We've Gone Carbon Neutral

10/09/2018

The International Wing Chun Academy has joined the fight against climate change by becoming Australia's first carbon neutral martial arts school.

By partnering with the Carbon Reduction Institute (CRI), the Academy has achieved NoCO2 certification - Australia's most recognised environmental accreditation for businesses. Other NoCO2 certified businesses include Dell, BioPak, Fuji Xerox, Mercure Hotels and Goodman.

Says Academy owner and Senior Instructor Tristan Fung, "There's a misconception spread by the combat sports and entertainment industries that martial arts is about violence and aggression. While physical self-defence is a big part of martial arts training, it's very important to me that we continue to promote the traditional philosophy that being a martial artist entails a responsibility to one's community and environment."

In order to gain NoCO2 certification, the Academy underwent a thorough audit by CRI. This audit analysed all aspects of the Academy's business operations, including electricity consumption, use of consumables, waste, staff travel and manufacture of merchandise and uniforms.

The CRI audit provided the Academy with a calculation of its annual carbon emissions, which it now offsets through the purchase of carbon credits. These carbon credits fund carbon offset projects, such as the construction of wind farms in China, development of sustainable clean water sources in Kenya, and the transition from coal to biomass as a clean and renewable energy source in India.

"Although we've tried to minimise our environmental impact in the past by recycling, using recycled or carbon neutral consumables, and maintaining a semi-paperless office, the CRI audit helped us to identify a number of hidden environmental costs, such as staff travel and the costs of manufacturing our uniforms. All of these hidden costs add-up and take a toll on our environment," says Tristan.

Tristan hopes that the Academy's participation in CRI's NoCO2 certification programme will inspire other martial arts schools and small businesses to take similar steps towards reducing their carbon footprint.

"Environmental initiatives like this are no longer exclusive to big business. I was pleasantly surprised to find how easy and economically feasible it was for my business to work with CRI in achieving certification," says Tristan.

Along with its ‘Carbon Neutral' initiative, the Academy also supports two other community initiatives; the ‘Sifu Jim Fung Memorial Fund for Cancer Research', which has donated $20,000 to St Vincent's Hospital and the Garvan Institute, and the ‘Stop Violence' initiative, which offers regular, free self-defence workshops to at-risk individuals.

We are proud to be Australia's first carbon neutral martial arts organisation

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