Taking action on climate change: SHAPE achieves carbon neutrality

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SHAPE is proud to announce that it has achieved carbon neutrality for its business operations. This achievement is recognised by the Australian Government’s rigorous carbon-neutral certification program, Climate Active.

Climate Active certification is awarded to businesses and organisations that have achieved a state of being carbon neutral. This means they are removing the same amount of carbon dioxide that they are emitting into the atmosphere to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.

The journey to carbon neutral

Taking an inspirational lead in the construction industry, SHAPE’s path to Climate Active certification was both challenging and rewarding. Over the course of two years, the business worked with an environmental consultant to audit its carbon footprint and develop strategies to become more sustainable across the entire organisation.

Some of the important strategies SHAPE is implementing to reduce its carbon footprint include:

  • Procuring renewable energy through the Australian Government’s GreenPower
  • Reducing the amount of electricity consumed by transitioning to energy efficient products, such as lights, white goods, and ICT equipment.
  • Targeting emission reductions in travel and staff commute through flexible working plans, encouraging public transport use, creating working spaces with access to End Of Trip facilities to encourage walking or cycling, and providing technological solutions to optimise support for virtual meetings. SHAPE is also undertaking ongoing tracking of travel behaviours to identify and change negative trends.
  • Targeting emission reductions through reducing paper usage and waste, by implementing strategies to reduce single use cups and containers, fostering use of recycled paper, implementing more efficient printer settings, encouraging the use and sharing of digital assets, and cloud-based file sharing.
  • Reducing our office footprint by leasing smaller workspaces, and delivering new state and territory head office operations as 5 Star or 6 Star Green Star certified.

Any remaining emissions will be accounted for through a carbon offsetting program that is proven to deliver a positive impact on the environment, society, and local economy. SHAPE will proudly support the Usak Wind Power Project, a renewable energy program in Turkey, which is certified and audited by Climate Active.

The Climate Active Certification joins SHAPE’s existing suite of external Environment, Health, Safety and Quality (EHSQ) management systems and certifications.

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Over the course of two years, the business worked with an environmental consultant to audit its carbon footprint and develop strategies to become more sustainable across the entire organisation.

Why make a positive impact?

SHAPE has had a long-standing commitment to sustainability. In recent years, the business has taken significant steps to reduce its carbon emissions and support sustainable initiatives and organisations. SHAPE has been a member of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) since its foundation, is part of the GBCA Future Green Leaders Program, and a Signatory to the CitySwitch Energy Efficiency Program in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

SHAPE also works to reduce material waste and support community organisations. Through its ReSHAPE initiative, SHAPE teams salvage redundant furniture from strip-out and demolition activities which can be reused for pro-bono charitable projects. In FY22, the business repurposed $176,000 worth of materials.

Peter Marix-Evans, CEO at SHAPE, says that sustainable outcomes not only deliver a positive impact on the environment but make sense from a business and financial perspective. He says, “We see climate change as the greatest challenge and opportunity of our times. With the building sector accounting for a significant proportion of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, we recognise that we must take meaningful action to ensure change.

“Our efforts form part of our Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) framework and help us meet our vision to be the partner of choice and the place where everyone wants to work. Our actions will create new business opportunities, allow us to provide sustainable construction services in a low carbon future, and provide value for our people, clients and shareholders.”

Learn more about Climate Active here.