Giving away unsolicited products is a risky proposition, with each person having their own interpretation of what is useful or superfluous. With more than 78 million tonnes of waste generated across Australia each year, Downer is determined to do better, by its stakeholders, by the communities it works in, and by our environment.
From 2022, Downer is investing in planting one tree for every delegate at industry conferences the company participates in, in lieu of gifting promotional products. That means for every 100 delegates, 100 trees are planted with the potential to sequester more than 27,500 kilograms of atmospheric carbon over their lifetime.
This initiative by Downer is just one in a wide range of measures by the company in recent years to reduce its carbon footprint and improve environmental outcomes in the communities in which it works.
In December 2020, Downer enhanced its reputation as a sustainability leader by establishing a $1.4 billion Sustainability Linked Loan – the largest in Australia. The loan is underpinned by KPI metrics relating to Downer’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions and social sustainability. Further cementing their place as Australia’s sustainability leader in the urban services sector, Downer is the first Australian infrastructure company to register a binding, science-based, net-zero emissions target with the United Nations
Fifteen Trees is delighted to commence this important partnership with Downer, supporting the organisation in meeting its carbon emission reduction goals, while providing a myriad of environmental benefits in target regions across Australia.
More information about Downer’s approach to sustainability is available at downergroup.com/sustainability.
The trees (300) were planted at the Brisbane Ranges (west of Melbourne), adjacent to the You Yangs National Park. They were a mixture of species indigenous to the local area, and included trees such as Hedge Wattle, Drooping Sheoak, Silver Banksia, River Red Gum, Yellow gum, Messmate, Manna Gum and Prickly Tea-Trees.
This revegetation planting will improve habitat for local native species and continue the revegetation efforts at The Triangle Reserve.
The Brisbane Ranges Landcare Group thoroughly appreciates the support of Fifteen Trees and their sponsors like Downer Group. Our members are very thankful for the trees. In addition, our annual plantings at the Triangle Reserve are helping to establish a beautiful and beneficial community reserve that will be used and treasured for generations.
Robert Hall | President | Brisbane Ranges Landcare Group
The Mornington Peninsula is located on the traditional lands of the Boon Wurrung / Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation. The Somers Koala Habitat Project is a fabulous project to support. With over 70% of landholders participating in this revegetation project it is also backed by Mornington Peninsula Shire, Parks Victoria and the Department of Defence. And now with sponsors such as Fifteen Trees and Downer Group, this revegetation project has grown by leaps and bounds.
The project is coordinated by the Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation (MPKC), a group dedicated to creating a koala wildlife corridor (connecting existing sections of koala habitat and food trees) on the Mornington Peninsula. This involves planting in the existing koala corridors, thereby encouraging koalas out of urban areas and away from the many threats they face.
To achieve our goals, we need funding to purchase trees needed for the wildlife corridors. All money received goes directly towards bringing our project and goals to life. Thank you to supporters of Fifteen Trees for your assistance by purchasing trees on our behalf.
Dirk Jensan | Coordinator | MPKC
Here’s a few reasons why this project is so important:
Some of the trees planted included; Drooping Sheoak, Coastal Banksia, Messmate, Swamp Gum, Coastal Manna Gum, Narrow-leafed Peppermint, Black Wattle, Blackwood, Scented and Swamp Paperbark and Silky Hakea. By planting a wide variety of locally native plant species at our revegetation projects, we aim to restore habitats that would have existed prior to land clearing. This means that the native flora is able to regenerate, and the local wildlife can return to the trees to use them as food sources and habitat.
As the Gold Sponsor of this conference, in lieu of gifting promotional products, Downer has planted 200 trees on the behalf of registered delegates. The trees were planted towards the SA boarder with VIC, in the Buloke District of the Grampians.
The two hundred trees were a mix of purposefully selected plants to complement the birdlife, insects, and other creatures who call The Grampians their home. The trees were also selected to survive the cold winters and dry summers the mountainous terrain experiences. They will grow to varying heights (tall and understory) to ensure a variety of habitats for the local wildlife.
The trees will add to the amazingly diverse landscape consisting of gorge environs, steep rocky walls famous for rock-climbing, deep valleys, and undulating hills. They will provide homes and fodder for many species including the extensive bird life found there. Given it is a famous area for bushwalking, you’ll often find many avid bird watchers (twitchers) hiding out on the trails, binoculars in hand and taking in the immense bird song. Grampians birdlife is vast and the many winged wonders you may come across include parrots (Galah, Crimson Rosella, Musk Lorikeet, Rainbow Lorikeet and Blue-winged Parrot), and cockatoos (Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Gang-gang Cockatoo, Long-Billed Corella, Little Corella, Yellow-Tailed Black-Cockatoo, even the endangered Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo).
All these birds need different trees to survive, and we are thankful for the expertise of the Buloke and Northern Grampians Landcare Network in their support in helping to plant these trees. Here’s an interview, we recently conducted with Andrew Borg, coordinator of this network.
As a participant in the 2022 ecologiQ Greener Infrastructure Conference, Downer has invested in planting 120 locally indigenous plant species to support biodiversity in Westgate Park, in lieu of purchasing promotional products.
Westgate Park forms a sanctuary for a variety of bird species from around the world. Watch the lake for wading birds such as stilts, ibis and spoonbills feeding on the shores, and swimmers and divers including ducks, gulls, coots, pelicans, swans and moorhens.
Bili Nursery and Landcare (who manage Westgate Park) are most appreciative of the trees Downer Group has purchased on their behalf. The trees have formed part of a revegetation project to restore native habitat for local native wildlife.
As a participant in the 2021 Local Government Association’s Roads and Works Conference, Downer has invested in the revegetation of the Goolwa Dunes Reserve with the Goolwa to Wellington Landcare Group with a purchase of 200 trees.
Goolwa Coastcare would like to thank everyone for the assistance with funding to help plant 200 coastal seedlings. This will help improve the habitat value of this site and builds on more than 10 years of work by our group.
Ben Simon | Coordinator | Goolwa to Wellington LAP
Improving biodiversity of the local environment, the 200 Drooping She-Oak, Salt Paperbark, Coastal Wattle, and Coast Beaded Heath plants and shrubs will provide food, protection, and homes for native species of birds including the Brown Quail (top L), Barn Owl (top R), Hooded Plover (bottom L) and Orange-Bellied Parrot (bottom R).
As Platinum Sponsor of the 2022 Australian Airports Association Airport Operations OPS SWAP Forum, Downer has invested in planting one tree for every delegate registered in lieu of gifting promotional products. That’s a total of 200 trees, with the potential to sequester more than 55,000 kilograms of atmospheric carbon over their lifetime.
Downer’s Manna Gums, Box Ironbarks, Stringybarks, Candlebarks, Wattles and Bottlebrushes were planted at Kinglake in Victoria, revegetating an animal corridor to encourage endemic species such as the Powerful Owl, Swift Parrot, Brush-tailed Phascogale and Regent Honeyeater to return to the area.
Thanks to Downer and Fifteen Trees we have gained more wildlife and nature in our backyard. More importantly wildlife safely travels from the Murrindindi River without crossing open pasture.
Native bees flourish. Birds are singing.
Brett Williams | Landcare Member | Upper Goulburn Landcare Network
Downer is the first Australian infrastructure company to register a binding, science-based, net-zero emissions target with the United Nations. In 2019, Downer committed to the decarbonisation of our absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 45-50 per cent by 2035 from a 2018 base year, and to being net zero by the second half of the century. In 2021, they tightened this commitment to being net zero by 2050.
Writer; Colleen Filippa. Colleen is the Founding Director of Fifteen Trees. Fifteen Trees is a social enterprise based in the Central Highlands of Victoria.
Fifteen Trees helps individuals and businesses reduce their carbon footprint through sponsoring Australian community tree planting projects.
Fifteen Trees acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of the lands where we work, live and learn.