Today is Earth Day, a global day focused on bringing awareness and action to environmental issues around the globe. This year’s theme, Invest in our planet, invites us all to demonstrate our support for stronger climate action, building a more prosperous and sustainable future together.
Below are some of the sustainable practices and initiatives that we have implemented in the Sydney office to date.
Sustainability and Environment
At Optiver, we’re committed to operating our business in an environmentally sustainable way. We’re always looking for ways to reduce waste and energy consumption where possible. Some of the key initiatives we have achieved to date include:
- Our Sydney Hunter St Office is the first Heritage listed building in Australia to receive a 6-star, green accreditation. We’re working with Ecosave to continue monitoring our energy and water consumption.
- We switch off for Earth Hour every year to demonstrate our support for stronger climate action. This year, we also sourced beautifully crafted candles for staff to take home from female-owned, Australian small business, Kalama Candle Co.
- Our in-house chefs source the seasonal produce from local farmers and suppliers to reduce food miles. Each day, all of the leftover food is donated to the OzHarvest program, ensuring it goes to those in need.
- The coffee beans brewed by our in-house barista are sourced ethically from the slopes of Mt Elgon, Uganda, by Kua Coffee. Their profits go towards mobilising the farmers on the path to climate resilience. But it doesn’t end there! Our used coffee grounds are then recycled by Kua Coffee in local community gardens, closing the loop on the circular economy.
- We’re currently sponsoring two beehives and receive regular batches of honey, which our chefs then use in our house made granola and other dishes. Currently there’s a global decline in the bee population, which could potentially lead to a global food crisis as honeybees are responsible for pollinating around 80% of fruit and vegetable grounds worldwide. We’re looking to sponsor 2 more beehives this year, contributing to the restoration of biodiversity in our local ecosystem.
- Our cleaners, Planet Earth Cleaning, are a certified green cleaning company. By using GECA Certified products, they meet the environmental care standards in cleaning and reduce residual and airborne toxic substances, which are commonly found in chemicals that most cleaning companies use.
- Last but not least, we’re continuously adopting new initiatives to reduce waste and improve our impact on the planet, including coffee cup recycling programs, reducing our single-use plastics, e-waste and battery pick-up, organic waste pick up, compostable food packaging, and more!
On a global level, the Optiver Foundation is partnering with LandLife, a tech-driven reforestation organisation, to help recover degraded land and offset carbon emissions. To date, the organisation has planted over 80,000 trees in Australia alone.
Social and Community
While we value sustainable impact at Optiver, we also believe in giving back to the communities we come from and operate within. We’re always looking for ways to support small, ethical and indigenous businesses. To date, some of the key initiatives where we have given back to the community include:
- We offer one paid day of Volunteer leave per year for employees to give back to their local community through volunteer work or other initiatives.
- The Artbank project, which is a unique government initiative that supports over 4,000 Australian artists through the acquisition of their work.
- Our bread is sourced from Bourke Street Bakery which supports The Bread and Butter Project, Australia’s first social enterprise bakery where 100% of the profits are invested back into the lives of those seeking refuge and asylum.
- The office stationery is sourced from Cultural Choice Office Supplies, which supports the employment, education and wellbeing of Indigenous and First Nations people.
- We’re supporting Delta Therapy Dog Teams, who visit hospitals, aged care facilities, mental health facilities, palliative care, disability services, schools and correctional facilities every week.