Becoming a sustainable business can be easy. It's not only great for saving money, but can:
- help to attract new customers
- build better staff morale
- support and protect the environment.
Whether you’re a café or restaurant, hairdresser or beauty salon, retail business or office, the smallest change can make a difference.
For more information about how we are working to improve our City's environmental sustainability, visit our Sustainability page.
Business survey on environmental sustainability
Between March and June 2021, we ran a survey to understand the sustainability issues that are important to you as a business and what support you need to be more environmentally sustainable. You can see the results of this survey in the Business sustainability survey - data report, available below.
Download the Business Sustainability Survey data report
Green Electricity Guide
Choose to purchase power from renewable sources such as solar or wind. Check the Green Electricity Guide website-external site for energy companies that offer the most renewable ‘Green Power’ energy options.
Business Energy Advice Program
The Business Energy Advice Program provides free Government energy advice to help small businesses and their representatives get better energy deals and increase their energy efficiency. You can find out more about this program on the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water website-external site.
Businesses, residents and schools in Boroondara are eligible to order a discounted worm farm, compost bin or food waste composter, with free delivery. For more information, visit the Compost Revolution website-external site.
Sustainable Salons collects waste from hair and beauty salons.
Items such as shampoo and conditioner bottles, foil and packaging are sold, and all proceeds go to companies such as Oz Harvest, which provides free meals for people in need. You can donate hair to Sustainable Salons, which works with charity organisations to distribute hair to people experiencing hair loss as a result of illness. You can find out more on the Sustainable Salons website-external site.
Stop Food Waste Australia
Stop Food Waste Australia is a partnership of organisations who operate along the farm-to-fork food supply chain, with a commitment to reducing our food waste by 50% by 2030. You can find out more on the Stop Food Waste Australia website-external site.
Plastic Free July
Plastic Free July provides tips on how to reduce plastic waste, including staff engagement, packaging, food service and promotion. You can find out more or download our free shop signage resources to help reduce single-use plastics in your business on our Plastic free businesses page.
Are you a restaurant or food business making efforts to reduce waste in your business? Register your business on the Trashless Takeaway website-external site and help your business get greater exposure to new customers.
If you are one of the many cafés in Australia offering discounts to customers who bring in their own cup, then sign up to the Responsible Cafe website-external site. This is one of Australia’s most innovative programs to get your business noticed by new customers.
A to Z recycling and waste guide
For your guide and tips to recycling and smarter ways to reduce waste, including those unwanted items you’re not sure what to do with, visit our A to Z recycling and waste guide.
Grants, rebates and discounts
Business Energy Savers Program
Is your business looking to cut the cost of energy bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions? The Business Energy Savers Program is an initiative run by local councils, including City of Boroondara. It helps businesses as they complete energy efficiency upgrades.
Businesses can engage qualified installers to replace or retrofit existing appliances and equipment that are subsidised by the State Government under the Victorian Energy Upgrade Program. This includes LED lighting, high-efficiency air conditioning units, refrigerated display cabinets, ventilation fans, motors and other items. You can find out more about the Victorian Energy Upgrade Program on the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning website-external site.
We have carried out a competitive process to find suitably qualified and experienced installers to deliver services to business across Boroondara. This means you will access quality products and services with appropriate warranties.
Solar for Business Program
Solar Victoria’s Solar for Business Program is an initiative designed to support Victorian small businesses to reduce their energy costs by accessing the benefits of renewable energy.
This initiative will bring down energy bills for small businesses by reducing the upfront cost of the installation of an approved small-scale solar PV system up to 30kW.
To support the economic recovery of Victorian small businesses and the broader solar sector, 15,000 solar PV rebates will be available over 3 years from mid-2021.
For more information about the program including eligibility requirements, FAQs and how to apply, visit the Solar Victoria website-external site.
Emissions Reduction Fund
The Emissions Reduction Fund provides businesses with the opportunity to earn Australian carbon credit units for every tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent a business stores or avoids emitting through adopting new practices and technologies. You can make an application at any time. You can find out more on the Business Australia website-external site.
Victorian Energy Upgrades
Victorian Energy Upgrades provide businesses with discounts on a wide range of energy-saving products and services when accessed through accredited providers. You can make an application at any time. You can find out more on the Business Australia website-external site.
Australian Government grants
To keep an eye out for future sustainability funding for small businesses, please visit the Business Australia website-external site on a regular basis.
The Premiers Sustainability Awards recognise and reward Victorians who are leading the way in sustainable innovation and practices across all sectors including industry, business, and the community. You can find out more on the Sustainability Victoria website-external site.
- The Sustainability Victoria website-external site provides businesses with information and resources to reduce their impact on the environment. Read its guide on how you can manage your energy use and save on energy costs, as well as find information on grants.
- The Planet Ark website-external site provides tips and tools to support businesses to reduce waste and save money. They also have a directory to find a Recycling Centre close to you.
- Learn how your business can become certified carbon neutral through the Climate Active website-external site.
- The Clean Energy Council website-external site has solar guides for businesses.
- The Help for home based businesses information on the Business Victoria website-external site has a guide that provides some easy, practical and helpful steps that you can take to reduce your energy costs when running a home-based business without compromising on comfort or productivity.
- The Social Sustainable website-external site has information on how to introduce Fairtrade products into your menu, such as coffee, tea and cocoa, to help ensure the product supply chain is ethically managed.
- Visit the Marine Stewardship Council website-external site for information on buying sustainable seafood that supports the ethical treatment of sea life.
- The Sustainability in your business information on the Business Victoria website-external site has tips on making ways to make your business more environmentally sustainable.
- The Water Efficiency Labelling Standard scheme (WELS) is designed to help you choose more water efficient products for your home and business. You can find out more on the Australian Water Rating website-external site.
- Search for other ideas to reduce waste by visiting the Business recycling Planet Ark website-external site.