‘Sustainability’ is a real buzz word in Australia’s food production circles these days. With good reason too! But what does it actually mean?
Well, we can’t speak for others. But at Sydney Sprouts we take sustainability very seriously. It’s a philosophy that touches pretty much every corner of our business. From ‘paddock to plate’ it drives our commitment to use responsible growing and business practices wherever we can, to contribute to a greener and cleaner environment. It certainly isn’t the easiest (or cheapest) path. But it’s 100% the right one and we’re very happy to be taking it.
Below are just some of the many ways we’re striving to bring a truly sustainable approach to all we do at Sydney Sprouts.
Reducing landfill and resource depletion.
Like any food production business, there’s always an element of wastage in what we grow. Rather than turn it into landfill, the vast majority of our waste enjoys a second purpose being used as feed for local cattle and other livestock. This not only minimises landfill, but also reduces the drain on natural resources that would otherwise be needed to produce livestock feed through things like fertilisers, water and soil depletion.
Solar powered produce.
Our farm is located on the fringes of western Sydney. With an abundance of year-round sunshine, it’s a haven for solar power and we’ve been generating our own for years now – long before solar rebates were a ‘thing’ and businesses were looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Tim Flannery’s 2005 book ‘The Weather Makers’ was a pivotal text for us, which really influenced us to search for ways to bring positive environmental changes into our business. Interestingly, back then there were no commercial solar systems that were suitable for what we needed, so we had to modify residential solar systems!
Recycling the ‘right’ way.
Another way we’re helping to be a more sustainable business is through our commitment to recycling. We’re dedicating the time to properly separate and clean all of our recycling, such as paper and plastics. Sadly, a lot of recycling in Australia still ends up in landfill because it’s contaminated. Dare we say, what a waste :-(
One particular area where we’ve been working really hard of late is with our plastic containers. We do use them, but by the end of this year, all of our plastic packaging will be made from 50% recycled materials. 50% is an important figure, because it means our new containers will still be fully recyclable so they can go straight back into the recycling loop.
(As we’ve recently learned ourselves, when plastic packaging contains 100% recycled material there is no ‘virgin plastic’ content left and, unfortunately, it’s no longer able to be recycled using standard methods.)
It’s all independently verified too!
You don’t have to look very far to find lot of unsubstantiated ‘greenwashing’ these days. That’s why Sydney Sprouts commissioned an Australian-based organisation called the Carbon Reduction Institute in 2018 to undertake an independent audit of our business practices – to reveal just how sustainable we really are.
You can see a quick snapshot of our results, below, with huge annual savings everywhere from our water and energy usage, to our carbon emissions and waste outputs. It shows the real value in what we’re doing. We’re very proud and we have no intention of stopping!
|Waste Treatment||Water Savings||LED Lighting||Solar PV||Total|
|Total Carbon Saved (tCO2e)||2,463.75||0.74||11.44||58.9||2534.83|
|Litres of petrol saved||1,033,564.9||310.44||4,799.18||24,709.07||1,063,383.59|
|Kms off the road||9,843,475.26||2,956.54||45,706.49||235,324.48||10,127,462.8|
|Times around the Australian coastline||382.12||0.11||1.77||9.14||393.14|
|Vehicles off the road||682||0||3||16||701|