Uniting Communities Positions for the Future by Becoming Carbon Neutral

5 years ago
innovAGEING > Case Studies > Uniting Communities Positions for the Future by Becoming Carbon Neutral

As a growing industry and with environmental issues such as climate change increasingly important, there is an opportunity for residential aged care facilities to improve their environmental performance. Taking up the challenge requires a commitment to innovation.

Uniting Communities, formerly UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide and the Adelaide Central Mission, has served South Australia since 1901. Uniting Communities works across South Australia through more than 90 community service programs, including: aged care, disability, youth services, homelessness intervention, foster care and family counselling. Our team of staff and volunteers support and engage with more than 30,000 South Australians each year. We strive to build strong and supportive communities, and help people realise their potential and live the best life they can.

Certified carbon neutral

Uniting Communities are the first South Australian organisation and first registered charity in Australia to be Certified Carbon Neutral. Uniting Communities are also proud to be one of Carbon Neutral Adelaide’s Founding Partners.

Chief Executive Simon Schrapel said: “We are acutely aware of the emerging impacts of climate change and our responsibility in taking action in the interests of our clients, staff, volunteers and the broader community. The process of becoming a carbon neutral organisation has led to significant operational savings, improved efficiencies and positive recognition for the leadership we have taken. We are proud of our investment in the future of Uniting Communities, the South Australian community we serve and our planet.”

The carbon neutral initiative

Uniting Communities’ carbon neutral initiative focused on reducing their main sources of carbon emissions including energy usage, waste, paper and stationery and the fuel used in fleet and staff vehicles, commuting and air travel. This resulted in considerable savings through reducing electricity consumption, company fleet fuel, and waste to landfill, while also lowering their carbon footprint.

Innovating for a better future

Chief Executive Simon Schrapel said: “We see the importance of carbon neutrality to our continued work with vulnerable South Australian communities. The most vulnerable members of our communities will be hardest-hit with climate change-related issues, such as increasing energy costs. This is an investment in the future of our organisation and of the SA community we serve.”

This commitment is demonstrated through all levels of the organisation. Some of the strategies undertaken in 2019 include hosting energy education classes for older people living in the community, bottle top art projects in residential care regarding recycling, and solar installation on our residential sites.

The savings made through being carbon neutral are able to be put back into the organisation to support their programs, enabling them to continue their work in areas such as rural and remote care. Their customers and residents also feel they are contributing towards creating a better future.

More information

For more information please visit www.unitingcommunities.org