STEPPING UP WITH CLIMATE ACTION
Ann Duffy, ESG Board Advisor & Chief Sustainability Officer, MI Global Partners
While the world is emerging from the pandemic and returning to life in new and old ways, the impacts of climate change still loom large. Business leaders and citizens around the globe are taking the opportunity to “take stock” and “plan for change”.
At MI Global Partners, we are on our own sustainability journey. Regardless of what program an individual, a company, a family, or a government sign up for in its quest for positive climate action, there are four main steps:
Know your Carbon Footprint. Much like starting a new health regime, the first step is to know your total tonnes of carbon-related emissions produced. Our footprint is comprised of the type of greenhouse gas emissions and weight of greenhouse emissions our actions create. We measure our footprint in “tonnes” of carbon dioxide equivalents. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas but there are others like methane and nitrous oxide. There are many online apps and calculators to help quantify our total emissions from ground and air travel, to heating, cooling, and lighting our homes and buildings, to the emissions associated with making the products and materials we produce and consume.
Make a Reduction Plan. Identify activities that lead to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Examples include switching to renewable energy sources for electricity, engaging in green office operations like energy efficient lighting, waste recycling and sustainable sourcing of office products. Also choosing more sustainable transportation solutions such as efficient trip planning, using transit, ride share and/or bicycles. Calculating the emission reductions help you to understand and quantify the return on investment and inform better decision-making.
MI joined City Switch to green our office practices
MI Global Partners has become a signatory to CitySwitch – a national sustainability leadership program for tenanted businesses who are transitioning into the green economy. CitySwitch aims to gather those pushing for change, to demonstrate to office building owners the increasing voice of tenants toward improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks in the work environment.
As an accredited member, we have access to a wide network of other companies also taking steps to improve their sustainability, understand best practice and provide an opportunity to build collective knowledge along with connecting with other businesses of varying sizes, sectors and capabilities.
MI switched to Green Power with Red Energy
For our corporate headquarters in Sydney, MI made the switch to 100% GreenPower. We chose Red Energy, an energy provider completely owned by Snowy Hydro, and 100% Australian. This also means our payment for Government accredited GreenPower electricity comes from new renewable sources such as hydro, wind, solar and waste and effectively supports further investment into renewable energy generated by the parent company.
Red Energy values align with ours by providing support to sport and community organisations including partnerships aligned with our own business and our clients Taronga Conservation Society Australia and Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC).
Balance your Carbon Footprint with Credible Carbon Offsets. An offset is an action (reflected as a project or technology) that compensates for the emission of carbon dioxide (and equivalent gases), into the atmosphere as a result of industrial or other human activity. It is the unit of measurement that is quantified and traded as part of a commercial program. Carbon offset projects also drive economic development through the creation of environment friendly, renewable, and clean energy solutions which, in turn spur new job and business opportunities for people and communities. MI has become a certified carbon neutral organisation with Climate Active.
MI has achieved Climate Active certification (we are a carbon neutral organisation) for our business operations. We measure, reduce, and offset with a net result of zero emissions.
The certification process involved measuring our carbon footprint before designing an effective Emissions Reduction Plan for the next five years. Our plan has set the target for 50% reductions by 2030 and involved reflecting and incorporating actions such as a smarter green energy choice, smarter corporate travel, waste management, sustainable procurement and staff education. Any emission we can’t reduce, we will continue to offset.
Committed to sustainability, innovation and industry leadership, Climate Active certification also provides our organisation with the opportunity to demonstrate we are playing a part in climate action, meeting our stakeholder expectations, saving energy and costs, connecting better with the community and engaging our employees.
MI offsets emissions we are unable to eliminate and looks for incredible impact projects that delivers this.
One of the projects we chose to support to help us do this was the inspiring Canopy Blue organisation. Canopy Blue are pioneering hyperscale offshore seaweed cultivation in Western Australia to sequester CO2, restore the oceans, regenerate the planet and deliver a carbon neutral replacement for fossil fuels.
Seaweed cultivation has a net positive environmental impact and provides opportunities to replace emissions-intensive products with low-carbon food, animal feed, bioplastics and biofuels.
With the help of Everclime, a company who connects consumers, employees and business stakeholders with impact projects - we were able to introduce 85 kelp plants to assist the restoration of a vital marine ecosystem that has suffered greatly in recent years.
Share your goals and experience. Climate action requires leadership, collaboration and proactive thinking and decision making. The more we share our experience taking climate action, the more we can all learn and create healthy habits and practices. The swift pace of companies certifying to programs like Australia’s Climate Active and B Corp (making business a force for good while being prosperous) amongst others, is an indication of the right alignment between individual and organisational values and action. It means more are taking responsibility for the impacts and opportunities to drive positive change.
MI are extremely proud to be a certified B Corp
Certified B Corporations (or B Corps) meet extremely high standards of social, environmental and economic performance, accountability, and transparency - along with envisioning a better economic system where businesses can benefit people, communities and the planet. We choose long-term investments over quick wins and measure our success based on the positive impact we create.
As a B Corp, we measure our impact across five areas - workers, customers, governance, environment and the community. Our journey to becoming a B Corp has helped us frame our actions to becoming a responsible corporate citizen.
These actions range from enhancing our charter of incorporation to reflect our commitment to our staff, clients and communities, as well as our shareholders. We have also enhanced our internal policies to ensure we are “walking our talk” - from sourcing, to establishing and implementing a climate action plan. We also provide additional sustainability training for our staff and focus our volunteering and charitable giving to aligned community projects and organisations. Finally, we are tracking our progress and will publish our first impact report in 2026 as we reapply for certification.
We share our experiences in a variety of ways including our projects with clients: