By: Vivienne Pearson
‘We want the whole world to run on renewable energy,’ says Ben Adams. ‘The top-down approach doesn’t seem to work so we’re bringing it back to the consumer.’
Food businesses, in particular, running on renewable energy make sense for Ben as he wants to focus on making changes at the level of everyday purchases. As Ben says, ‘That’s where the big changes will happen’.
Ben Adams and Keeda Scully are co-founders of a new certification system for renewable-energy use by businesses. Dubbed the ‘R Certification’, it is available for businesses that run on a minimum of 50 per cent of a combination of renewable energy and green power.
Certification is an option for both shop-front businesses and those who operate on a wholesale or market-based model.
Ben provides one-on-one assistance for any changes needed to business processes and arrangements that are required for reaching certification levels. Marketing is then a big part of the package, with each business featuring in radio, newspaper and posters that are designed to inform consumers about choices.
Food businesses make up the majority of the nine businesses that have undergone certification in the short two months since the program’s inception – including Santos Organics, 100 Mile Table, DonaCholita Tortillas, Knox&Aya vegan ice-cream, Byron Bay Museli and 2die4 Live Foods.
For Byron Bay Museli, no changes were needed to reach certification level. ‘We operate 68 per cent of our factory from the sun, from the roof of our factory,’ says CEO Gary Sharman. However, the certification process did prompt a change: ‘We switched to operate through local energy provider Enova,’ says Gary. Though their certification is brand new, it has received a few ‘big thumbs up’ from customers on their Instagram feed.
It’s not all about food. Among the already R-Certified businesses are Sun & Earth Natural Zinc, the Byron Green Building Centre, and Salt Gypsy, an online surf boutique headquartered in Byron Bay. Events can be certified – with the weekend’s Byron Surf Festival the first.
Keeda Scully (L) and Ben Adams