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Saving The Planet Is Good Business

Australian software start-up challenges ‘business as usual’ practices by investing in the planet’s future and pledging one per cent of their annual revenue to environmental groups.

In December 2012, Life Cycle Software company eTool announced their commitment to donate 1% of their annual revenue to environmental organisations in Australia, coupled with a pledge to reduce the carbon impact of their client’s building projects by 150,000 tCO2e, all in the name of good business.

“We started eTool ultimately to do our bit to help the planet. It might seem strange for a start-up to give away one per cent of their revenue in its first few years, but for us, it’s about ensuring we’re making a difference with every aspect of our business,” says Richard Haynes eTool Co-Founder and Head of Software Development.

Since making the pledge, eTool have worked on 61 building projects and exceeded their carbon reduction target by over 10,000 tCO2e, totalling a huge 163,549tCO2e of greenhouse gas emissions that will be prevented over the buildings lifespans. Improving building designs for large scale residential developments and commercial buildings produced carbon savings equal to taking 45,430 cars off the road for a year or planting almost one million trees!

“At the same time as committing to one per cent for the planet, we made a team commitment to really push the boundaries with our clients and make sure all the projects we work on are as low impact as possible. We’re stoked to have smashed our target and are aiming even higher for 2013,“ says Haynes.

With sustainable buildings already inhand, eTool are broadening their scope and donating to causes Surfrider Australia and The Orangutan Project that work to protect our beaches, oceans, forests and endangered animals.

We are really excited to team up with such an innovative start-up as eTool. Our oceans are the life force of our planet and eTool’s support will go a long way in protecting our waves and beaches both locally and nationally. Our Perth Chapter is stoked that we have such a forward-thinking local company to partner with,” says Sarah Yani Vann-Sander, Perth Chapter President Surfrider Australia.

“The support from eTool coming on board as a Business Partner with The Orangutan Project will help us continue our work to save the orangutan species from extinction in Borneo and Sumatra. The Orangutan Project is the world’s foremost not-for-profit organisation and provides technical and financial assistance directly to orangutan conservation projects including rescue and rehabilitation centres, as well as habitat protection to deter wildlife poaching, illegal logging and land clearing in Indonesia. If more Australian organisations such as eTool supported these crucial environmental programs we would be able to protect vital remaining rainforest and carbon stores and save the Critically Endangered species that live within them,” says Brianna Vidal, Marketing Manager The Orangutan Project.

Over the last ten years Yvon Chouinard’s 1% for the Planet movement has grown rapidly in Europe and the US, but Asia-Pacific has been slow to get on board. Australia for instance, represents just 2% of 1FTP’s business members, positioning eTool within the top tier of ethical Australian business owners who are revolutionising ‘business as usual’ objectives.

“Telling people that we’re part of 1% for the Planet is a real conversation starter and quickly demonstrates to potential clients what we stand for as a business and as a team. We like to get clients involved in the charity selection process, giving them even more incentive to do their bit and build with minimal impact on the planet,” says Alex Bruce eTool Co-Founder and Head of Business Development.

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