Cluster facilitator Sally MacKinnon from the Ethos Foundation (www.ethosfoundation.org) said, “The Scenic Rim cluster is focused on helping regional tourism accommodation businesses reduce their carbon footprint by reducing the distance their food travels. This is known as ‘food miles’.
“We believe this is the first time in Australia that a business cluster has focused on reducing food miles as a means to reduce carbon emissions.
“All the cluster businesses have already participated in low carbon and sustainability workshops and have substantially improved their energy and water efficiency as well as reduced the amount of waste they generate. So reducing food miles was a logical next step in reducing our carbon footprints.
“Over the past two months, we have monitored the distance our food travels from the paddock to the manufacturing plant to the distribution hub and then to our front door and we’ve all been shocked to learn how far our food, and particularly processed food, travels.
“Having discovered not only the mileage but also the associated carbon dioxide emitted in transporting our food, we are all now sourcing food as close to home as possible in order to reduce food miles and CO2 as well as support our regional food producers.
“Between December 2010 and February 2011, each cluster member is aiming to reduce their food miles and emissions by at least 30%. Some are even aiming for an 80% reduction.
“We’ll be integrating these changes into our businesses and reporting our findings to DERM, Scenic Rim Regional Council and Scenic Rim Escapes and we hope to catalyse other local businesses to ‘go local’,” Sally said.
For more information about the Scenic Rim ClimateSmart Business Cluster go to: http://www.ethosfoundation.org/news/421-scenic-rim-climatesmart-business-cluster