ecoBiz story: WestsideHQ
A buzzing community hub in the Western Brisbane suburbs is home to more than five decades of history – but WestsideHQ is setting the local sustainable business agenda with a firm focus on the future of the business.
‘Sustainable ownership’: Community, team and business behind a sustainable-focussed future
The Corinda hospitality business, together with the community and the team, have transformed their approach to sustainability as the community’s sustainable business expectations also transformed around them.
WestsideHQ joined ecoBiz program in 2022 and achieved significant energy, water and waste savings.
The business is an ecoBiz three-star partner, having saved more than 10% on water, waste and energy.
“Hospitality as a whole utilises water, waste and power in a reasonably large scale. Anything we can do to minimise the impact is essential to long term sustainability,” Manager Petroh Daczynski said.
“I have seen a shift towards a sustainable business focus. What used to go in the bin is now redirected into different waste streams to reduce general waste for example.”
The community hub that has evolved to be WestsideHQ was established as the local RSL in 1966.
“It’s a very important meeting place and was originally a dance hall but it has grown and evolved to what it is now,” Petroh said.
“The community is so important to us, our patronage is very local. We’re a place where people bring their family. It’s a safe space.”
WestsideHQ reduced energy intensity by 29% in 2021, water intensity by 20% and waste consumption by 53%.
An upgraded commercial kitchen with new energy efficient equipment, LED lighting, energy efficient air conditioning and gaming machines which shut off overnight support extensive energy savings.
Staff are motivated to separate rubbish into multiple streams, including organic, soft plastic, co-mingled, cardboard and paper, general waste and organic to support waste reduction.
Paper straws and napkins are composted, metal is stockpiled and cans and bottles are recycled trough the local Scouts groups’ Containers for Change efforts.
Petroh said even on a busy night behind the bar and in the kitchen, the team is diligent to sort waste into the correct streams. Bottle shop customers even take their shopping home in recycled cartons instead of bags.
Petroh said the ecoBiz sustainability coach encouraged the team to think about new things and consider how things might work for the business.
“There were some recommendations I didn’t even know existed,” Petroh said.
“Power is our biggest bill. We’ve turned off three cold rooms and learnt to work around them. We’ve saved thousands of dollars every month.”
He said a dedicated, passionate and committed team meant the business could focus closely on sustainability.
“We got our staff involved which was really important. Prior to becoming aware of ecoBiz, we had put together a team of our most passionate staff in this area and asked for their knowledge and input of how we could be better as a business,” he said.
“The best thing we could have done was to create a sense of sustainable ownership among the staff.
“We created a culture among staff and management. If a light doesn’t need to be on or a fridge, cold room or air conditioning doesn’t need to be running, don’t waste power just for convenience.
“Everyone from the kitchen staff who use compost bins to bar staff who separate containers on a busy night, it’s been invaluable. You couldn’t do it without a good team.