July 02, 2021
5 four wheel drive cars, crammed with 20 Austral staff, four hours drive North of Perth and one stop to Bindoon Bakehaus later, and Austral's Perth-based team had arrived in Perenjori.
This rugged, sleepy regional town is home to a special place in Austral Fisheries history. Just 15 minutes from the town centre is the site that Austral began its carbon neutral journey.
This was back in 2016 and at that point, no other seafood business was offsetting its carbon emissions. Austral's journey truly began when CEO David Carter took a once in a lifetime trip to Antarctica with some big-thinking leaders. It was here that he resolved to take Austral on a journey to offset its emissions, of which the 9 million+ litres of diesel the company burns each year were largely responsible for.
Austral had always been considered a progressive company; as early adopters of Marine Stewardship Council certification and running decades-long anti-pirate campaigns. However, the scope of its emissions and operating in an environment which was seeing the first hand effects of climate change was enough of a driver to have David and Austral thinking they should, and could, be doing more.
Fast-forward to today, and Austral have been certified carbon neutral under the Australian Government's 'Climate Active' Carbon Neutral Program since 2016.
In that time, the company has planted over 1 million trees thanks to its partnership with Carbon Neutral Pty Ltd. This brings us back to Perenjori, the home of the Yarra Yarra biodiversity corridor and Carbon Neutral Pty Ltd's tree-planting program.
Austral plant over 220,000 mixed native species here each year to offset its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions - essentially all of the emissions created by the business during its operations, the emissions of all of its logisitics and travel (including staff travel) and the emissions created by its suppliers and partners throughout the process of getting Austral's products from ocean to plate.
For some of Austral's staff, this was the first time they had visited Perenjori, and it served as a great chance to properly paint a picture of the scope of the program, while reinforcing the reason behind Austral taking this journey in the first place.
Enjoy a few highlights from the trip below, with more stories and staff interviews to follow.
The trailer full of mixed-native species. These saplings are now mature enough to be planted.
CEO David Carter is a keen drone pilot. This incredible image captures the contrast of the freshly ploughed rows before saplings are planted.
A freshly planted sapling. Each is planted by hand using a special tool shown in the next image.
Our team had the rare opportunity to try their hand at planting some of the mixed native saplings
An aeriel view of some mature trees. This is what the saplings will look like over time.
Stay tuned for more updates, videos and an infographic to come
Fine out more about our carbon neutral commitment here
In case you missed it: Check out CEO David Carter's TED Talk on Austral's carbon neutral story here: