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 ..
At Sustainable Australia Fund, our finance is different to your usual bank loan. It can only be used to fund projects that have a positive environmental benefit, and many of our clients have never heard of this type of finance before.
And yet, since our inception in 2002, we’ve successfully completed over 115 projects and financed over $40 million in sustainable building upgrades. And all through our financial product, Environmental Upgrade Finance.
So why have so many clients chosen to work with us, when there are more conventional methods of taking out loans? Why would they trust a service that’s so different from anything they’ve previously worked with – and afterwards, return to take out a second loan for further projects?
Putting it simply, we value local businesses and their missions to become more sustainable. And in return, our clients value being cashflow positive and doing the right thing by the planet.
For many businesses, solar panels and other upgrades aren’t the first thing they’d spend their cash on. After all, there are so many other urgent expenses involved in running a business.
Our flexible loan structure removes that barrier.
We like our finance to be as unobtrusive as possible. Our application process is straightforward and transparent, and once a loan has been taken out, most clients – like Clive Larkman, Owner of Larkman Nurseries – barely notice their repayments, they’re that manageable.
“It was a good interest rate spread over a long period of time, so the payments were low,” he said. “Good, simple and easy.”
Most clients pay off their loans within 20 years. But that shouldn’t stop them from making any other improvements in the meantime. Because Environmental Upgrade Finance is a charge against the land and property – not the business itself – it leaves owners free to make a range of other investments and upgrades before they’ve finished paying off the initial loan.
Justin Kelsey, General Manager at Foamex Group, said this flexibility is one of our most appealing qualities. Despite the fact that – for his purposes – our product was a more expensive option, he opted to work with us because of our unique financial structure.
“The loan sits off the balance sheet, and keeps our powder dry for future investments in infrastructure and machinery upgrades,” he said. “As a business owner, I think it’s a no-brainer.”
At Sustainable Australia Fund, we know that businesses thrive on cashflow positive finance. With a $0 upfront cost, our clients own their new assets from day one – immediately reaping the benefits.
John Haddrick, Co-Director of North East Funerals, was delighted to find that his new solar panels didn’t negatively impact the business’ cashflow.
“The electricity savings turned out to be worth more than the cost of repayments,” he said. “It was certainly a winning combination – financially and environmentally.
With savings typically covering the cost of repayments, businesses are free to redirect their funds towards other improvements and exciting ventures. Mitchell Booth, General Manager at Booth Transport, found he could shave 20% off his annual bills, meaning that money could go straight back into the business.
“The repayments were attractive because they came out of the council rates once a quarter, rather than every month,” he said. “It makes it a lot more manageable than servicing a normal loan.”
He later returned to take out a second loan, which financed an Australian-first project in water treatment and waste management.
From solar panels and battery storage to end-of-trip facilities and electric vehicle chargers, Environmental Upgrade Agreements can fund a myriad of different projects.
Duncan Imberger, Owner of Rubato Upstairs, was able to service multiple upgrades under one loan. After completely transforming his property into a concert venue, bar, and co-working space through a combination of government grants and community fundraising, he took out Environmental Upgrade Finance. His loan covered: asbestos removal; a thermally-insulated roof; double-glazed windows; airlocks for internal stairwells; LED lighting; an electrical hot water unit; ceiling fans; and solar panels.
“A new roof was a significant expense, as were our new windows, and having the solar was something we always wanted to do,” Mr Imberger said. “Qualifying for funding certainly made our job a whole lot easier.”
It would be remiss if we didn’t highlight the importance of Environmental Upgrade Finance in mitigating the effects of climate change.
Our clients have used this finance to fund projects to help them become more sustainable, such as water efficiency and waste management systems, pollution control, building insulation, and more.
Whether you own the buildings you work from or not, our finance supports every business that dreams of becoming more sustainable.
Eric Lim, owner of Cooking Space couldn’t afford the cost of solar panels upfront, instead encouraging his landlord to invest in the property. His team now save $9,000 a year on energy bills, while also doing their bit for the planet.
“The savings on our power bills cover the repayments, with no impact on our cashflow while, at the same time, doing our bit for the environment,” he said.
For some businesses, like Orchardist Peter Hall from Integrity Fruit, learning to tread lighter on the planet is a key part of their mission. The upgrades he made through our finance not only meant the world to him, but also to his community.
“Taking out an Environmental Upgrade Agreement gives staff the sense that we’re progressive, that they’re working for a company that’s innovative,” he said. “It’s good for people, for our region, for the environment and for the world.”
Ready to take the plunge? Apply online today.