Going Green: Powershop
With a 100% carbon neutral certification, this energy company is charging up the focus on renewable resources.
While most energy providers now offer a green option – typically in the form of GreenPower plans – very few have an environmental focus running through their entire business. Powershop has set itself apart by committing to offsetting all the emissions associated with its operations and its customers' electricity use. In fact, it's currently Australia's only energy retailer that's certified as 100% carbon neutral.
So, how does an energy company balance demand, supply and a green focus with traditional business values such as profits? We caught up with CEO Ed McManus to find out.
What does your company do and how is it green?
Powershop is Australia's greenest power company and has been for three years running, according to Greenpeace. We launched in 2014 and now power more than 140,000 homes and businesses across Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and South East Queensland.
We carbon offset all of our customer's energy usage at no extra cost to them because it's the right thing to do by the planet.
Our parent company Meridian Energy Australia is the owner-operator of two wind farms and three hydro stations in Australia, with additional power purchase agreements with other renewable assets in the country.
Our aim is to always contribute more renewable generation into the grid than what our customers actually use. So the more we grow, the more we increase our renewable contribution. Beyond carbon offsetting our customer's energy use, we also offer GreenPower options, increasing the demanding for renewable energy on the grid.
What inspires you and your business to be green?
Our purpose is to be a better power company. We have always been focused on creating a positive impact for our customers, the planet, our staff and our communities. This focus has been at the core of all past decisions and a part of our future planning. There is no doubt that all businesses carry an environmental impact, especially businesses that operate in the energy industry, and we understand that every business decision has a ripple effect on the planet.
At Powershop we have very strong environmental credentials. The more customers we get, the more we can carbon offset Australia's energy usage. And as we grow, we can invest in more renewable energy generation.
For me and for the business, it's the hope of a better energy future, and we want to do everything we can to make this as green as possible.
Why is being green personally important to you?
I have a young family and I want to be part of creating a world where they can live and thrive. In their lifetime they are going to see the impacts of global warming, more so than my generation.
I want to be part of the solution, so being the CEO of an organisation with such a driving purpose has been a real passion for me.
I'm also trying to becoming a beekeeper to help the bee population thrive. "Trying" being the operative word, it's much harder than I thought!
Could you describe one small step people could take towards being greener?
Other than becoming a Powershop customer? I'd say cut down on single-use plastics and become aware of your waste management by refusing and reusing.
With a young family, it's hard to cut out single-use plastics, but we are using less and less now that we've made that conscious behaviour change. It's not easy but there are tons of products out there to help you along the way, like beeswax wraps and reusable containers.
What is one resource that you think people should read/watch/consume to understand more about sustainability and going green?
There are some great podcasts out there that can help. I'd recommend The Slow Home with Brooke McAlary, Think Sustainability with Jake Morcom or This Week in Sustainability.
Going Green is a series that sheds light on companies, organisations and initiatives that have a focus on sustainability and ethics. We ask a representative from each company the same five questions so you can get a snapshot of the work they are doing to help protect the planet.
Want more info and tips for making greener choices? Check out the Finder Green homepage.
Image credits: Getty Images, Supplied