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					32           FEATURE STORY                                                                                                                                                     BLAH BLAH
                                                                                                                                                                                                      33




Design
to the
rescue
A FEW MONTHS AGO the                         Marking its footprint                         learn how to cut back on their emissions,
company signed up with Project                                                             or, gain my business back. In an industry
Andromeda; a self-proclaimed profit-          down as one of                                like ours, word of mouth can go along
orientated company with a twist. It                                                        way.”
offers like-minded businesses a no-          Australia’s first                                 Yet, involvement with their new call-
nonsense approach to tackling                climate positive                              to-action partner doesn’t stop there.
environmental problems with                                                                   Corlette has designed the Project
emphasis placed on positive solutions -      studios, Corlette                             Andromeda icon and is actively
both ecological and economical.                                                            networking the new project to clients,
    Corlette Design is in fact the first
                                             Design is certainly                           suppliers and colleagues.
graphic design business in Australia to      taking an innovative                             “I wanted the logo to be instantly
partner up with the project, which keeps                                                   recognisable and Robert and I liked the
tabs on businesses’ carbon footprint.        step forward.                                 idea of using weather symbols to portray
    So, what is a carbon footprint and how
does a company become climate
                                             Larissa Meikle                                climate. I also wanted something that
                                                                                           had longevity and could be easily placed
positive?                                    investigates.                                 on products such as business cards to
    “Basically, it refers to the amount of                                                 office chairs,” she explains.
carbon emission a person or business                                                          Keeping in mind Clarke’s brief, the
produces. Corlette Design is discovering                                                   icon was not to come across as a negative
it’s economically advantageous for                                                         climate change warning.
companies to cut back on emission            consumption, in the Surry Hills studio.          “We wanted to position ourselves
rates,” Project Andromeda founder               “Now, our designs definitely factor in      apart from the ‘anothergreenclimategrou
Robert Clarke explains.                      environmentally responsible practices.        p.com’. That’s why my team chose the
    A climate positive business measures     This includes the careful consideration       colour blue, not green, and we spent a
and verifies steps towards mitigating         of paper stocks, printing techniques,         great deal of time, care and attention on
climate change through its daily             formats and mediums of                        the design, branding and strategy. Our
operations. By understanding its own         communication. For instance, brochures        approach is different, and we want our
emissions and counterbalancing it - by       need not always be large formats. We are      look and our name to reflect that,” Clarke
supporting projects that remove CO2          considering more innovative shapes and        adds.
from the atmosphere - a business offsets     sizes, which are more economical for             Symbolism played a major role in the
their footprint.                             sheet sizes on press,” Corlette Design        planning of the icon. Even the etymology
    Harnessing the carbon trading            creative director Camille Corlette said.      of the business name - which still intends
expertise of the ANZ Investment Bank,           “My clients are also using electronic      to take a back seat to the brand - is ‘to
the project is a commercial business         communication as a way of saving paper        think, to be mindful of’, in Latin.
model aimed at certifying businesses         and also saving costs. Having said this,         The design company now considers
climate positive.
    Due to guidance from Clarke, Corlette
                                             we certainly don’t think this is a
                                             compromise on our creativity. If
                                                                                           many issues, which Corlette admits, she
                                                                                           never questioned before clashing heads       “We wanted to position ourselves apart from the
                                                                                                                                                    ‘anothergreenclimategroup.com’”
Design now has the right tools to educate    anything, we feel that it will lead to more   with Clarke.
clients and suppliers plus uses              exciting designs that will challenge us.         “There are very effective but simple
environmentally friendly materials and          “I have actually switched suppliers        practices we have adopted now, such as
production techniques. Employees have        because they are not climate positive.        embossing print on our business cards as
also become super efficient when it           Many of them have then made inquiries         an alternate to using ink. We now have a                                             Robert Clarke.
comes to cutting back on energy              to Project Andromeda so they too can          customised recycling system and I
                                                                                                                                                                               AUSTRALIAN CREATIVE AUGUST.07
AUSTRALIAN CREATIVE AUGUST.07
34           FEATURE STORY




                                                                                                Due to the scale of the movement,
                                                                                            Clarke employs Baker and Mackenzie as          WHO IS CORLETTE DESIGN?
                                                                                            legal advisors and the ANZ as suppliers
                                                                                            of ‘carbon credits’ (see box-out above).       Established in 1979, the design
                                                                                                Membership ranges from $300 to             agency is based in Surry Hills and
                                                                                            $2500 per year, depending on the size of       specialises in corporate identity
                                                                                            a business, which according to Corlette,       development, marketing, collateral,
                                                                                            is a small price to pay for benefits            online solutions, signage, annual
                                                                                            returned.                                      reports and packaging.
                                                                                                She believes the cost of inaction far        Clients range from Hilton, The
                                                                                            outweighs the cost of membership,              Law Society of New South Wales,
                                                                                            taking into account the economic               Shangri La, Sheraton, Australian
                                                                                            benefits of retaining staff.                    Institute of Management, Westin
                                                                                                Early results for the studio are already   and W Hotels, Raffles and Marriott.
                                                                                            indicating marketing benefits and                 Corlette is currently working on
                                                                                            enhanced internal communication.               projects in Australia, Singapore,
                                                                                                “Team spirit is up when all staff          Malaysia, Thailand, China, India,
                                                                                            members work towards a goal, outside           Dubai, Papua New Guinea and
                                                                                            direct work related concerns,” Corlette        Thailand.
WHAT IS CARBON CREDIT?                                                                      said.
                                                                                                “ I have had a number of clients ask
One carbon credit equals one                                                                about the project and it has been a great
tonne of CO2 removed from the                                                               talking point for me when chasing new
atmosphere. Carbon credits come                                                             business. Featured as part of our email
in many forms. The very highly
rated, such as UN/Kyoto-based                        “From a                                signature, the icon has certainly
                                                                                            instigated conversation.”

                                                   marketing
Certified Emissions Reductions                                                                   Corlette explains that curiosity is the
(CER), and Australian derived NSW                                                           first reaction, because people have heard
Government Greenhouse                                                                       of the term ‘carbon neutral’ but not of
Abatement Certificates (NGAC).
Some international credits are less                 angle, it is                            climate positive.
                                                                                                “Once we explain to them (clients)

                                                  fantastic for
well regarded, in terms of the long-                                                        what it’s all about, the reaction is
term value they create. Accredited                                                          eagerness to know more.”
projects include efficiency,                                                                     Being a member, Corlette Design also
renewable energy, and carbon
sequestration or forestry. Carbon                          us”                              has access to businesses it otherwise
                                                                                            wouldn’t have encountered.
                                                                                                Part of the project’s philosophy is to:
credits trade on the international
exchanges just like any other
                                                          Camille Corlette.                 provide clients with unique networking
commodity.                                                                                  opportunities with other climate positive
                                                                                            businesses. This may not necessarily just
For more information visit                                                                  include clients or suppliers.
 www.projectandromeda.com                                                                       “Haworth Furniture will be our first
                                                                                            port of call when we look into ordering
                                                                                            new office furniture as we know they too
                                                                                            are climate positive. Project Andromeda
                                                                                            is in the process of signing up a variety of
                                                                                            clients from restaurants to banks and this
                                                                                            will certainly open doors in terms of
                                                                                            networking and business,” Corlette said.
believe the business is going through its     going about policy in a haphazard way,            “We confidently think this will be the
most innovative time yet.                     business is beginning to examine the          new way forward. Companies want to be
   “Thinking about all these changes          cold, hard facts,” he explains.               associated with like-minded businesses:
also has an impact on the way you                “Under this glow of media speculation      people who share the same philosophies
design: now I think about different           and sensationalism, the creative business     and positive aspirations.
formats I can use to cut back on paper        world needs to act with clarity,                  “From a marketing angle, it is fantastic
and I feel more in-touch with the             transparency and integrity.”                  for us. Our client base stretches across
production side of designing and this            As the project expands, the vision is to   Asia-Pacific, India, United Arab
helps drive down costs.”                      have climate positive designs, rock           Emirates and the United States so this
   Businesses of all sizes are beginning to   concerts, film, television, furniture and      allows us to promote the message far-
understand that action on climate change      airlines.                                     and-wide, and to communicate that we
brings positive benefits, not just to the         The design and architecture business       in Australia are making a difference.”
environment, but also to other aspects of     sectors have been quick to respond and it         By 2030, Corlette Design would have
business.                                     may have something to do with the             saved about 4000 tonnes of carbon
   Decisive and measured action not only      priority they place on innovative             emission - not a bad feat for a boutique
brings economic benefits, but also allows      challenge.                                    studio.
professionals to avoid being accused of          With the help of Corlette Design’s
jumping on the bandwagon, or how              branding campaign, Clarke plans to            For more information visit
Clarke puts it: ‘the greenwash’.              launch his Australian-based business in        www.corlettedesign.com.au
   “Rather than waving a green flag and        New Zealand and China.                        Photo: R. Sweeney, Sugar Love Pictures

AUSTRALIAN CREATIVE AUGUST.07

				
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