real stories: greenfleet
20 years ago an entrepreneurial ex racing car driver was passionate about making a difference to climate change and set up a not-for-profit in Gippsland. Greenfleet is the first and oldest carbon offset provider in Australia; its mission is to protect the climate by restoring our forests. To date they have planted more than 8.7 million trees in 425 forests throughout Australia and New Zealand which are offsetting 2.7 million tonnes of carbon.
Greenfleet plants native trees in permanent forests that help increase biodiversity, rebuild habitat for native wildlife, reduce salinity and soil erosion and provide much needed resilience in our landscapes. Michelle Sheehan, General Manager at Greenfleet said “we help people make a tangible difference to climate change by offsetting their emissions. Understanding what a tonne of carbon is can be a nebulous concept, so we provide evidence through our forests. It’s something that is real and people can see how they’ve made an impact.”
Community Sector Banking and Greenfleet have worked together for over 12 years. “It’s a relationship built with real people who understand us and our mission,” said Michelle. “It’s the trusted advisor piece – we know the phone will be answered and the best solution or service provided. Community Sector Banking have supported our organisation for many years and holistically understand the challenges, needs and opportunities not-for profits encounter. This year has been very exciting for us as we purchased an office, which is like purchasing your “forever home", and Chris just made it happen without any stress.
“Having values alignment was and is a very strong driver in banking with Community Sector Banking and we try to where at all possible have partners with values mirroring ours,” said Michelle.
Since 2014 the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group have partnered with Greenfleet to offset carbon emissions generated through business related travel annually. So far 50,349 native trees have been planted. Community Sector Banking are part of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group and the offsetting of our carbon emissions contributes to our very important BCorp certification. This globally recognised certification reflects our unwavering commitment to do business in a better way and to have a more positive impact on society.
“The Social Investment Deposit Account is one of the products I really like,” Michelle said.
“It’s a practical and easy way to make a difference. You guys also commit yourself– it’s a really lovely message that just by choosing a banking product correctly, you can make a huge difference.”