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In 2006, a Melbourne surgeon was invited to a screening of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” held by BHP’s then CEO, Chip Goodyear. The surgeon, having recently completed treatment for breast cancer, had developed an awareness of the importance of our environment plays in human health and was, as many others, greatly moved by the movie.
By 2009, it was becoming clear that despite all the talk and hype, there was little real action from governments or big business. People wanted to do something but it was too complicated, too time consuming or too expensive. The surgeon decided to do something about it.
That surgeon was our founder and now CEO, Dr. Elizabeth Sigston (Liz), and the result was the creation of SavinGreen.
The vision was to create a commercial business model applying the principles of “people, planet, profit” to make it easy for all Australians to be involved in contributing to environmental sustainability, without extra cost or significant investment of time. The concept was to provide services used everyday by businesses and individuals and tie the choice to use SavinGreen for these services directly to a measurable, transparent environmental outcome.
To do this on a shoestring budget, overheads needed to be kept at a minimum. A “virtual office” model was established. Services and support were delivered through the building of strong partner relationships allowing SavinGreen to leverage off a broad range of expertise and many years of combined experience whilst maintaining a flexible work force and keeping administrative and fixed costs low.
It was deemed vital that each customer could relate his or her personal choice to a tangible environmental outcome. Rather than a “percentage of profit model”, sales and service delivery was linked to planting of trees, as laid out in the SavinGreen Tree Planting Policy. Carbon Neutral were chosen to be our partner for this: they are Australian and specialize in biodiversity re-vegetation.
From Start Up to Mature Business
The early years were tough. Telecommunications is a complex and cutthroat business with a lot of compliance regulation. Consumers were still primarily focused on price. To compete with the big guys SavinGreen ran on very small margins. The Tree Planting Policy wasn’t quite balanced, so despite acquiring loyal customers, the business was showing a loss. But the vision was still alive.
A change in approach to be about value, not just price, some minor restructuring and clarifying our message saw the tide turn. SavinGreen expanded its partnerships and went into Energy Brokerage, Business Support Services and LED lighting. In 6 years SavinGreen has grown from a start-up to a mature business with an annual turnover in excess of 4 million dollars.
Achievements and Awards
In 2014, SavinGreen became a Platinum Supporter of Carbon Neutral. Having contributed to the planting of over 30,000 trees. This achievement was celebrated by a visit to WA to see where the trees were being planted and the creation of videos to capture this visit. This number has now grown to in excess of 60,000.
In 2015, our CEO, Dr. Elizabeth Sigston, was recognized for entrepreneurialism by being named a finalist in the Telstra Business Women of the Year Awards for Victoria. This year she was featured in an article in “Surgical News” and has been an invited speaker at a number of events.
2015, also SavinGreen became a Certified B Corporation.
In 2015, SavinGreen undertook a rebranding process with a new logo and a new tag line “For the Conscious Community”. This tagline encapsulates the direction SavinGreen is heading, moving from simply being a business, to building a community based around common values.
This year, SavinGreen commenced its quarterly Newsletter, which is openly available on our website and increased our social media presence. Further development and strengthening of partnerships under “SavinGreen Telecommunications” and “SavinGreen Energy” are providing the foundation for future growth and expansion of our Conscious Community primarily through providing value.
Our story is really only beginning.
Join our Conscious Community and become part of our story. It may become part of your story too.