Our team at Savv-e is wonderfully diverse, talented and experienced – that’s why we’re known for bringing our clients the best digital learning solutions in Australia. At the same time, we’re also invested in what we can do beyond our business to make a positive impact on the community and the environment. One of our Learning Designers/Project Leads and Savv-e’s Sustainability Champion, Jade Herriman, is paving the way for Savv-e to be an eco-friendly workplace.

This year, we are excited to announce Savv-e’s very first sustainability strategy. The strategy was developed in consultation with Savv-e’s staff across the organisation and is being rolled out by Savv-e’s own “environment squad”, a group of passionate staff members led by Jade, responsible for overseeing the implementation of the sustainability strategy through quarterly meetings. This initiative has also been beneficial for cultivating and broadening the skills of our organisation. “Participating in the environment squad will give some of our people the chance to build experience in strategic planning and organisational change which they may otherwise not have had,” Jade comments. The sustainability strategy has set out clear targets for 2019-2021, and a number of actions have already been implemented in the office:

  • Switching to 100% post-consumer paper, hand towels and toilet paper 
  • Using office Opal cards to encourage public transport to client meetings
  • Providing reusable travel cups for all staff
  • Committing to offsetting emissions from all work-related air travel

These are small but meaningful initial steps that will help create a visible commitment to sustainability and reinforce that it is valuable to our organisation. “Some of the actions from the strategy have come directly from our wonderfully creative employees,” Jade says. “Ideas like participating in next year’s Plastic Free July as an office, collaborating with local cafes on our reusable cup roll out, collecting soft plastics for recycling and collecting food waste for home composting. We have staff from across the organisation volunteering to drop materials off for recycling, and to champion certain causes around the office, which is absolutely fantastic.” 

Jade is also aware of the need for larger, more structural changes that will create long term transformation in sustainability. These have been included in the strategy. “We have also identified a number of larger changes towards energy efficiency, use of renewable energy and recycling within the office that are requiring us to influence our suppliers, create business cases, or liaise with facilities management,” she says. “But it’s important to have a mix of ‘easy wins’ and longer-term goals to keep motivation high while persisting with larger change”. 

Savv-e has joined the Better Business Partnership (BBP) program as one of the immediate actions from the strategy. The BBP is a joint service provided by Ku-ring-gai, North Sydney and Willoughby City Councils, and focuses on reducing the energy, water and waste of businesses as well as increasing contribution to the local community. Joining this program will help us create a baseline of our sustainability performance, allow us to benchmark to other businesses in the area, and track our improvements over time. With the help and input of all staff, Savv-e is looking forward to being an active participant in the Better Business Partnership and continuing to champion sustainability in our organisation. 

With qualifications in environmental science and management, Jade is passionate about community engagement and environmental education. She has worked in trans-disciplinary sustainability research, policy and organisational change for government, higher education and industry, including nine years at the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures. Since Jade joined Savv-e in July this year, she has brought her extensive experience in workshop design and facilitation, project management and learning design to a fast-paced digital environment. Her expertise in participatory decision making and co-design processes, as well as her background in management, has quickly made her a valuable member of the team. We are looking forward to seeing how Savv-e can become a more sustainable business under her guidance and vision.