23 Sustainable Companies in Australia Doing Great Things

June 2021

What do the experts think...

88% of consumers want businesses to help them make a difference so it's no surprise that lots of companies are jumping on the "green" bandwagon. So we challenged ourselves to find out which companies in Australia are going above and beyond.

This list of 23 eco friendly brands & companies, will spark inspiration for you and your organisation to ‘go green’, since individually and together we can make a difference. The brands are listed in no particular order; number 1 is just as good as number 23!

1. Returnr - a company on a mission to ‘stop the waste invaders’

To reduce the plastic pollution in our oceans, which mainly comes from food and drink packaging being dumped into the sea, Returnr provides reusable packaging for food. Known as the ultimate ‘Pack, Empty, Collect, Wash, and Reuse’ company, Returnr offers groceries and pre-made meals from both boutique and specialty brands.

We have just launched a simple reuse solution for workplaces to 'stop the waste invaders. 'Returnr Workplace Micropool' is a private pool of reusables shared amongst colleagues. With something for everyone, you can prevent the production, consumption and landfill of takeaway packaging on every occasion.” 

- Jamie Forsyth, Founder Returnr

2. Ben & Jerry’s - wastewater bio-digester and new vegan flavours 

Ben & Jerry’s has a large presence in Australia and New Zealand and apart from working on biodegradable packaging, the ice-cream business is committed to several additional sustainability initiatives. 

At Ben & Jerry's, we are continuing to push towards our science-based goals to reduce our carbon footprint. We have nearly reached our 100% renewable goal, helped by adding our third biodigester to our factories that uses wastewater and ice cream waste to generate electricity.

It doesn’t stop there for Ben & Jerry’s - they are focussed on carbon insetting within their supply chain. Carbon insetting is a practice whereby companies invest in emissions reduction projects within the supply chain. This is awesome to see and very forward-thinking!

“We are also making progress on the carbon footprint of our other ingredients (like sugar and cocoa) through a carbon insetting project that will reduce 140,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions over 20 years, and an exciting 5-year pilot project is pioneering regenerative almond production in California.”

- Stephanie Curly, Social Mission Manager at Ben & Jerry’s 

3. Edible Beauty Australia - incorporating zero-waste ingredients 

Many beauty products these days can be damaging to the skin, and not many of them are edible. But that’s not the case for this innovative Australian beauty brand. Edible Beauty Australia is in business with sustainability in mind. All of their beauty products are eco-friendly including the packaging. 

Our mantra is to embody conscious beauty beyond value,” which means we strive to become conscious across all aspects of our business, from our packaging to our formulations and charitable donations. We are currently working on an innovative packaging initiative that will work to reduce waste and carbon emissions linked to our inner and outer packaging. We are also incorporating zero-waste ingredients into our new formulations!”

- Anna Mitsios, Founder of Edible Beauty Australia

4. KOH - is proof you don't need chemical nasties to keep your home clean

KOH’s eco-friendly cleaning product range doesn’t contain harsh chemicals or toxic fumes making it a safer choice for the environment. The company’s refillable system uses 10x less plastic than regular cleaning products and is eco-certified by Good Environmental Choice Australia. 

It's our responsibility as a brand that promotes sustainability to ensure that excess stock we may have doesn't go to waste. To do this, we have partnered with Good360, a fantastic Australian charity, that ensures nothing useful goes unused by matching surplus stock with local charities and people who need it most. Through our donations, 387 not-for-profits and schools have received Koh products in 2020, including those impacted by the NSW floods.” 

- Giulia McMurdo, Sustainability Lead at KOH

5. Who Gives A Crap - installing solar panels on their roof

As innovative as the name of this sustainable business is, so is their take on their companies sustainability initiative including their sustainable multipurpose tissues. Since launching in March 2013 the company has donated 50% of its profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world.

Two of our most enormous warehouses are in the process of installing solar panels on their roof! While our goal is that our warehouses be carbon neutral when it comes to the energy they generate and use on-site, this is our first step in producing as much energy as possible via solar.

- Jehan Ratnatunga, Co-founder of Who Gives A Crap

6. The Sustainable Salons - released 100% post-consumer recycled plastic dog leashes

The Sustainable Salons is a membership based not-for-profit that empowers salon members to reduce their impact on the planet and invest in local communities. They help salons reduce their footprint & increase their knowledge about sustainable practises. They are also creating opportunity for people with a disability by providing purposeful work within material collection and processing streams.

“We’ve made glasses frames from shampoo bottles in our collaboration with local eyewear manufacturer Dresden Vision, and recently we released 100% post-consumer recycled plastic dog leashes via an awesome partnership with Hi Jac and Sydney-based recycled plastic manufacturer, Defy Design (check out our socials for info on both of these products).”

- Paul Frasca, Co-founder of The Sustainable Salon

7. Hub Australia - offering carbon-neutral memberships

Hub Australia is building and providing sustainable workspaces across the country and is a 100% Carbon Neutral Certified company. It is also a B Corp Certified company following the highest standards and transparency in being a green organisation. 

“We operate our annual Flexi Impact program to support, amplify, and assist the growth of purpose-driven businesses around Australia by offering complimentary memberships and all the benefits that go along with it. In 2020 Hub became the first fully carbon neutral certified co-working space in Australia, offering carbon-neutral memberships to our members across the country.”

- Brad Krauskopf, Founder and CEO of Hub Australia  

8. Keith Tulloch Wine - planting native gardens around their vineyards

Keith Tulloch Wine is a Carbon Neutral Certified winery that takes pride in its zero-emission process from grape to glass and has several sustainability projects in the pipeline. 

The most recent project that weve completed (and is ongoing) is regarding native biodiversity. We have been planting native gardens surrounding our vineyards since 2019, particularly flowering plants which attract pollinators and predatory insects, as well as predatory mammals and birds. This restores the native flora and fauna in our area and has a symbiotic effect on our vineyard operations. Having healthy populations of predatory animals creates a buffer against pests and diseases, meaning that these biodiverse gardens replace harmful pesticide use.

- Alisdair Tulloch, Vigneron at Keith Tulloch 

9. Cape Byron Distillery - bottles are labelled using biodegradable Bagasse paper stock

The Cape Byron Distillery is located in the largest subtropical rainforest in Australia and is a proud supporter of the Big Scrub Landcare (BSL) group, whose mission is to preserve what is left of the rainforest and encourage other landowners to plant subtropical trees. The distillery is also part of a sustainable bottle labelling initiative which is a great example of the company’s sustainable growth.

“Our Brookies bottles are labelled using biodegradable Bagasse paper stock, created from waste sugarcane fibres, and are a more eco-friendly solution than wood pulp paper. All 25 botanicals and the spent wash from Gin, and Whisky production are composted onsite in a closed-loop system. This does not only reduce our waste to landfill but, once complete, is used to build soil structure and biodiversity throughout our regenerated rainforest and macadamia orchard.

-Eddie Brook, Co-founder of Cape Byron Distillery 

10. RecycleSmart - launching a free subscription service 

More than 20% of what we put in the red bins can be recycled! RecycleSmart is the Uber for recycling - they ensure that your waste actually gets recycled!

"This year our on-demand recycling service is making it impossible for ordinary citizens to say they can't recycle their tricky waste! Our Power Pickup service collects everything from soft plastics to clothes, e-waste, polystyrene, expired medicines, and more! As if it couldn't get any better, we're launching a FREE subscription service in all of our councils! You can now still choose to book a single Power Pickup for $2 or just set and forget a date for your tricky waste to be collected for free!

-Giorgio Barrachi, CEO of Recyclesmart

11. Brighte - making solar power batteries accessible 

Investing in solar power can be expensive but Brighte is on a mission to make this affordable for every homeowner. Since 2015 the company has approved over $500 million in finance and enabled over 1,800 solar and home improvements. They have helped over over 60,000 Aussie households.

We changed the solar industry five years ago by offering innovative solar financing options to Aussie homeowners, making solar more accessible by removing the upfront cost. Today 1 in 10 solar panels are financed through Brighte. We are currently working on making technologies like batteries accessible and we want to fundamentally change the way Australians interact with their energy providers and shift the power to the home.”

-Malini Sietaram, CMO at Brighte

12. Future Super - an active member of the B Corp Climate Collective

Future Super is an ethical investment firm that helps move your super out of fossil fuels and into proactive climate solutions reducing the carbon footprint of your money.

We're a proud B Corp and an active member of the B Corp Climate Collective, a group of planet-friendly companies who encourage each other to take action on a shared climate action roadmap as well as ongoing work to ensure we're certified Carbon Neutral with Climate Active by the end of 2021. Our B Corp recertification is underway, we're hoping to boost our score by 9% at the same time we've doubled in size.“

-Steven James, Ops at Future Super

13. felix mobile - a campaign with carbon absorbing paint

felix mobile is a new mobile plan provider in Australia. The telco company is on a mission to plant 1,000,000 trees around the world through its partner One Tree Planted by planting one tree per month for every customer. The business is also powered by 100% renewable electricity. 

“Our latest campaign, ‘This Is Green’, includes a mural being painted in Melbourne CBD with carbon absorbing paint, allowing it to act like a giant tree, trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. felix proudly plants one tree per customer for each month they’re active, is certified carbon neutral and the first telco brand to be powered by 100% renewable electricity.”

- Kelly Beater, Head of Sales & Marketing at felix mobile

14. DesignerEx - reducing the need to go to fast fashion for a new look

There is a lot of waste in the fashion industry so why not hire your next outfit then let someone else take it for a spin?! DesignerEx is a platform that allows you to compare the prices of renting dresses from businesses and your peers! 

Our disruptive peer-to-peer business model and custom-built technology platform provides unprecedented access to designer fashion at a fraction of the retail price, whilst also incentivising consumers to buy better, higher quality garments and keep them in the loop - reducing the need to go to fast fashion for a new look.”

-Kirsten Kore, Co-founder at DesignerEx

15. Ettitude - measuring the impact of their products

Ettitude is a sustainable bedding company on a mission to reduce its impact on the planet by using bamboo, as an alternative to cotton, as it requires 500x less water to produce. They also ensure all their bamboo is sustainably grown under a reforestation program of Nicarhua Forest.

"On Earth Day this year, Ettitude became Climate Neutral certified. In 2021 and beyond, we will measure, reduce and offset all of the carbon it takes to make and deliver every product. Weve made huge strides in measuring the impact of our products, including through the release of our inaugural Impact Report at the end of 2020, but this is the single biggest step weve taken on our sustainability journey so far.

-Phoebe Yu, Founder and CEO of Ettitude

16. Three Blue Ducks - banned single-use coffee cups

In 2010, Three Blue Ducks started as a café in the Sydney beachside suburb of Bronte. Since then, they have expanded to 5 restaurants dotted along the East Coast. The chefs celebrate amazing Australian seasonal produce and the business has a great commitment to sustainability. 

More recently we were involved in a partnership with the coffee supplier, Single O, called 'Mission Against Emissions'. On this day, Earth Day, we banned single-use coffee cups from all of our stores. We saved thousands of single-use cups from ending up in land-fill, and all of the energy required to make and ship those cups. Plus we reminded thousands of people that it is great to bring your own takeaway coffee cup.”

-Katy Ferguson, Events Manager at Three Blue Ducks

17. Go Kindly - working on a pillow-recycling program to prevent landfill waste

Go Kindly is an Australian owned social enterprise selling ethically sourced products. They do not allow any plastic to enter their supply chain cycle. Additionally, 50% of Go Kindly profits are donated towards homeless women and other initiatives. 

“At GoKindly, we're passionate about supply chain sustainability. All our products are proudly Australian made, fair wages are paid across our supply chain, and we use environmentally friendly packaging (compostable and recyclable). Currently, Sustainability Victoria advises that pillows can not be recycled. We want to change that so we are working on a pillow-recycling program that would prevent landfill waste.

-David Conti, Co-founder at #GoKindly

18. SIPP Instant - using packaging made from recycled cardboard

Founders Dylan Grarft and Luke Zocchi found a solution to the coffee pod problem by evolving instant coffee into a functional beverage. Along with curbing exorbitantly priced coffee they also donate a huge sum towards sustainability research. For every box sold, $1 goes towards organisations dedicated to making our planet more sustainable.

"Sustainability is a key pillar for our business at SIPP INSTANT. Any decision we make must not have a negative impact on the planet. That is why our packaging is made from recycled cardboard, non-toxic inks and the interior film is 100% home compostable. We recently won the Australasian Design & Innovation Packaging Award which really highlights the move the industry is taking towards sustainable packaging solutions. Last year we also become 100% carbon neutral.”

-Dylan Garft and Luke Zocchi, Founders at SIPP Instant

19. Brookfarm - created a solution to recycle the packaging for their Toasted Cranberry Muesli

Brookfarm is one of Australia's leading producers of macadamia products and premium health foods. The company has a strong passion for sustainability and an entire range of non-GMO real food products, all made with natural ingredients.

Sustainability permeates everything we do at Brookfarm, and it starts on our farm; from regenerative macadamia farming to integrated pest management, to regenerating rainforest. Sustainability flows to the muesli side of the business where we recently won two awards for our innovation in creating a solution to recycle the packaging for our delicious Toasted Cranberry Muesli. We partnered with Roll n Recycle and O F Packaging to be able to recycle our bag through the curbside bin. This is a world first and we are so proud to be a part of moving the food and recycling industries forward to a more sustainable place.”

-Will Brook, CEO at Brookfarm 

20. The Swag  - committed to producing an entire 100% compostable product range

The Swag has developed a sustainable way to keep perishable food fresh for longer in the refrigerator. Their reusable bags are made from eco-friendly materials and can be machine washed.

The Swag is committed to producing an entirely 100% compostable product range by the end of 2021. The Swag is also releasing Swag Quick Chill, uniquely made from The Swags patented three-layer design, which absorbs moisture and allows airflow to keep your bottle of vino the perfect chill before leaving the house to wine and dine.” 

-Peita Pini, Founder at The Swag

21. Dorsu - using local deadstock fabric to benefit environmental sustainability 

Dorsu is an ethical clothing brand. Their garments are designed and produced ethically in their own production studio in Kampot, Cambodia.

“In addition to our use of local deadstock fabric, we pride ourselves on being a company that foregrounds social sustainability at the heart of our work. By creating economic opportunities for women where there are literally no good alternatives, and cultivating a safe working space for our staff in a remote part of Cambodia, we're helping to strengthen resilience in some of the world's most fragile and difficult environments. Our brand, Dorsu, means resilience or "to persists and strive" in the local Khmer language, so our work on reinforcing resilience and social sustainability as a team, is very important to us.”

-Vanna Sann, Managing Director at Dorsu

22. Outland Denim - groundbreaking technology you can help fund

Outland Denim is an Australian denim company founded by James Bartle in 2011 with the mission of helping survivors of human trafficking in Asia. The fashion brand also provides living wages to its seamstresses in small villages in Cambodia.

“We have developed groundbreaking technology that we believe could revolutionise a large part of fashion's negative environmental impact. To support this, we are inviting our community to become shareholders in Outland Denim for as little as $206. By Equity Crowdfunding, rather than going down the road of traditional funding, we are putting the power directly in the hands of the people, offering ultimate transparency building a brand truly by the people, for the people.”

-James Bartle, Founding CEO at Outland Denim

23. SPELL - Launched a rental clothing platform

SPELL is a beautiful clothing brand based in Byron Bay with a strong focus on sustainability. Their vision is to inspire, beautifully – in harmony with people and planet. They consider everything in their supply chain from the materials and dyes used in their clothing to the working environments in their factories. Now they are focussed on creating a truly circular economy at SPELL.

Spell are so proud to have launched our first rental platform in April this year. What started as an emboldened mission to trace our supply chain and introduce more ecologically responsible fibres into our collections, has become a business-wide quest to always operate with people and planet at the forefront of our minds. In a world where our resources are finite, we have long known that it is circular or bust. Spell are very excited to play our part when it comes to moving towards a circular economy with our Sister to Sister rental platform, powered by Glam Corner. Inspired by our community, who have always led us with their passion to buy, swap and sell our pieces, we are now offering a new solution to accessing our collections whilst decreasing the size of your wardrobe and your environment impact on the planet.

-Elizabeth Abegg, Founder of SPELL

The pressure companies are under to demonstrate how they are doing positive things for the environment sustainable businesses continues to rise. And thankfully, these initiatives are evolving into more than just a fad – they’re becoming the norm. A rapidly increasing number of successful businesses consider it a duty that helps the planet as well as their bottom line. And the good news is, you don’t have to be a multinational enterprise to implement your sustainability initiatives and see the results the world so desperately needs. From small businesses to large corporations, there are several effective ways your company can jump on the green bandwagon today and improve your sustainability initiatives. 

If you have been inspired by what these fantastic companies are doing the team at trace might be able to help you. We are on a mission to democratise taking climate action for businesses of any size by making going carbon neutral simple & affordable. With our model and tech platform we can measure the carbon footprint of your company for free! Find out more here.

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