Redland staff lead by example
Redland City Council, located between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, celebrates its native species and unique waterways and through the environmental education centre IndigiScapes. In 2018 the centre began promoting its first sustainability campaign, focused on single-use plastics and led by a strong shift in operational practices.

The IndigiScapes facility incorporates an education and activity centre, alongside a native nursery, botanical gardens and playgrounds, and a network of nature trails. 

Realising that campaigning for sustainability needed to be founded on action, the IndigiScapes team began a series of shifts in internal education, operational practices, and organisational values in 2017. 
The ‘bush tucker’ café removed straws and joined the Responsible Café program, and a staff compost was built. 

The gift shop supply chain was audited, with local or sustainable alternative suppliers preferred, and plastic bags were removed. Sustainable signage was also audited, and staff were encouraged to collect soft plastics from home (with a roster to then transport the aggregated plastics to a Coles deposit point).

In January 2018 the initiative culminated with the launch of the new sustainability campaign, which – for the first time – extended across Bushcare, Wildlife, Environmental Partnerships and Operations teams as well as the Environmental Education division. The approach was holistic but simple, with a targeted key message and call to action across every team member: choose sustainable alternatives instead of plastic.

Static messaging was changed across operations; for example, signage promoted the Responsible Café program, the gift shop showcased sustainable materials, and displays were made to support the campaign. 

An events program also supported the campaign, with learning opportunities focused on plastic weaving, beeswax, a plastic-free inspiration workshop and more. IndigiScapes also hosted its first Living Green Expo to work directly with community groups with suitable products, and educate and inspire attendees to create new habits. Digital engagement was achieved through multiple platforms including social media and direct e-mail.

Both staff and regular visitors have demonstrated changed practices, with more reusable water bottles and coffee cups appearing at the centre, and visitors bringing soft plastics for drop-off. Beyond the campaign’s conclusion, operational improvements continue to be made including the return of cloth napkins, and the plan to phase out single-use coffee cups. All events at the centre now follow sustainability guidelines to ensure waste minimisation.