Carbon Hero Feature: Greenstone Drinks (SIMPLE Drinks)

Lauren Purcell

SIMPLE is an independent beverage brand in Australia. Everything they make is natural or organic and bottled in glass. As a member of 1% for the Planet, Founders Joe Gehrke and Daphne Raj give 1% of their revenue to organisations working to protect the environment. Late last year, they calculated their business carbon footprint and offset with us. We sat down with Joe to find out what has inspired them as a business to give back.

What inspired you to calculate your footprint, and how did you go about calculating it?
We wanted to make sure that any greenhouse gases caused by our products are neutralised, leaving things as they were. We’re a small family-owned company, and we don’t have the time and money to calculate every litre of fuel, water, and kW of electricity in the growing, juicing, bottling, warehousing, and delivery of our products. We try to use as little of these things as possible, but we still need to offset our net emissions. So we’ve taken a drinks company that we trust but don’t compete with (Oatly) and used their published carbon per litre figures, which were calculated for them by Carbon Cloud. We’ve added 50% to their number, just to be sure, and we offset the estimated carbon emissions of our products.

Please tell us a little about yourself and why it matters to you to be restoring Australia.
I personally have been concerned for a long time about the rapidly growing global population and the changes we are making to the ecosystems of the Earth.
I have made changes to my own lifestyle to reduce my footprint and wanted to try to neutralise the impacts of our business on the environment.

What are the inspirations behind your brand or company or campaign?
SIMPLE is an independent beverage brand in Australia. Everything we make is natural or organic and bottled in glass. We started this company because we love good drinks, but couldn’t find drinks that we felt good about drinking. We wanted to make available great-tasting, healthy drinks in packaging that is recyclable in Australia and that you can feel ethical about drinking.Greenstone Simple Drinks

As a member of 1% for The Planet we give 1% of our revenue to organisations working to protect the environment.

Why is caring for the environment important to you?
We make juices and sparkling drinks. Our fruit and vegetables are grown from the soil and require a certain climate to grow. We need clean water to make our sodas and sparkling waters. We have an inherent interest in preserving ecosystems.

‘How are you collaborating/partnering/working with Carbon Positive Australia? What motivated you to work with us, and what are your long-term goals?
As part of our membership of 1% for The Planet, we are providing funding to Carbon Positive Australia so they can do more of their good work. We were looking for a partner who was tackling the climate issue in a practical way within Australia.

What environmental goals would you like to achieve? If yes, how and by when? What motivated you to set these goals?
Almost all of our materials are sourced from Australia. We are now effectively carbon neutral, and we give 1% of our revenue to environmental organisations. Our products are long shelf-life and don’t require refrigeration, thus there is no food wastage.

Our company is growing quickly, and growth brings more funding for environmental work. Our goal is to keep growing without compromising our environmental principles.

Is your organisation working on any other environmental or social initiatives?
Through our 1% for The Planet funding, we also support other organisations: Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), Climate Council, Market Forces, World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

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