Top 20 Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Companies in Australia
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Alrighty – in the last couple of months, we have covered a variety of topics around Australian businesses – ranging from Profitable Australian Small Business Ideas, Guide to Starting a Franchise in Australia to Famous Tech Companies in Australia.
Growing our Australian list further – today, we look at the 20 top sustainability and eco friendly companies in Australia ordered by their ESG grade.
These are the companies that are investing in eco-friendly products and services.
You must be wondering – what is ESG?
Here is the answer – ESC is a parameter that measures a company’s sustainability under the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The Sustainable Companies in Australia featured in this blog are listed according to their ESG grades as of 1st July 2021.
However, the grades of these companies may change in the future due to new developments.
Again, I might update the blog in the future if we see some major change but as of now, let’s go with what the current parameters tell us.
Now before we jump to the list, here’s what is expected of a sustainable organization:
- A healthy balance of financial growth with environmental concern and social commitments
- A commitment to honoring environment principles in all its business practices
- Incorporation of sustainability in organizational structure and all its business decisions
Time to dive into the list of top sustainability companies in Australia.
ESG Grade: A
Employees: More than 3000
Year Founded: 1885
Company CEO: Julie Coates
Industry: Building Materials
CSR Limited is an Australian industrial company that operates in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
The company started in 1855 as the Colonial Sugar Refining Company in Sydney.
CSR started milling sugarcane in the 1870s and further developed its sugar business over the next century.
CSR sold the sugar production side of its business to Singaporean-owned Wilmar in 2010 for A$1.68 billion (source: Reuters).
CSR diversified its operations, moved into construction and production of building products in the early 1940s, and started manufacturing plasterboard by 1947.
Currently, CSR Limited manufactures plasterboard, bricks, aluminium products, and insulation products. They also provide construction services.
The organisation has focused on sustainability for some time and publishes yearly reports on its sustainability goals and achievements (source: CSR).
In 2020, CSR decreased waste production by 57%, reduced electricity consumption by 24%, and reduced carbon dioxide production by 32%.
Furthermore, CSR has firm sustainability targets set for 2030 to guide its business operations and future growth.
ESG Grade: A
Year Founded: 2001
Company CEO: James D. Callaway
Industry: Metal Mining
Ioneer Limited is a metal mining firm based in Sydney, Australia, and active in the United States. It started in 2001 as Global Geoscience Ltd and was listed on the ASX in 2007, before changing its name to Ioneer in November 2018 (source: Ioneer).
Ioneer gets its unique name from the words “ion” and “pioneer”, which they claim reflects their “aim to be pioneers in producing materials for a sustainable future”. (source: Ioneer).
The company has expertise in mining lithium and boron and owns a mine called Rhyolite Ridge, a place in the south of the state of Nevada, United States. Ioneer began searching for the mine in 2007, partnering with authorities in Nevada to find Rhyolite Ridge.
The mine’s Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) was completed in 2020, and the mining is supposed to proceed soon, with 2.5 million tons of ore planned to be extracted each year.
Ioneer is determined to ensure a lower carbon future and aims to develop products focusing on clean energy, the environment, and the community.
The company is also a founding member of the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA), which advocates for the use of electric vehicles in all sectors by 2030.
AGL Energy Limited
ESG Grade: A
Company CEO: Graeme Hunt
Industry: Energy and Utilities
AGL Energy Limited is one of Australia’s largest energy companies, with a sizable market share in both the generation and retailing markets. However, due to the nature of its business, AGL Energy is also the country’s largest carbon emitter (source: Sydney Morning Herald).
The company’s presence on this list may seem paradoxical because of the above fact.
However, AGL Energy has publicly expressed its goal of becoming carbon neutral several times and has attempted to publicise that by splitting its operations based on its coal-fired and renewable assets (source: Greenpeace).
Along with its coal and gas-fired thermal power stations, the company owns and operates several renewable energy plants.
AGL’s energy portfolio includes solar, wind, and hydroelectric establishments.
AGL Energy also provides natural gas distribution and retailing services and has a telecommunications division and a 25% stake in ActewAGL, a multi-utility joint venture.
AGL is attempting to decommission its thermal power stations and replace them with renewable energy establishments to reduce carbon emissions.
ESG Grade: A
Year Founded: 1987
Company CEO: Edward Chung
Industry: Software Development
TechnologyOne is an Australian enterprise software development company based in Brisbane, Australia. Responsible for designing and developing commercial support software, TechnologyOne operates in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, and the South Pacific.
The company was founded by Adrian Di Marco in 1987, with a specific focus on developing accounting software using relational database technology.
Di Marco approached J.L. Mctaggart Industries for initial financial backing and set up an R&D plant. TechnologyOne took off from there and was listed on the ASX in 1999.
TechnologyOne diversified from company-centric software to people-centric products in 2005. In 2006, they expanded to the U.K. and further grew their software portfolio by acquiring enterprise content management (ECM) company Avand the following year for A$10 million (source: I.T. News).
Since then, the organisation has made several other acquisitions and currently has more than a thousand employees in fourteen locations.
TechnologyOne is committed to sustainable business practices and donating 1% of its profits to associated charities while pledging to remove its carbon footprint this decade (source: TechnologyOne).
ESG Grade: A
Year Founded: 1949
Company CEO: Brian Lowe
Industry:Industrial Packaging and Manufacturing
Orora Limited produces various packaging items, such as glass bottles, cartons, boxes, aluminum cans, rigid packaging, and other packaging supplies.
With operations in seven different countries, Ororo Limited has a global footprint and is one of the top manufacturers of packaging products in Australia and New Zealand.
The Orora global footprint includes 43 manufacturing plants and 88 distribution centres that help supply packaging services and products to industrial markets, grocery stores, and consumer goods (source: Orora LinkedIn).
Along with the packaging products, Orora offers a host of services to its clients, ranging from logistics and product sourcing to printing and signage.
In addition, Orora helps other companies with their R&D and guides how to adopt digital technologies and automation.
Orora Limited’s commitment to sustainability involves a focus on a circular economy, community safety and health, and climate change awareness and management (source: Orora).
ESG Grade: A
Year Founded: 1875
Company CEO: Graham Chipchase
Industry:Commercial and Professional Services
Brambles Limited has a lengthy history of business in Australia. The inception of Brambles took place in 1875 in Newcastle, New South Wales.
The company started as a butchery business and soon diversified into logistics and transport waste disposal services in 1970 after the acquisition of Purle Brother Holdings in Australia.
Nowadays, Brambles provides various commercial and professional services, specialising in pallets, pooling of unit-load equipment, containers, and crates. The company operates in over 60 countries and claims to be a pioneer of the sharing economy (source: Brambles).
Brambles claims to be one of the world’s most sustainable logistic operations. They have a “share and reuse” model in place to make full use of the world’s largest collection of reusable containers and pallets (source: Brambles).
This circular economy principle makes up the sustainability goals for Brambles, something that they are proud to advertise. Along with that, Brambles also aims to change supply-chain and logistics by pioneering what they call “regenerative supply chains”.
Australian Ethical Investment
ESG Grade: A
Company CEO: Joe McMurdo
As the name suggests, Australian Ethical Investment is based in Sydney, Australia, which offers ethical wealth management services. Currently, the organisation manages the funds for around 71,000 clients and contains a total of A$6.54 billion in funds. (source: Australian Ethical).
According to the Australian Ethical Charter, the firm has managed funds ever since it began operations in 1986.
Along with managing funds ethically, Australian Ethical also bases its business principles on the Charter, with 10% of all profits going to the organisation’s Community Grants program and the Australian Ethical Foundation.
With business practises such as these, it is easy to see why Australian Ethical Investment has earned its reputation as a sustainable organisation.
Their official purpose is “investing for a better world” (source: Australian Ethical).
Not only do they operate ethically, but they promote ethical business operations through their clients as well. Last year, Australian Ethical clients produced 77% less CO2 with 13 times more investment in renewable resources.
Moreover, Australian Ethical continued its streak with no nuclear, fossil fuel, gambling, or tobacco companies investments.
Australian Ethical proudly and rightly claims to be the country’s original and largest 100% ethical organisation.
Carbon Revolution Limited
ESG Grade: A
Company CEO: Jake Dingle
Carbon Revolution Limited is an auto parts manufacturer based in Geelong, Australia. Created in 2007, the company is known for its carbon fibre wheels and has successfully developed them for the global automotive and aerospace industries.
Carbon Revolution claims to have started its operations to provide disruptive efficiency to all vehicles through technology (source: Carbon Revolution).
Over the last fifteen years, Carbon Revolution has been able to get more than 50,000 of its wheels onto the road and currently stands as a tier-one OEM supplier in the automotive market and a global technology company.
For sustainability, Carbon Revolution has a holistic approach to ensuring all facets of the organisation comply with an overall environmental policy that keeps emission and pollution at a minimum.
ESG Grade: A
Company CEO: Chris Ashton
Industry:Resources and Energy
Formerly known as WorleyParsons Limited, Worley is an Australian engineering company based in North Sydney, Australia. It is the successor of Wholohan Grill and Partners, which was established in 1971 as an engineering consultancy firm.
Worley expanded its geographical footprint and its industrial operations in the 1990s. It moved from the hydrocarbons sector into infrastructure, power, and environmental engineering.
At the same time, Worley’s operations expanded into Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, and Singapore (source: Worley).
Nowadays, Worley has a global reach with operations in the U.S. and Canada, as well. Its services involve everything from engineering and design to supply chain management and construction. With nearly 60,000 employees, it is one of the largest companies in Australia.
Worley is committed to ensuring sustainable operations and has publicly discussed its aim to meet the U.N. Sustainability Goals by 2030.
The organisation aims for net-zero operations and strives to create an environment with inclusion and diversity (source: Worley).
ESG Grade: A
Employees: Less than 100
Company CEO: Ross Rolfe
Infigen Energy is an Australian operator, developer, and owner of renewable energy assets in Australia. It is a subsidiary of Iberdrola and currently has a wind farm portfolio with 557 megawatts of installed capacity in Australia (source: Financial Review).
Along with that, Infigen also owns and operates several wind farms in the U.S.
The company started as Babcock and Brown Wind Partners in 2003 before changing its name to Infigen Energy in 2009.
Infigen currently ranks as one of Australia’s largest wind energy producers and is once the world’s fourth-largest producer of wind electricity (source: UPI).
Initially a public organisation, Infigen was purchased by Iberdrola in 2020. Infigen, and its parent organisation Iberdrola Energy, are dedicated to sustainability and have long-term shared value as the core of their business (source: Iberdrola).
Infigen reports to the Carbon Disclosure Project and is also a member of the Clean Energy Council of Australia.
It is a signatory for the Caring for Climate, U.N. Global Impact project, and leads the sustainable efforts in Australia.
Year Founded: 2015
Company CEO: Paul Frasca
Sustainable Salons is an extraordinary not-for-profit organisation that operates on a membership model, encouraging and equipping hair and beauty salons to become more environmentally responsible.
The organisation provides its members with various services to help them reduce their carbon footprint and integrate sustainable practices into their business operations.
Sustainable Salons also supports individuals with disabilities by offering them employment in our material collection and processing streams.
This innovative approach helps divert waste from landfills, promotes social inclusion and provides valuable employment to those with barriers to traditional employment opportunities.
The company has managed to recycle significant amounts of various materials, including 374,947 kg of metal, 415,995 kg of paper, 355,650 kg of plastic, and 62,247 kg of hair.
They have also taken steps to recycle chemical by-products, successfully converting 55,342 kilograms into water used in construction and manufacturing. (Source: Square Up)
By joining Sustainable Salons, businesses can proactively reduce their environmental impact while benefiting local communities.
Year Founded: 2011
Company CEO: Brad Krauskopf
Industry: Coworking Space
Hub Australia is an established organisation that creates sustainable and eco-friendly workspaces throughout Australia.
With their 100% Carbon Neutral Certification, they demonstrate their dedication to environmental sustainability through all aspects of operations.
Hub Australia, as a B Corp Certified company, upholds the highest standards of transparency and accountability to guarantee its sustainability.
In 2020, they achieved a significant-excellent milestone by becoming Australia’s first fully carbon-neutral co-working space.
Hub Australia provides carbon-neutral memberships to its members across Australia, enabling them to work in an eco-friendly manner while reducing their carbon footprint.
By joining Hub Australia, businesses can actively foster environmental sustainability and help shape a greener future.
Cape Byron Distillery
Year Founded: 2016
Company CEO: Eddie Brook
Industry: Food & Beverages
Cape Byron Distillery, situated deep within Australia’s lush subtropical rainforest, takes great pride in its commitment to environmental sustainability.
In London’s 2020 Icons of Gin Awards, Cape Byron Distillery received the prestigious recognition of ‘Sustainable Distillery of the Year.’ (Source: Cape Byron Distillery)
As an enthusiastic supporter of the Big Scrub Landcare (BSL) group, the distillery is dedicated to conserving the remaining subtropical rainforest and inspiring other landowners to plant trees within this biome.
Cape Byron Distillery’s commitment to sustainable growth is demonstrated through its participation in a sustainable bottle labelling initiative.
Adopting sustainable practices throughout their operations sets an example for other businesses to emulate.
Their dedication benefits the planet and helps preserve the unique character and beauty of the rainforest for future generations.
Year Founded: 2015
Company CEO: Katherine McConnell
Industry: Solar installations
Solar power technology is a proven solution for cutting carbon emissions and combating climate change, but the initial installation cost may prove prohibitive for some homeowners.
Brighte is a company dedicated to making solar power accessible and affordable for all homeowners.
Since 2015, they have approved over $500 million in finance and enabled over 1,800 solar and home improvement projects.
By implementing its environmentally friendly initiatives, Brighte has successfully averted the release of 774,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). To put this figure into perspective, it is equivalent to the amount of CO2e that would fill 26 billion party balloons. (Source: Brighte)
Brighte has provided affordable financing options to over 60,000 households in Australia to switch to renewable energy sources.
Their mission benefits the environment, reduces household energy bills, and fosters energy independence.
Year Founded: 2020
Company CEO: Kelly Beater
Felix Mobile is an exciting mobile plan provider in Australia that is committed to environmental sustainability.
Climate Active has recertified Felix Mobile as a carbon-neutral company after offsetting 2751 tonnes of CO2 emissions during the 2021/2022 financial year.
To put it into perspective, this amount is comparable to the carbon absorbed by approximately 280,000 eucalyptus trees within a year. (Source: TPG Telecom)
Their partnership with One Tree Planted shows their dedication to making a difference on the planet; each month, Felix mobile will plant one tree for every customer to plant one million trees worldwide.
Furthermore, all operations are powered by 100% renewable electricity, reinforcing their commitment to green practices.
By choosing Felix Mobile, customers get reliable and affordable plans and contribute towards creating a greener future through the company’s efforts towards environmental sustainability.
Year Founded: 2014
Company CEO: Phoebe Yu
Ettitude is a sustainable bedding company dedicated to environmental responsibility through its operations.
They have made notable strides towards lessening their carbon footprint by using bamboo instead of cotton instead of fabric.
Bamboo requires 500 times less water to produce than its conventional counterpart, making it a far more sustainable choice.
Ettitude places great emphasis on sourcing bamboo responsibly and sustainably.
Ettitude sources it’s bamboo from Nicarhua Forest’s reforestation program, creating a more sustainable future.
By encouraging sustainable practices throughout its supply chain, Ettitude reduces its environmental impact and sets an example for other businesses to create more responsible futures.
Three Blue Ducks
Year Founded: 2014
Company CEO: Sam Reid-Boquist
Established in 2010, Three Blue Ducks began as a modest cafe in the picturesque Sydney beachside suburb of Bronte.
Since then, their business has blossomed into five restaurants scattered along Australia’s East Coast.
Three Blue Ducks have always remained dedicated to celebrating Australia’s seasonal produce, with chefs creating dishes that showcase the flavours and quality of local ingredients.
Three Blue Ducks have made sustainability an integral part of its business model, striving to source ingredients from sustainable and ethical sources, reduce food waste, and implement eco-friendly practices throughout all operations.
Three Blue Ducks have become a true icon in Australian cuisine by prioritising quality, sustainability, and innovation throughout their operations.
Year Founded: 2018
Company CEO: Beth Wilson-Parentice
Dylan Grarft and Luke Zocchi, the founders of a revolutionary beverage company, have devised an ingenious solution to the coffee pod problem by turning instant coffee into a functional beverage.
The company’s product not only offers a more cost-effective and convenient alternative to traditional coffee, but it also promotes sustainable practices.
Each box of their product sold is donated $1 towards sustainability research to prove their dedication.
This generosity supports organisations dedicated to making our planet more sustainable, further reinforcing the company’s commitment to fostering environmentally responsible practices.
By choosing this innovative beverage option, customers get a quality product and contribute towards creating a greener future.
Year Founded: 2009
Company CEO: Sally Tullett
SPELL, located in Byron Bay, Australia, is renowned for its stunning designs and commitment to sustainability.
With this mission in mind, they strive to inspire creativity that works harmoniously with people and the planet. To do this, SPELL considers every element of its supply chain – from materials used in clothing production to factory working conditions.
They have recently focused on creating a truly circular economy by minimising waste production and maximising the use of sustainable product materials.
With an unwavering commitment to responsible fashion, SPELL continues to set the bar for the environmentally accountable fashion industry worldwide.
Year Founded: 2016
Company CEO: James Bartle
Outland Denim is an Australian denim company founded by James Bartle with a mission to impact the world positively.
According to estimates, Australia alone discards approximately 800,000 tonnes of textiles into landfills each year. (Source: Outland Denim)
Their dedication to ethical and sustainable practices can be seen throughout everything they do, from using high-quality materials to providing living wages to seamstresses in small villages in Cambodia.
One of Outland Denim’s greatest successes has been its work helping survivors of human trafficking in Asia with employment and skills training to help them rebuild their lives.
With such dedication, Outland Denim has become a leader within the fashion industry and an inspiration to those looking to make similar changes elsewhere.
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