From plastic-free products to beach clean-up kits: Here’s how businesses are embracing Earth Day 2021


Natural Supply Co co-owners Sarah Scott and Celeste Robertson. Source: supplied.

Businesses across the country are today embracing the 51st international Earth Day by showing their support for sustainability with plastic-free product launches and bold renewable energy targets.

Earth Day, which began in 1970, is one of the largest environmental movements in the world. Coordinated by Earth Day Organisation, it takes place across 192 countries and seeks to mobilise individuals, businesses and governments to “create a new plan of action for our planet”.

Here are how five businesses are embracing this year’s Earth Day.

Natural Supply Co backs plastic free

Geelong-based eco wares store Natural Supply Co is putting the spotlight on plastic waste this Earth Day, by offering 15% off all its plastic free products.

Speaking to SmartCompany, co-founder and director Celeste Robertson says she supports Earth Day because it’s a way to “show the values of your company” and promote “the amazing range of products” that your business stocks.

“Any attention that you can bring to encouraging people to be more conscious of the decisions that they make is a good thing,” Robertson says.

Established in 2014 by friends Celeste Robertson and Catherine Brooks, and co-owned by Sarah Scott and Robertson since 2018, Natural Supply Co specialises in natural beauty, skincare and lifestyle products.

Both the online store and outlet in Newtown sell eco-friendly products, and the ethos behind the business is also aimed at operating sustainably.

“We recycle everything we can, we collect TerraCycle items from the community, and want to be a really conscious small business,” Robertson says.

Beach clean ups with 4 Pines beer

4 Pines Brewing Company is celebrating Earth Day by selling beach clean-up kits across its venues in New South Wales and Victoria.

The kits, which are created by the environmental organisation Take 3, cost $32 and include a tote bag filled with all the supplies needed to safely clean up a beach.

On top of encouraging customers to tidy up their local beach, 4 Pines are giving away three pints worth $36 in every kit purchase.

Chris Willcock, 4 Pines chief brewer, said using business and beer as ‘a force for good’ is part of the brand’s ‘Brew Better’ initiative.

“For us, it’s about our quest to leave the world better than we inherited it,” Willcock said.

“Encouraging people to take small actions like doing a clean-up with mates is a no brainer.”

Ethique launches sustainable lip balm

This Earth Day, global zero-waste beauty and lifestyle brand Ethique is launching a new range of plastic-free lip balms.

The lip balms will be available online in Australia and New Zealand from today, before becoming available to international customers later this year.

Brianne West, entrepreneur, environmentalist and founder of Ethique, said discarded plastic lip balm tubes are found on too many beaches around the world.

“We buy almost 200 million every year and unfortunately, whilst some of them may be recyclable, statistically the vast majority will not be,” West said.

After two years researching and developing a quality cardboard tube alternative, West is “delighted” to release the new range.

Coles’ bold renewable energy target

At the bigger end of town, Coles Group is announcing its commitment to be powered by 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

Coles also revealed it aims to deliver net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, after it struck two major agreements with renewable energy companies ENGIE and Neoen.

Under its partnership with ENGIE, which is one of the largest independent power producers in the world, Coles will buy large-scale generation certificate (LGCs) from ENGIE’s windfarms in South Australia. LCGs are a scheme created as part of the federal government’s renewable energy target and are a kind currency for buying and selling renewable energy.

Thinus Keeve, Coles chief sustainability, property and export officer, said Coles is tracking well on its path to deliver its gas emissions and renewable electricity targets.

“As part of our ambition to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket we’ve launched our new ‘Together to Zero’ sustainability strategy with a long-term aspiration towards zero emissions, zero waste and zero hunger,” Keeve said.

Allbirds releases carbon footprint calculator

Across the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco-based Allbirds is celebrating by releasing an open-source tool for fashion brands to gauge their carbon footprint.

In a statement, the B Corp certified footwear brand said it was aware “sharing proprietary information might not make the most business sense. But the global climate crisis is bigger than business. And if competition got us into this mess, perhaps collaboration can get us out.”

Now made public, the life cycle assessment tool Allbird uses calculates the carbon footprint of its products, by identifying hotspots along the supply chain to help drive down emissions.

The brand also released a manual with tips on how to factor in emissions across the entire supply chain from materials to manufacturing, transportation, consumer use, and end-of-life.


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