Introducing the Sustainable Australia Fund
We have some big news... We've grown beyond our Melbourne home and are now preparing to work with businesses across Australia to achieve their environmental upgrades. The Sustainable Melbourne ..
Here’s one thing this winery, brewery and distillery all have in common... and no, it’s not that they all produce delicious things to drink.
All three have used our finance to install solar and make building upgrades that are saving them thousands of dollars each year.
Why solar? These operations all have huge energy costs, whether it’s processing grapes or running the stills. Solar is an easy way to generate power sustainably and protect a business against the rising cost of electricity.
We’ve worked with food and drink producers of all kinds to drive sustainable growth. Here are a few of our recent favourites.
Located in Thornbury, 3 Ravens independent brewery was looking at the rising cost of electricity as an easy way to save thousands of dollars each year.
“With our manufacturing processes being heavily reliant on electricity inputs, sharp increases in electricity costs in recent years have made it very difficult to effectively manage our costs of production,” said General Manager Nathan Liascos. “In a competitive industry such as brewing, we have had to absorb energy increases to remain competitive, which isn’t sustainable for our business.”
The building was also experiencing thermal transfer through the roof. Along with the 73.6kW PV solar system, they chose to install a cool roof, which would thermally insulate the building and reduce costs of cooling the space.
The upgrades now save 3 Ravens over $21,000 each year, and as the project was modelled to be cashflow positive, it was done without any impact on their cashflow.
Nathan and the team are not only saving money through the solar system and the cool roof. They’re also reducing their CO2 emissions by 106 tonnes, the equivalent of emissions produced by 23 cars or 12 local houses every year.
In a sector that’s heavily brand driven, a green stamp on the operation can really help a brewery achieve market cut through.
“Environmental performance can strongly endear and engage the public in their choices,” said Nathan.
Winemaker Lindsay McCall was watching his electricity bills going up year after year, which prompted him to look into solar. The Paringa Estate winery and restaurant uses a lot of energy, so Lindsay was keen to explore options to generate his own electricity.
“Wineries are fairly energy hungry, and we have a restaurant, so we use a lot of energy there as well,” said Lindsay. “So anything I can do within my business to make it more energy efficient was the way to go.”
They chose to use our finance to pay for the solar system, which meant they didn't have to pay anything up front to get started. They now save over $6,400 off their energy bill each year.
Lindsay believes that the solar panels on his roof are good for business. Customers can see them as they walk up the driveway to the Red Hill restaurant, and it highlights the business’ commitment to operating sustainably. With solar on the roof, Paringa Estate have reduced their annual carbon emissions by 95 tonnes, roughly the equivalent of taking 20 cars off the road.
“We need to be looking at sustainable forms of energy and solar is one of the best ones we have,” said Lindsay.
Four Pillars is a fan favourite, producing a wide variety of unique gins from their Healesville distillery. The team regularly take home both local and international awards.
However while producing their gin, they were struggling with power supply and the whole street would regularly face power outages.
“When the production stills are heating up no one in the street can cook a piece of toast,” said Co-Founder Cameron McKenzie.
The team decided to install solar panels to give them greater energy security and to reduce their electricity costs. They chose black-framed panels to complement the style of the building.
“Environmentally it’s 100% the right thing to do and we get great feedback from customers who walk through the door,” said Cameron.
By generating their own power, Four Pillars are saving over $12,800 each year and reducing their emissions by 1,600 tCO2-e over the life of the project.
“It was fast, easy and made great sense,” said Cameron. “We don’t notice the repayments as they come through on our rates notice.”
With repayments less than the savings, the system is paying for itself from the very first year. By using our finance to pay for the solar panels, Four Pillars were able to take steps to operate more sustainably without affecting their business cashflow.
“If there’s an option anywhere in the business to be more sustainable, we’ll always try,” said Cameron. “We can always improve in these areas, so when it’s made very easy like our solar system, it becomes a no-brainer.”
If you’re interested in cutting production costs, solar and building upgrades can be an easy way to put cash back into your business. Our clients save an average of $37,123 off their energy bill each year.
By using our finance, you don’t need any cash or capital up front, and projects are designed to be cashflow positive. That means the system pays for itself from the very first year.
Our finance isn’t just for solar. We can finance any upgrade that improves building efficiency or reduces waste. We've had clients upgrade their lighting to LEDs, replace their heating and air conditioning systems, remove asbestos, improve building insulation, and more.
If you’re thinking of upgrading your building, talk to us today about how we’ve helped hundreds of businesses drive sustainable growth.