The peak body for Australian retailers has employed the services of clean-tech startup Greener to assist small businesses with hitting sustainability goals as part of a new digital solution called Greener Business.
Under the partnership, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Greener - co-founded by 2021 Sydney Young Entrepreneur Awards finalists Neil McVeigh and Tom Ferrier - will co-design the solution that will help small businesses understand and prioritise the steps they can take to reduce their carbon footprint.
The ARA says the platform will be a first-to-market solution, and will draw on a library of best practice interventions to develop a customised action plan that will reward positive changes with consumer-facing trust marks.
Founded in 2019, Sydney-based Greener gives its users recommendations on where to shop in order to be sustainable. In addition, the platform aims to make every purchase carbon neutral by reforesting Australia, funded by stores connected to Greener.
ARA CEO Paul Zahra said the partnership will help resource-constrained small businesses define and reach their sustainability objectives faster.
“Retail has a lot to contribute to Australia’s sustainability efforts and addressing environmental challenges is a top priority for our industry and for the ARA. Pleasingly, we’ve seen many of our larger members embark on their own sustainability journeys, with significant commitments already in place to achieve net zero emissions,” Zahra said.
“With many small businesses in survival mode in recent years there are limited resources in the sustainability space. There is also an enormous war for talent within sustainability roles and it is very challenging for smaller retailers to secure this expertise.
“Our partnership with Greener will provide support and knowledge to help small businesses outline the initiatives they can take as they progress their sustainability journey.”
Zahra added that the ARA had been working proactively on embedding sustainability goals into the Australian retail landscape, and was the second retail association to sign the UN-backed Race to Zero accelerator pledge.
“Our partnership with Greener will take these commitments to the next level,” Zahra said.
Greener co-founder Ferrier said that organisations around the country are clamouring for something like Greener Business, but don’t know how to access the kind of information the platform will provide.
“Filling this gap between motivation and know-how is why we’ve worked with the ARA to create Greener Business. This proprietary platform does all the hard work for these businesses by helping them to build their own personalised pathway to zero emissions and waste,” Ferrier said.
“It replaces the need of having to hire sustainability resources, and the best news is, it brings these businesses new customers for their efforts. Greener Businessis reflective of our vision to create a new green economy, one where every dollar spent is carbon neutral to help end climate change.
“We’re super excited about the partnership with the ARA which will help scale this ambition, while fast tracking their commitment to accelerate the Race to Zero here in Australia.”
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