Australia’s oldest community/business partnership about more than trees and dollars

“It’s amazing how a small community/business partnership, which started with handing out trees in supermarkets in the year of the tree in 1982, has enabled some of the greatest environmental restoration efforts in Australia’s history.Our longest running community/business partnership between Greening Australia and Alcoa is celebrating 35 years of achievements, including some of the most important environmental and green-technology innovations in our history.

The environmental action-oriented partnership has seen almost 20 million dollars invested in planting 100 million trees, and allowed Greening Australia to invest time and effort in environmental education, large scale landscape restoration, reconnecting remnant habitats, establishing native seed banks and carbon sequestration.

Greening Australia CEO Brendan Foran says the 35-year community/business partnership is Australia’s oldest and one of the longest running in the world.

Alcoa of Australia Chairman and Managing Director Michael Parker said Alcoa was proud to be part of a partnership delivering long-term community and environmental benefits.

“There’s no doubt it was a shared pursuit of environmental excellence that united Alcoa and Greening Australia all those years ago….and it’s what remains at the heart of the partnership today.

“We are absolutely delighted with the extension of the Alcoa partnership, it has allowed landscape restoration to take root literally across the continent and placed it in strategy and thought leadership in board rooms of Australia.

“One of the greatest barriers to solving large environmental challenges and demonstrating proof of impact is continuity and having Alcoa at our shoulder for 35 years has enabled Greening Australia to carry out some amazing landscape restoration projects.” Mr Foran said.

CEO of Greening Australia, Brendan Foran and MD of Alcoa, Michael Parker. CEO of Greening Australia, Brendan Foran and MD of Alcoa, Michael Parker.

“Over 35 years, landscapes have been changed, millions of trees planted, degradation reversed, and community involvement and ownership strengthened.”

Some of the partnerships greatest achievements include:

  • Perfected direct seeding techniques
  • Launched an accredited carbon offset program for the general public back in the mid-2000s when others were still widely debating the science of climate change
  • Developed the concept of native seed banking technology, enabling the collection, storage and sowing of 25 tonnes of native seed across the country
  • Helped to create the leading pilot for native grassland restoration in this country. From that first hectare of native grassland restored at Point Henry in Victoria supported by Alcoa in the mid-2000’s to today, where a $10million, native seed production area is being developed by Greening Australia as part of the environmental approvals for the Western Sydney airport- one of the major pieces of infrastructure to be built this century.