Pangolin Newsletter August 2020

News Stories

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Pangolin Associates is ten years old!

Here’s a few faces you may know, and a few you may not (meet them right here).

Pangolin Associates team meeting via Zoom
Top: Dr Samuel Phua, Iain Smale, Chris Wilson,
Middle: Felipe Avancine, Sarah Colquhoun, James Endean,
Bottom: Lauren Jenkins, Dr Adina Cirtog, and… our namesake, Pangolin.





In August 2010 four of us came together to form Pangolin Associates Pty Ltd, two in Sydney and two in Adelaide. We all worked in the carbon and energy management sector, only too aware of the climate tipping point on our doorstep and what that would mean for us on this continent. We created Pangolin to help businesses Australia-wide to reduce the risk.

For ten years we’ve stayed the course. We’ve grown yet remain flexible in how we work. We’ve also stayed true to three operating guidelines: decency, diversity, and carbon neutrality. In 2014 we became a B Corporation, a global recognition for “using business as a force for good,” and we’ve always maintained a net zero carbon footprint.

In 2016 we became certified carbon neutral. As we provided the services for the Australian Government-recognised certification, an important part of our business activity, we felt it was important to do. We were the first in our sector.

Despite the ups and downs – the global financial crisis, the impacts on businesses, and the ever-changing government regulations and climate-based policies – without fail we fund charities and initiatives that we feel well-align with Pangolin. Of course, that includes our threatened namesake we must mention, please visit Save Pangolins.

Read more about what we do.

Our team today

Now we have a much larger team. Each team member shares our vision for a safer, kinder, cleaner planet. That’s a very good place to find ourselves ten years later. We’d like to thank each of them for the hard work, particularly during such a challenging year. They’ve outdone themselves. And we would like to thank our clients for their commitment to climate change mitigation. Let’s keep going.

Pangolin’s Founding Directors – Iain Smale, Chris Wilson, Matthew Curnow and Dr Davide Ross

Australian Architects Declare

Globally, buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.” Australian Architects Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency

What if world-over we practiced regenerative design in the structures we build. What if we aspired to the lowest possible environmental impact – and the knowledge gained was shared openly. That is the mandate of Architects Declare, an ever-growing list of architects committed to efficiencies, upgrades, re-use, waste reduction, and much more.

At Pangolin we’ve seen a rapid growth in architecture clients this year, signatories of Architects Declare and businesses ensuring that more is done, including at their own practices. We whole heartedly endorse the declaration, and this surge of climate action.

Net zero emissions – architects to know about

Here are three architectural firms we’d like to acknowledge. Each has undertaken the Climate Active program to certify as net zero emissions practices.

ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects - Climate Active certified
ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects

Melbourne & Sydney: ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects

ClarkeHopkinsClarke is an Architects Declare signatory, as well as a B Corporation and participant of the Design Futures Council. The firm partners with other B Corporations (including Pangolin Associates) because of the shared commitment to ethical enterprise. Their greenhouse gas reduction measures include a company war on waste. Certified in 2020, ClarkeHopkinsClarke based their Climate Active undertaking on FY 2018/19. See more on Climate Active.

Sydney: Greenbox Architecture

Greenbox Architecture
Greenbox Architecture

Greenbox is also certified carbon neutral as of September 2020. Their certification is based on calendar year 2019.

All of the firm’s electricity use – one of its top emissions – comes from renewable and carbon neutral sources.

To reduce their footprint, Greenbox has also focused on employees, ensuring all staff members understand the choices and actions that make a difference.

Perth: With_Architecture Studio

Photo: Carbon neutral certified With Architecture Studio, Perth
With_Architecture Studio

With_Architecture Studio chose Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor in Western Australia to offset greenhouse gas emissions that they could not eliminate. The staff, they say, overwhelmingly selected the WA project in a vote. It was local and had important co-benefits for the community.

The firm was the first in its sector to achieve certified carbon neutrality in 2016.

Active Super is certified carbon neutral

Our Climate Active Client: Active Super
Our Climate Active Client: Active Super

Active Super (formerly Local Government Super (LGS)) is an award-winning public offer superannuation fund. It has more than 11 billion under management and approximately 90,000 members in NSW. The company is based in Sydney and has seven regional offices.

This is a certified responsible super fund with a strong commitment to sustainability and a better future for members. Pursuing Climate Active was the right step for Active Super. It is the only Australian Government-recognised carbon neutral certification, so unquestionable in its rigour and authenticity. It sends a clear message about climate leadership to members, staff, and the superannuation sector.

The Climate Active certification covers all the company’s locations, operations and management of the superannuation fund.

 Ten years and 1million tonnes CO2e offset

* In March 2014 our newsletter included this story: “Our clients have offset… 110,000 tonnes of carbon.”

Trees and reforestation. Carbon offsetting services include a range of certified carbon credit projects.
We help with carbon credit advice, supply and management.

Now in 2020 on our tenth anniversary our clients have offset just over 1,000,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Put another way, that’s approximately 250,000 cars taken off the road for a year. We’d like to express our appreciation to all of our offsetting clients. Congratulations, very well done!

More and more… businesses seek offsetting projects with co-benefits

Many carbon credit projects have important co-benefits, such as community employment and a better quality of life for local people. Many projects also align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, 17 goals and a blueprint for a better world for all. See the goals here.

Here are a few projects we recommend:

Indonesia: Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve (Borneo)

Orangutans. Carbon offsetting project: Borneo (Indonesia): Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve.

A project designed to conserve more than 91,000 hectares of tropical peat swampland.

Rimba Raya Biodiversity protects an area rich with flora and fauna, including the endangered Bornean orangutan. It has the largest privately-funded orangutan sanctuary worldwide. See moreRequest a brochure on Rimba Raya Biodiversity.

Vietnam: Rice Husk Thermal Energy Generation (Cai Be District)

Carbon offsetting project - Vietnam (Cai Be District): Rice Husk Thermal Energy Generation.

Cai Be turns an environmental problem into a clean energy solution. Processing rice for bran oil typically results in decaying husks in waterways, a waste product that releases methane into the atmosphere. This carbon credit project turns the waste into clean electricity. See moreRequest a brochure on Rice Husk Thermal Energy.

Rwanda: Improved Kitchen Regimes – Cleaner Cookstoves (Bugesera District)

Carbon offsetting project - Rwanda: Improved Kitchen Regimes (cookstoves)

Cleaner stoves require substantially less fuel. Typically fuel is sourced unsustainably from the environment. For the people in the Bugesera District, the improved stoves result in training, jobs, a better quality of life, and critically, improved health. See moreRequest a brochure on Improved Kitchen Regimes.

Interested in supporting a project? Take a look through the list on our website.

Knowing more: your staff’s impact on your organisation

photo commuters: Pangolin Associates surveys: Climate Change Attitudes & Employee Commute
Investigate the emissions associated with your staff’s commute to work.

We offer two comprehensive surveys. These are anonymous so your staff comfortably provides frank and true information:

Most often our clients undertake these surveys with a carbon footprint, or when working towards carbon neutrality. The surveys may also be a stand-alone initiative, and you may choose to do one or both. Taken together they provide a better understanding of your employees’ engagement with sustainability actions, and how their travel to/from work impacts emissions associated with your organisation. Here is just some of the information our final reports provide:

Climate Change Attitudes:

  • Your employees’ understanding of climate change, and variations of understanding.
  • Their sources of information and knowledge gaps.
  • The appetite for climate action, and concerns about risk to the business and more broadly.


  • How your employees get to and from work.
  • The emissions associated with their commutes by transport type and suburb.
  • Meaningful incentives for more sustainable travel options.
  • What you can do to facilitate change.

For more:

And… meet our new team members!

Pangolin Associates - new team members (Zoom meeting)
Clockwise: Felipe Avancine, Sarah Colquhoun, James Endean.

From our experience, it’s businesses that are leading climate action in Australia. In the most difficult of times, we’ve grown and our clients remain committed. Interestingly, for the most part, climate action continues for our clients of all sizes.

This summer’s wildfires were catastrophic for Australians, the environment and bio-diversity on this continent. There was a swell of climate action that followed the fires, and a heightened sense of urgency from our clients that hasn’t been lost despite the pandemic. The result – we’ve expanded our team. Three talented individuals have joined us in 2020. They’re here to help you. Please meet (in Zoom order):


Senior Consultant, Felipe Avancine

Felipe has an impressive background in the environmental sector covering small and large organisations in Australia and internationally. His experience spans property development, rail and roads, ports, industrial complexes, health, energy and logistics.

A champion of philanthropy, each year Felipe supports local community programs. In Sydney he also volunteers for the Climate Council.

Carbon and Energy Consultant, Sarah Colquhoun

Sarah’s skills include NGER and reporting for the Climate Solutions Fund-Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). Sarah also provides emissions modelling to assist with sustainable business decisions.

Sarah has completed a Bachelor of Science in Marine Environmental Science at the University of Portsmouth, UK. Her work placement includes the Maldives Whale Shark Research Program, Dhigurah.

Carbon and Energy Consultant, James Endean

James comes to Pangolin with experience in the public and private sectors. His skill set also includes NGER, the government’s Climate Solutions Fund-Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), and global integrated reporting. He is also a Registered Climate Active Consultant.

James has a track record for meaningful action on climate change and biodiversity loss in the built environment.