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Uniting Communities honoured for low carbon business leadership

30 November 2021.

As the first South Australian organisation and first Registered Charity in Australia to be certified Carbon Neutral in 2015, Uniting Communities has won the Business Leadership Award for the Carbon Neutral Adelaide program. Uniting Communities’ latest development, U City, is a 6 star Green Star building designed to use 45% less energy and 30% less water than a comparable new building. This 20-storey vertical village is a 'radical mixed use' building and Uniting Communities is now pursuing Green Star performance as a pathway to a carbon neutral building certification. As a leader in climate action, Uniting Communities has given many presentations, shared its journey, written case studies, conducted tours and recently held its first certified carbon neutral event "Driving a Sustainable Future".

Since 2010, Uniting Communities has reduced their emissions by over 30%, resulting in savings of over $1.5 million, and their sights are set on even greater levels of sustainability. Uniting Communities recently announced its intention to become a net zero organisation by 2035.

“We urge other organisations to make a pledge to achieve their own carbon reduction targets for the future of our community, our State and our planet.”

Simon Schrapel

Chief Executive, Uniting Communities

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Stone & Chalk, who operate the Start-up Hub at Lot Fourteen - the innovation precinct located in the Adelaide CBD, were recognised as finalists for the business leadership award. With 55 different start-ups and community partners working from within their offices, this leading catalyser supports over 200 entrepreneurs and their teams.

Stone & Chalk have chosen to show leadership through their own carbon neutrality. Partnering with resident homegrown start-up Trellis to provide a unique technology platform for calculating emissions, they achieved Carbon Neutral Certification in 2020. Their baseline profile totalled 949 tonnes CO2-e for the entire Stone & Chalk business nationally, accounting for the carbon footprint of staff and start-ups based in their Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne hubs.

Stone & Chalk creates real opportunities for start-ups working on climate change through showcase events, including their latest “9 Ways to Renovate and Build a Smart Sustainable Home” which featured local start-ups Hubble and IO Energy, and their regular 'Test Drive Tuesday' events. Stone & Chalk deliberately enables climate impact innovations to be built, tested and gain exposure in the places the people of Adelaide work and meet.

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dsquared were also finalists for Business Leadership, an Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) and sustainability consultancy providing innovative and independent consultancy services for the built environment. As Carbon Neutral Adelaide Ambassadors, dsquared consulting has continued to demonstrate leadership and innovation with a focus on measurable emission reduction initiatives. This includes: a 15% reduction in total emissions; diverting 90% of office waste from landfill, with less than one 240L wheelie bin of waste generated for the year; shifting to a carbon neutral certified electricity retailer; maintaining a 6 Star NABERS Energy rating; and implementing an accredited ISO 14001 Environmental Management System to track and reduce their environmental impact.

Through their holistic ESD and sustainability advice, dsquared supports government and business to achieve carbon neutrality, with recent projects including WAX, Jenson Plus and Uniting Community’s new U City building. dsquared’s leadership is evidenced by their commitment to sharing knowledge and lessons learned across sectors, with their regular presentation of material and advice through events, client and community presentations, and workshops.

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