Futuro Childcare & Education shares journey to carbon neutral early learning
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Futuro Childcare & Education shares journey to carbon neutral early learning

by Freya Lucas

February 02, 2023

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider Futuro Childcare & Education recently embarked upon the journey of carbon neutral certification, and have shared the following reflections about the process with a view to supporting all providers in the journey to sustainability. 


While the certification process wasn’t quick, it also wasn’t as complex as the team expected it to be. Below, Futuro shares some tips for services interested in pursuing carbon neutral certification.


What does carbon neutral mean?


Carbon neutrality is achieved when greenhouse gas emissions from a particular activity, process, or an entire organisation, have been reduced to zero.


Carbon neutral certification can be conferred on organisations, products, services, events, precincts, buildings, portfolios, and more. The certification is provided by Climate Active, which is a government-backed program that empowers organisations to take positive action on climate change. 


How do ECEC services become carbon neutral?


In order to become carbon neutral, services need to understand what activities are generating greenhouse gas emissions from all consumables, and then look to reduce those emissions where possible. Once this is complete, services then compensate for any remaining emissions by investing in offset units to achieve zero total emissions.


“At Futuro, it helped that we had already made the decision to invest in sustainable consumables, solar panels and a passive centre design that was highly insulated from extreme weather and maximised natural light and air flow,” a spokesperson explained.  


Powershop were engaged to supply energy to the centre, chosen because they are a 100 per cent carbon neutral energy supply company.


Who can support services to become carbon neutral?


As well as the great resources from Climate Active, specialist consultants are available to support services. Futuro engaged one such consultant – 100% Renewables


Essentially, the assessment process is an accounting exercise, with greenhouse gas costs being attributed to various business activities. 100% Renewables then helped Futuro to find investment opportunities to offset its emissions that were consistent with the service’s vision, purpose and values. 


As an ECEC provider, Futuro were excited to invest in projects that also had educational benefits.


How much does becoming carbon neutral cost?


“It depends what your emission costs are,” said a Futuro spokesperson. “However, you may be pleasantly surprised by how affordable it is to purchase offset credits – and particularly if you make efforts to reduce your emissions in the first place. Carbon credit prices vary by project, with some projects more expensive to invest in than others.”


What kind of commitment is involved? 


Organisations need to develop and implement a strategy to reduce emissions, and then track their progress and reporting on it each year.


Although this can seem like ‘one extra thing’, Futuro explained that “ultimately, we do the job we do every day to nurture the little people entrusted to our care and to help them fulfil their potential.”


“At Futuro, we see intergenerational equity as essential to helping children fulfill their potential. Intergenerational equity is about fairness between generations – we have reaped the benefits of our glorious environmental resources for generations, and we want the same thing for generations to come. However, nothing changes if nothing changes.”


Learn more about Futuro here. Services who are interested in starting a carbon neutral journey of their own are welcome to contact Futuro General Manager Megan Black via email at [email protected] 

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