Victoria’s largest food relief charity goes greener

Posted by Josette Dunn on 13th December 2010

VicRelief Foodbank, Victoria’s largest food relief organisation, recently enlisted the help of Swinburne University and the National Centre for Sustainability, to draft and publish their Eco Report 2010, demonstrating the food relief charity’s deep commitment to the environment.


Swinburne’s Carbon Accounting Course Teacher, Tony Hodgson and his students generously donated their time and resources to help the charity measure their eco footprint, ultimately enabling them to become more environmentally conscious.

VicRelief Foodbank Projects Manager, Lisa Shaw, co-authored the report alongside Swinburne Carbon Accounting course graduate, Glenn Bailey.

CEO of VicRelief Foodbank, Ric Benjamin, said the report had ultimately allowed the organisation to become more sustainable in its operations.

“In the course of our normal business activities we source, rescue and redistribute millions of kilograms of food every year. A crucial function considering approximately 3 million tonnes of food waste goes to landfill every year in Australia alone.

“The Eco Report has encouraged us to instigate more sustainable practices in our workplace, which has led to an 18 per cent decrease in our emissions per kg of food processed, a seven per cent decrease in our overall wastage and has also contributed to further reduced energy costs. This alone has freed up valuable dollars that we’ve been able to use to purchase staple foods such as rice, which we struggle to source via donation,” Mr Benjamin said.

VicRelief Foodbank has received substantial support for the past two years from Swinburne University’s Carbon Accounting course, to draft and audit both the Carbon Report 2009 and the expanded Eco Report in 2010.

“We are so grateful to Swinburne’s Carbon Accounting staff and students for enabling us to take greater responsibility for our environmental impact, and we’re really looking forward to seeing the results of next year’s Eco Report to ensure we’re on track towards meeting our organisational commitment to sustainability,” Ms Shaw said.