I believe it is important to take time to look back and reflect on where one has traveled in the last year. To see what worked and what didn’t. To analyse how our experiences guide growth and lead to identifying what we are truly passionate about: this is the stuff that works. It is the same for business.
2015 for SavinGreen was a year of acknowledgement. Acknowledgement of what the true purpose of the Company is, and recognition of what we are passionate about. This has helped me, as CEO, to better articulate what we stand for, what the SavinGreen vision is, and where we are going.
50,000 plus Trees through Carbon Neutral
This is the primary purpose of SavinGreen: to demonstrate that a commercial business model, adopting the principles of “people, planet, profit”, could enable all Australians to contribute positively to our environment.
The SavinGreen model does not rely on government legislation or complex trading schemes. It ties environmental benefit directly to consumer choice with no requirement of substantial time or extra money.
Hitting 50,000 was a huge milestone. This is thanks to you, our customers, who have made a conscious choice. To make it even better our partner, Carbon Neutral, received Gold Standard recognition for their Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor Project, the first in Australia. Wow!
CEO, Dr Elizabeth Sigston, Finalist, Telstra Women’s Business Award (Vic)
The biggest acknowledgment of the year was being named as a Finalist for the Telstra Women’s Business Awards (Vic) in the Entrepreneur Category. For me, this was recognition that a business, which has the courage to be authentically purpose driven and aims to empower consumers, CAN be successful and CAN create positive change.
It was a great honour to be named amongst a group of truly amazing Victorian women including: Lyudmila Fishman, who has been making the iconic Ugg Australia sheepskin boots since 1981, Gabby Montagnese, managing director of fast-growing Epping manufacturer New Age Caravans, Rosli Reid, who turned a home-based dairy feed manufacturing business into Reid Stockfeeds, one of Australia’s largest privately-owned producers and suppliers of stockfeed, Dr. Amantha Imber an innovation psychologist and founder of Australia’s leading innovation consultancy Inventium, and the ultimate winner of not only the Entrepreneur Category but also Telstra Business Woman of the Year for Victoria, Cyan Ta’eed, co-founder and Executive Director of Envato, the largest digital marketplace in the world.
B Corp Certification
Obtaining our B Corp Certification (“B” stands for “Benefit”)was another huge acknowledgment for SavinGreen. To be officially recognized as a “Certified B Corporation”, that is a company that is using the power of business to create a positive impact on the world and generate a shared and durable prosperity for all, is extremely humbling and rewarding.
Our Energy Brokerage Division continued to grow. Energy Australia became an Energy Retail Partner, joining AGL, Powerdirect and ActweAGL.
SavinGreen is unique in the energy brokerage space, turning consumer choice to use our services to find an energy provider into a positive environmental impact. Thank you to all our consumers who took our calls, made a difference, and become part of our community.
Anyone can request to receive a call at a time that suits via our website.
LED Lighting Division
This year our wholesale provider, Indice, was lured by demand for their outstanding energy efficient technology to the United States, a wonderful acknowledgement of the quality of their products. Very sad there was not enough incentive to keep them here in Australia.
Unfortunately SavinGreen has not found another company we deem suitable to fill this void. We will be marking down all remaining stock and closing this division (for now…) to focus on other areas where we can create impact.
The biggest shakeup for the Telecommunications Industry in 2015 was the new legislation introduce around Data Retention. This has created a lot of angst especially for smaller providers who do not provide underlying infrastructure. It does appear moves have been made to ensure that this legislation does not impact negatively on competition. The real impact is unlikely to be apparent for some time yet. Watch this space.
NBN has been the growing area for SavinGreen this year. In particular we have had a focus on NBN Fixed Wireless areas. Regional areas tend to not benefit from the same level of competition as metropolitan areas, usually because it is harder. SavinGreen sees this as an area where we can make a difference.
SavinGreen continues to be recognized as compliant with the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code.
Those who know me personally will know that I am a big proponent of constant change. It is important to keep on looking for ways to improve and encourage employees and partners to do the same.
The end of 2015 saw us say goodbye to John Pellew, who has branched out to follow his passion in the finance sector. John successfully launched Othera, an online tool that uses a unique approach to assessing whether businesses are credit worthy and gives businesses a leg up by helping to predict their likely credit rating in advance of applying for finance. We wish him all the best with this new venture.
The end of the year also saw Caron (Caz) Margarete from Your Third Hand Services take a temporary pause from being my EA to start her family. Hopefully she will be back later in 2016 to keep me on track!
We have had the pleasure to welcome this year the “Young Guns”: Amanda, Sam, and Madeleine, balanced by the experience of Russell Gould in his role as our technical manager.
SavinGreen thanks all our commercial partners who have played an important role in our unique business structure including: ActewAGL, AGL, Carbon Neutral, Energy Australia, Indice Ecotech, Kounta, Sqid Payment Gateways, Oracle CMS, Oz Green Homes, Telcoinabox and Your Third Hand Services.
Vision and Strategy
The process of acknowledgment by B Corporation Certification and Telstra Business Women Awards had the wonderful side benefit of clarifying future directions for SavinGreen.
One of these has been the concept of “Community”. This is reflected in our updated by-line “For the Conscious Community”
2015 saw the introduction of the “SavinGreen Conscious Guarantee” for all our services. This guarantee states that SavinGreen will
- Have a purpose beyond profit
- Respect Consumers’ power
- Treat people well and fairly
- Champion sustainability
Big changes are in the wind and will be revealed as 2016 unfolds. The primary focus of these changes will be to build our community, get our message out on a wider scale, and ultimately escalate and accelerate the impact that can be generated through conscious choice.
I invite you to make a difference. Join our “Conscious Community” in 2016.