On this page

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.

Sustainability resources

Green Electricity Guide

Choose to purchase power from renewable sources such as solar or wind. Check the Green Electricity Guide website for energy companies that offer the most renewable ‘Green Power’ energy options.

Compost Revolution

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.

Sustainable Salons

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.

End Food Waste Australia

End 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 End Food Waste Australia website.

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.

Responsible Café

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. This is one of Australia’s most innovative programs to get your business noticed by new customers.

Business Recycling and Waste Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to help you improve your waste and recycling systems and use them correctly. It includes tips on getting the most out of your bins, assessing and reducing your waste, and other information on how to responsibly dispose of items that don’t belong in your bins.

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.

WaterSmart program 

The State Government’s WaterSmart program assists businesses and other organisations to become more water efficient through water use monitoring and water audits.

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.

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.

Get a free quote today

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.

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.

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.

Community Rebate Program

The State Government’s Community Rebate program supports corporations and not-for-profit organisations to assist customers in vulnerable and hardship situations to reduce water consumption.

Australian Government grants

To keep an eye out for future sustainability funding for small businesses, please visit the Business Australia website 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.

Other resources

  • The Sustainability Victoria website 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 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.
  • The Clean Energy Council website has solar guides for businesses.
  • The Help for home based businesses information on the Business Victoria website 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.
  • Visit the Marine Stewardship Council website 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 has tips on ‌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.
  • Smart Approved WaterMark’s Saving Water in Business page highlights water-efficient practises that can save businesses money and water, and has dedicated sections for various industry sectors including hospitality, manufacturing, textiles and more.
  • The Federal Government’s Water Efficiency page highlights water-efficient appliances and fixtures and tips for sensible water use to save money and help keep our reserves at sustainable levels.
  • Search for other ideas to reduce waste by visiting the Business recycling Planet Ark website.

Was this page helpful?