Signage For The Future: Carbon Neutral Signage.

  • Date04 May 2021
  • Reading time 6 mins read

Introducing Australia's first carbon neutral signage company. At Mesh Direct, we always go the extra mile, constantly seeking to adapt and adjust our processes to offer you the best in signage. From the products and services available for our clients to the ways we work with our partners and engage our team members, we’re always trying to get better. This includes our impact on the signage industry and society as a whole, which has forced us to confront an uncomfortable truth: we, and the signage industry in general, are lagging behind when it comes to sustainability.

The signage industry is pretty harsh on the environment, and we’re determined to lead from the front in order to change this. Upon recognising our impact on the planet, and accepting our responsibility to do our bit, we made a serious commitment to carbon offset all of our signage. From banners to billboards, and everything in between, we’re saying goodbye to carbon emissions! In partnership with Carbon Neutral, all of Mesh Direct’s signage will have a net carbon footprint of zero. You heard us! We’re committing to being Australia’s first carbon neutral signage company.

To be honest, making the choice to be carbon neutral is the easy bit. We’ve always been a people-focused company, so working to improve the industry’s impact on the planet was the logical next step in our growth as a business. 

We are extremely fired up about this process, but that is truly what it is… a process. From everyday operations in the office to utilities, travel & raw materials, there is a lot to get our heads around when considering our environmental cost as a business. Through it all, we’ve learnt so much about the small ways each and every one of us can contribute to this mission on a personal level. We know the sky’s the limit when everyone is on board and committed!

Carbon Neutral Signage for Plants

What does being carbon neutral actually mean?

Being carbon neutral means our net release of CO2e into the atmosphere is zero. Basically, any CO2 Mesh Direct emits is cancelled out by a process known as offsetting. 

Offsetting means supporting the fantastic projects that help reduce global emissions, like regenerating precious forests. 

We’re committed to a more sustainable future. This is why we’re proud to be the first Australian signage company to offer 100% carbon neutral signage. Here’s to the future! 

So how does the magic happen?

While deciding to become carbon neutral may have been an easy choice, it quickly turned into a huge learning process. Cue in-depth research and internal analysis to truly appreciate what we’re working with, and what we’re working towards. Luckily for us, the amazing consultants at Carbon Neutral have our backs! They’re helping us understand our company from an environmental perspective, and guiding us through the standards and frameworks through which we’ll calculate and offset our emissions. Their process comprises three main steps:

1. We measure our footprint.
2. We reduce our emissions.
3. We offset our emissions.

Doing the maths bit.

After some tedious tracking involving way too many spreadsheets, we finally calculated the highest amount of carbon that could possibly be generated by any signage purchase. This included everything, from freight, supplies, electricity, staff commute and IT equipment, right down to the waste we produce. 

This generates a carbon yield number. Using this number as a guide, we use each signage contribution to fund sustainability projects through Carbon Neutral. These projects are world-changing initiatives dedicated to preserving and regenerating natural ecosystems - more on them in a bit!

Doing our bit.

In step two, we will look inwards at our current processes and operations. We search for ways to tweak, change & continue doing what we can to minimise our company’s emissions. As businesses grow, so does their footprint - and boy-oh-boy have we been growing! As a result, we’ve become very conscious of ensuring we’re always doing our best to be the best.

Here are a few ways we’ve approached this:
- Only using appliances when necessary.
- Using smart adaptors that can automatically switch off unused appliances, & reducing our usage where possible.
- Making reusable cups available in the office with a water & soda water filter that reduces single-use plastics.
- Having low energy consumption appliances in the office.

Doing your bit.

Step three is the fun bit, we get offsetting! Every year, we give Mesh Direct customers the chance to vote on which projects will offset Mesh Direct's carbon emissions for the next 12 months. 2021 will focus on the incredible project mentioned above, the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor and Fortaleza Ituxi Project.

The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor

The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor project began in 2008. To date, more than 30 million mixed native tree and shrub species have been planted across almost 14,000 hectares. The goal is to create a 200km long green corridor all the way to the coast, which will encourage wildlife to return while simultaneously removing carbon from the atmosphere. 

The primary objective of the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor project is to sequester and store carbon for 100 years. This will neutralise some of the excess greenhouse gases that have already been emitted since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Over the project's life, it is expected that more than 1million tonnes of CO2e will have been sequestered by the trees already on the ground.

Fortaleza Ituxi Project - Amazon Rainforest Brazil

Located near the “Arc of Deforestation,” forests in the Municipality of Lábrea have one of the highest rates of deforestation in the Amazon Biome. Funds raised through carbon financing for the Fortaleza Ituxi Project will help protect these forests, which have been decimated by the expansion of agriculture and cattle ranching throughout the region. 

The unique biodiversity in the region features some of the most renowned rainforests in the world. Our partnership with this fantastic initiative will improve the area’s surveillance and security capacities, to protect these privately-owned forests from land appropriation and illegal occupation. In addition, funds raised for this project will allow key drivers to implement activities that will result in climate, community and biodiversity benefits, including technical training, investment in local fire brigades, education programs & job creation beyond timber management.  

Our commitment

The Mesh Direct team is thrilled to be taking this next step, adding to our current Green Initiative centred around reducing, recycling and reusing materials. EcoVinyl and EcoBoard signage have both been key successes in this area so far, popular both with our customers and the planet!

We’re excited to continue our environmental journey and keep pushing the signage industry to be more aware of its impact, and of its potential to be a force for good. 

Keep up to date with our projects & developments here.

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