Australia’s Star Entertainment Group has secured a 170-hectare parcel of farmland in South East Queensland which it says will help manage its future carbon emissions reduction while supporting biodiversity and native forest regeneration.
The Star will use the land near Gympie as its first carbon credits project and to create a nature-based farm partnering with local farmers and through widescale tree planting support endangered species particularly koalas, with new habitat.
Star Entertainment Group’s Head of Sustainability, Amanda Visser, said it has taken two years to bring the project to life as an extension of its sustainability strategy.
“We will be planting over 100,000 native trees over the next five years to not only generate Australian carbon credit units but also to establish a koala sanctuary and create habitats for local, endangered species,” Visser said.
“We have completed initial biodiversity assessments to ensure this regeneration project supports local, native forest cover and we can measure the impact we are having over time.”
Supported by the carbon management expertise of Ndevr Environmental, The Star has registered the native tree planting component of the project under the Emissions Reduction Fund.
Noosa Landcare has completed wide-scale soil testing ahead of the first instalment of planting, set to begin in Autumn 2023, while the emissions reduction project is being broadened with guidance from the Odonata Foundation, the architect of this innovative and big-picture approach to environmental sustainability.
“Organizations can use their carbon offset priorities as the driver to do something that adds incredible value to the business, people and communities, with no real additional costs,” said Odonata CEO, Sam Marwood.
“The Star Entertainment Group has demonstrated real dedication to innovatively supporting environment and community, over and above what is required.
“It has been a couple of years of collaborative planning. Along with the strategic and commercial aspects, it’s been outstanding how much engagement there has been on the detailed aspects of the project, like how to select the right trees to attract koalas, how best to help threatened species, improve biodiversity and river health, and work alongside local communities.”
Star Entertainment Group Managing Director and CEO Robbie Cooke said the farm was a further demonstration of The Star’s ambition to develop and operate socially, environmentally and economically sustainable destinations.
“As an organization, we’re committed to delivering positive impacts on the communities and cities in which we operate. Corymbia is the evolution of our wider sustainability strategy and will help us achieve our goals,” Cooke said.
“We look forward to unveiling further announcements about this exciting, and innovative project in the near future.”