11 March 2016
More trees will be going into the ground in the Northern Agricultural Region thanks to a world-first, ground-breaking collaboration between Carbon Neutral and Austral Fishing.
Austral Fishing, a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified and prominent Western Australian seafood company has teamed-up with Carbon Neutral to offset its carbon emissions – which will result in more than 190,000 native trees being planted in the NAR in order to offset Austral’s estimated 27,422 tonnes of annual carbon dioxide emissions.
In doing so, Austral will become the first carbon-neutral seafood company in the world, under Carbon Neutral’s umbrella – currently the only Gold Standard carbon offset project in Australia.
NACC Board Deputy-Chair and Carbon Neutral director Kent Broad said the project would have substantial benefits to the Northern Agricultural Region’s environment and community, as well as providing economic benefits.
“This project is based in the Mid West, which means that all the environmental, economic, social and heritage benefits stay in the Mid West, while offsetting Austral’s emissions wherever they occur,” Mr Broad said.
World first for the sector
“Austral’s achievement of becoming the world’s first carbon neutral seafood business is on par with the WA Rock Lobster industry becoming the world’s first Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accredited fishery in the world back in 2000, both occurring here in the Mid West,” Mr Broad said.
“Carbon Neutral is proud have been chosen by Austral Fisheries to use our Australian first Premium Gold Standard project as the offsets for them to be carbon neutral under the Federal Government’s National Carbon Offsets Standard (NCOS) scheme.”
Mr Broad said the revegetation would be done as part of Carbon Neutral’s Yarra Yarra Revegetation program, under which native trees are planted specifically for carbon sequestration and biodiversity enhancement outcomes to help protect and recover endangered and declining woodland and shrubland fauna such as Malleefowl, Carnaby’s black-cockatoo, Crested bellbird, Western yellow robin and Western spiny-tailed skink.
NACC CEO Richard McLellan said Austral’s commitment to offsetting their carbon footprint, and Carbon Neutral’s ability to translate that into real-world, on-ground outcomes in the NAR, was a great demonstration of how partnerships can lead to fantastic public, private and environmental outcomes.
“Carbon Neutral has been doing some amazing landscape restoration work in our region for a number of years now, but we’re particularly excited by this new development,” he said.
“It’s a ‘win-win-win-win’ situation: good for Austral Fisheries, good for Carbon Neutral, good for the farmers who will reap the landcare benefits, and fantastic for the environment.
We’ll all be the beneficiaries of this collaboration.”