GreenD Interview


GreenD interviews Eco Office Founder

Heather Lesley, tells GreenD about her green business venture. The origins, the challenges and what inspires her.
 

What made you choose to work in the Sustainable Living sector?

I find it deeply disturbing that we live on this planet as though it were an infinite resource. We become so short sighted – making every decision based on what is the cheapest option – without consideration of the true costs that may in time threaten our very existence as a species. We lose sight of the impacts our decisions have both now and for future generations. 

Creating awareness of these issues and providing easy solutions for time-poor people that care about our environment is why I founded Eco Office Supplies in the first place.

 

What so far has been one of your greatest achievements?

Launching Australia's first online office supply store to specialise in sustainable alternatives to everyday office consumables is without doubt one of my proudest career highlights.
 

What obstacles have you faced?

Being a trail blazer certainly has it's challenges. Initially, it was difficult to get seed funding to grow our business. Business bankers reviewed our business plan, told us it was a good idea, but decided not to support us because they reasoned that, if it was really such a good idea, why wasn't anyone else already doing it!
 

How do you see investment in the Green Business Sector developing in the future?

There is no question that the demand for recycled office paper is growing in Australia. Australian Paper have committed $90 million to the construction of a waste paper recycling plant at their Maryvale Mill in Victoria, which is on track to be operational by mid 2014. This new facility will generate 50,000 tonnes of premium recycled pulp each year, diverting up to 80,000 tonnes of wastepaper from Australian landfill - equivalent to more than 16 billion sheets of A4 office paper every year. It's a very positive sign that Australians are not only recycling but are 'closing the loop' by buying back new products made from recycled materials.
 

What or how can your product or service benefit the consumer?

It can be incredibly time consuming to compare green claims. We make it easy for people to green their workplace with products that support best practice in ethical and environmental purchasing because we've already done the research for them. Our Green Office Guide is much more than a retail catalogue. It is an essential buying guide that aims to educate and empower our clients to make informed choices.
 

Who or what inspires you?

Our clients inspire me. Their relentless commitment to researching and seeking out alternatives because they are passionate about protecting our natural resources for future generations. It's the reason we exist!


 

 


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