.
Up with recycling, down with waste.
A big part of being active recyclers is that our own post-consumer waste supports manufacturers of Australian recycled products, including paper, plastic, metals, glassware, pigments, even garden products. If a material has already been processed to make the original product (such as a piece of paper or glass) there is an enormous saving on energy required in making to make the next generation of product. Also, supporting these industries means that they can offer us a wider range of energy efficient materials to use for our projects!
We always consider the sustainability of materials in our design work and we actively specify materials made from post-consumer recycled material. Aside from the obvious practical benefits to closing the loop this way, there is something almost magical in knowing that the milk carton picked up by the council truck might one day become part of a 100%-post-consumer recycled paper poster that encourages people to recycle milk cartons – the empowered consumer behaviour cycle!
If you look around this site (or talk to any Ecocreative) you’ll soon know how keen we are on recycling. We don’t like to throw anything out (and it is a very rare occasion that we do) – just about everything that comes into our studio can be re-used or recycled: paper, plastics, glass, metals, cloth, timber, food waste, coffee grounds, carpet, computers and other e-waste, toner cartridges… anything, really, is put to good use. The diversion of material such as food organics (or food waste) from landfill dumps keeps our methane emissions low and saves on huge amounts of water and other natural resources.
We also encourage our suppliers and clients to commit to the ‘refuse, re-use, recycle’ paradigm.
If you’d like any tips for business waste and recycling management, get in touch!
We can all take a leaf out of a tree’s book when it comes to waste. When a tree drops its leaves, they become part of a positive growth cycle. From consumption to disposal, how does our litter compare?