Whitehorse Sustainability Awards 2017
Eastern Suburbs Rental Housing Co-operative (ESRHC) have just been recognised for going above and beyond to support the local community through receiving the ‘Business Award for Community Contribution’ at the 2017 Whitehorse Sustainability Awards, held in June.
Currently ESRHC manages 39 community housing rental properties under a general lease with the Department of Health and Human Services. ESRHC’s mission is to increase and provide safe, secure, affordable and environmentally sustainable long term housing for low income people, including those with disabilities. The Co-operative is managed by tenants under a co-operative structure and encourages community spirit and values through voluntary participation.
ESRHC work towards and create opportunities for all members to improve their quality of life, health and financial stability through a number of initiatives. ESRHR have three established Funds to assist members of the community.
• Education Assistance Fund to help parents with the many costs now imposed on families of school aged children
• Family Hardship fund to help the many members who have a physical or mental disability to cover the costs of unexpected medical expenses
• Health and Wellbeing Training Fund to encourage them to attend exercise classes, cooking classes etc., or to help them purchase books and Apps.
ESRHC has also introduced several sustainability projects, that not only help their members become more environmentally aware, but also help them reduce their living costs. Water tanks have been installed in most properties and energy audits have been conducted on all properties to ensure they are as energy efficient at possible. Vegetable gardens have been installed into most properties and ESRHC have set up a Garden Sustainability Fund that is available for all members each year to enable the purchase of seeds/seedlings for vegetable gardens or mulch and fertiliser. This year ESRHC begun installing solar panels on their properties, which will also reduce their members’ energy costs.
In 2015 ESRHC built an environmentally sustainable 2 bedroom unit at the rear of one of our existing properties which enabled an existing member to downsize from a 5 bedroom home and created the opportunity to house a large family escaping from domestic violence.
Direct Action Plan - Australian Government Initiative
The Australian Government will abolish the carbon tax from 1 July 2014.
This will lower costs for Australian businesses and ease cost of living pressures for households.
Repealing the carbon tax and the Clean Energy Package is designed to:
•Reduce the cost of living - modelling by the Australian Treasury suggests that removing the carbon tax in 2014-15 will leave average costs of living across all households around $550 lower than they would otherwise be in 2014-15.
•Lower retail electricity by around 9 per cent and retail gas prices by around 7 per cent than they would otherwise be in 2014-15 with a $25.40 carbon tax.
•Boost Australia’s economic growth, increase jobs and enhance Australia’s international competitiveness by removing an unnecessary tax, which hurts businesses and families.
•Reduce annual ongoing compliance costs for around 370 liable entities by almost $90 million per annum.
•Remove over 1,000 pages of primary and subordinate legislation.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) will have new powers to monitor prices and take action against businesses that attempt to exploit other businesses and consumers by charging unreasonably high prices or making
false or misleading claims about the effect of the carbon tax repeal on prices.
This will ensure that consumers benefit from expected price reductions following the removal of the carbon tax. These new provisions will complement the existing provisions of the Australian Consumer Law that prohibit misleading and deceptive conduct and false or misleading representations.
Industry assistance provided under the Jobs & Competitiveness Program, the Energy Security Fund and the Steel Transformation Plan will continue in 2013-14 for the purpose of meeting carbon tax liabilities.
For more information on the federal governments Direct Action Plan visit http://www.environment.gov.au
Green Money in Whitehorse
What is GreenMoney?
GreenMoney is a City of Whitehorse program that rewards households for recycling and taking simple everyday green actions – it’s like a frequent flyer program for the environment.
Member households receive reward points each time they recycle and take other green actions. Households’ reward points are then redeemed online for exclusive promotions from local businesses – just like yours!
Benefits for your business
• FREE to list your business – there is no joining fee or hidden costs. City of Whitehorse covers the cost of set up and support for all business members.
• Generate more sales – increase your exposure online and attract more loyal customers and generate in-store sales.
• Customer and sales data – access the Business Centre for real-time data and metrics for the success of both your promotion and your business.
Green Tips for an eco-friendly business
With growing education and emphasis on sustainability and fairtrade, there are opportunities for businesses regardless of size to incorporate sustainable practises and behaviours into day- to-day operation.
Some green tips include:
- Whenever possible, go paperless. This might involve doing a review of engrained processes to find a digital alternative to using paper. If you have to print, go double-sided on certified post-consumer waste paper
- Ensure your cleaning products are natural and biodegradable in order to reduce your exposure to harsh toxins and chemicals. It also reduces the exposure of these substances into our environment
- Do an energy audit to identify the most energy consuming appliances, and make a plan to replace outdated appliances with a more energy efficient alternative
- Supply local or Fairtrade Certified tea, coffee, sugar, and hot chocolate for the staff room
- Program computers to energy-saving settings and shut them down at the end of the day, as "standby" will continue to draw power even when not in use
- Create a recycling and waste system. Contact local collectors of recyclable materials (e.g. paper, ink cartridges, batteries, etc) to find out their preferred system
- Dispose of organic waste separately from regular landfill. Organic waste (such as food scraps) rots in landfill and releases the potent greenhouse gas, methane. Here are some tips to get your workplace managing waste better: http://www.greensteps.edu.au/wastetips
- Choose to support local suppliers who are environmentally conscientious
- Lead by example – show that you prioritise sustainable and ethical business practices in order to lead the way for others
Victorian Energy Compare
An independent Victorian Government price comparator for Gas and Electricity