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Smartgroup grows carbon offset presence in WA and SA

Smartgroup (Autopia’s parent company) is pleased to announce the expansion of our customer carbon offset program, partnering with two additional carbon offset providers to support an important tree planting project in Western Australia, and a new blue carbon project with exciting potential in South Australia.

Since launching our carbon offset program in 2008, Smartgroup’s novated leasing customers have funded the planting of over two million trees by offsetting the carbon emissions of their leased vehicles.

The WA-based Carbon Positive Australia and The Nature Conservancy have joined Greenfleet as partners in the carbon offset program for Smartgroup customers, marking the most significant development in our program since it was introduced 12 years ago.

Smartgroup’s carbon offset program has enabled novated leasing customers to fund the planting of trees that, over time, will offset the carbon emitted by their cars. Until now, that work has taken place mainly in the eastern states through our long-term partner, Greenfleet. But these new partnerships extend that work to specific projects in South Australia and Western Australia, giving customers in those states extra impetus to start offsetting emissions.

Smartgroup CEO, Tim Looi reflected on Smartgroup’s new partnerships, saying, “Customers offsetting vehicle emissions can be proud of what has been achieved with their support. The equivalent of over 675,000 tonnes of carbon will be sequestered over the lifetime of the trees already planted on their behalf.

I’m very pleased to expand our carbon offset program across the country and hope to encourage even more of our customers to offset their car emissions and contribute to the important work of Carbon Positive Australia and The Nature Conservancy.

 

Introducing our new partners and the projects we’re supporting

 

Carbon Positive Australia – Eurardy Reserve, WA

Formerly known as the Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund, Carbon Positive Australia is a national organisation with a strong footprint in Western Australia. Carbon Positive Australia is undertaking important restoration work in the Eurardy Reserve on Nanda Noongar Country.

The land had been cleared for pastoral use leading to the loss of native vegetation and land degradation. With annual plantings from 2019 to 2023, Carbon Positive Australia, with funding support from Smartgroup customers, is undertaking a massive effort to restore the land with species native to the area.

Louise-Marlena Tarrier, CEO, Carbon Positive Australia says, “We are delighted to be a Smartgroup partner and through our revegetation projects, help their novated car leasing customers offset their vehicle emissions. Our projects not only provide carbon sinks but also much needed protection to threatened species and ecosystems.

“We always plant trees and shrubs that are indigenous to the area being planted, and where the benefits of planting go well beyond carbon capture. We plant native trees and shrubs using local seeds that will regenerate the natural landscape protecting Australia’s environment for future generations.”

The Nature Conservancy – Adelaide Coastal Wetlands Restoration Project, SA*

An exciting development in the science of carbon capture is ‘blue carbon’, where saltmarsh, mangrove and seagrass beds capture and store carbon at a rate 30 to 50 times higher than vegetated habitat.

The Nature Conservancy is foremost in the development of blue carbon technology in Australia and Smartgroup is proud to be supporting the Adelaide Coastal Wetlands Restoration Project, just north of Adelaide.

Peter Stephen, The Nature Conservancy’s Country Director, welcomes Smartgroup’s funding of this important program, saying, “Coastal wetlands in Australia are the most efficient carbon sink, they are the only habitat that can store carbon for millennia. So, this is an incredible opportunity to tackle climate change.

Chris Gillies, The Nature Conservancy’s Director of Oceans added, “To give you an example of the potential of this project, the research tells us that restoration of a typical 360 ha coastal wetland could result in the capture of 9,000 tonnes CO2. Across the life of the project, that’s the equivalent of the annual emissions of 7,000 passenger cars.”

The project is in its early stages, with major work planned for 2021 to restore the natural tidal flow to the wetlands, revive the carbon capture capability and natural biodiversity of the area. Working with the Nature Conservancy, Smartgroup will continue to provide updates to its customers as the project progresses.

Our work so far with Greenfleet Australia

For over 12 years, Smartgroup has worked with Greenfleet to provide our customers with a way to offset emissions from their novated lease vehicles and make a real difference to the environment. Together, we’ve helped plant the equivalent of over 2.4 million trees, removing more than 675,000 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.

To put that into context, that’s the equivalent of taking 157,000 cars off the road in a year or revegetating an area that spans more than 13 times the size of Melbourne’s CBD.

 

*Disclaimer with regards to the Adelaide Coastal Wetlands Restoration Project

  1. No tradable or third-party certified carbon credit will be produced from the Project;
  2. The project will not result in any carbon rights or carbon ownership for either voluntary or compliance offset purposes;
  3. The project is expected to have a minimum of 125 hectares of wetland being restored and protected.
Posted by The Autopia Team

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