Benefits of being more sustainable

Operating an environmentally sustainable business provides more than environmental benefits. Reducing waste and water consumption and improving energy efficiency also:

  • Reduces operating costs
  • Improves your business image to customers
  • Engages staff and suppliers.

Our commitment to sustainability

Council is committed to sustainability. Our Zero Carbon Evolution Strategy is helping Merri-bek to become a carbon neutral community by achieving 22% reduction in carbon emissions across the municipality by 2020.

Read the Zero Carbon Evolution Strategy (DOC 8Mb).

How to make your business greener

There are many ways to make your business more environmentally sustainable – and save some serious cash in the process. Here are a dozen practical ways to get started.

Switch your lights to LEDs

LED lighting is the most energy efficient type of lighting available. Together with the Australian Energy Foundation (AEF), we’re providing eligible Merri-bek businesses who switch to LED lights with a 10% discount on the cost of LED installation (up to the value of $5,000). Learn more.

Install solar panels

Install solar on your rooftop and start to produce your own electricity. The Australian Energy Foundation (AEF) can arrange free, no-obligation quotes, help you understand which offer is right for you, and provide guidance on finance options. Learn more

Connect with the team at Australian Energy Foundation

They can help you get a better deal for energy, reduce your energy consumption and generate your own power. Learn more.

Turn off your coffee machine

If you have a coffee machine and don’t turn it off when your doors are closed, either switch it off manually or or get a timer installed to do it for you.

Install a fridge timer

If you have a fridge with non-perishable drinks inside, get a free fridge timer that will turn the fridge off when you’re closed for business.

Recycle your coffee grounds

Reground collects used coffee grounds and turns them into a valuable resource. It helps businesses to reduce their food waste volumes, waste services costs and resulting emissions from sending food waste to landfill. 

Insulate your building

Insulation works by slowing down the transfer of heat from inside to outside and vice-versa. It does this either by trapping air using bulk insulation, or by reflecting heat using foil insulation.

Draught proof your building

One of the simplest and most effective actions you can take to keep your home or business warmer in winter and cooler in summer is to block all the draughts, and keep the outside air out. Do some simple DIY, or ask a professional to do it for you. 

Switch to GreenPower

GreenPower is the only voluntary, government accredited program that enables your electricity provider to purchase renewable energy on your household or business’ behalf. 


Where to find more information or support

Council’s Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) team

Our ESD team develops and implements plans, policies, strategies and assessments to facilitate environmental sustainability at Council. They can help you to incorporate ESD into you’re a business or development during the planning or amendment process.

Australian Energy Foundation (AEF)

Council partners with the Australian Energy Foundation (AEF) to deliver Merri-bek's Zero Carbon Evolution Strategy. Together we can support your business in a number of ways:

  • Energy Advice Services - a team of energy advisors who can help you get a better deal for energy, reduce your energy consumption and generate your own power. They have information on the best products latest government discounts and incentives. 
  • Together we’re providing eligible Merri-bek businesses who switch to LED lights with a 10% discount on the cost of installation (up to the value of $5,000).
  • Solar For Business program – AEF can arrange free, no-obligation quotes from three quality solar suppliers, can help you understand which offer is right for you, and can provide guidance on finance options that enable you to install environmental upgrades with no upfront costs. These include Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs) and Community Solar. Download the AEF Solar for Business flyer.

Sustainability Victoria

Sustainability Victoria works with businesses, commercial building owners, the construction industry and partners to help change inefficient practices, saving money and improving sustainability. Find out how your business can cut costs and boost productivity by saving energy and materials, reducing and better managing waste or improving the energy efficiency of your building.

Sustainable Australia Fund

Sustainable Australia Fund is partnering with Merri-bek Council to enable eligible Merri-bek businesses to access finance for works with an environmental benefit under Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) – a loan to upgrade a building where the repayments are administered through the local council. To access finance an agreement between the building owners, lenders and local governments is put in place.

Learn more about Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) and watch the video which explains the process.

Download the Environmental Upgrade Agreement information flyers for landlords (PDF 128Kb), owner-occupiers (PDF 1Mb) and tenants (PDF 1Mb)

Yarra Valley Water

Saving water means less pressure on Melbourne's water resources and improved financial performance for businesses. Yarra Valley Water offers a range of tailored solutions to assist different businesses meet the challenges of reducing operating costs and improving water efficiency.

Find out more about Yarra Valley Water programs and resources and Yarra Valley Water grants and rebates.


There are documents on this page in PDF-only format. If you have trouble opening or viewing a PDF document, contact Council and we will arrange to provide the information in a format that suits your needs. See Council's accessibility page for further details.