Thursday, 24 September 2020
Ipswich businesses take up sustainability mantle

A call to make suburban life more sustainable in Ipswich City has been taken up by businesses.

Ipswich local Brett Briggs is one of the community members featured in the ‘Sustainability in the Suburbs’ campaign created by the Ipswich City Council. 

Briggs and his wife Christie own café Oikos on Limestone Street in Ipswich CBD. 

The couple were chosen by the council to take part after noticing the sustainable aspects of their business. 

“We give away all our coffee grounds to local growers in the community, we use biodegradable take away containers where we can. And we shop locally to make sure our footprint is as small as possible,” he said.

Oikos sources their fruit and produce from the Lockyer Valley to the Glasshouse Mountains regions and their coffee supply is a short drive away at the Sunshine Coast. 

Briggs has been operating sustainably since the café opened in early 2019 and the environmental ethos is all in the name. 

“Oikos means circle of influence, trying to utilise within your circle what’s close to you,” he said.  

“So as soon as we opened it was about how can we be sustainable, how can we support those that are close to us with our produce and our time, money and energy? 

“From inception our radar was on to include all of that.” 

They hope to inspire other businesses to follow in their footsteps. 

“I think there’s power in the ones and twos. If everyone just takes a little ownership and just does their part, it makes a difference.” 

The campaign is a first from newly appointed Chair of the Environment and Sustainability committee Councillor Russel Milligan, who says the focus is on drawing the community together sustainably. 

“It’s community driven, not council driven … We feature local businesses and residents who are champions of sustainability in different ways,” he said. 

The campaign was created through suggestions that residents submitted to the previous council through the Sustainable Ipswich community engagement survey. 

“It’s much more relatable for people to view shared experiences of members of the community,” Cr Milligan said.  

Briggs says he feels the council is on the front foot of sustainability, but he hopes to see some further initiatives and incentives. 

“I think incentives are a good way to move people into thinking more sustainably,” he said. 

And Briggs will have the opportunity, alongside all Ipswich residents, to put those ideas to the council through the Ipswich City Council’s Draft Natural Environment Policy.

“This is where it all hinges on our community … I think there always has been and always will be, community interest in our environment. The greatest effect that people can have is locally,” Councillor Milligan said.