2022 Impact Trip: Rach's Reflections

A few months ago we went to Cambodia & Bangladesh to meet our colleagues, connect with end customers like Mrs Jonaki Akhtar in Bosila to get a first hand understanding of how 1 billion people live, without clean cooking. It was tough to hear their challenges, but positive to see how our work impacts people in a really positive way.

November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

Our Impactful Journey with ATEC

Working with amazing clients like ATEC has given us the opportunity to work alongside passionate people around the world who are committed to transforming the lives of people in emerging markets through clean cooking. 

A few months ago, Simon and I visited Cambodia and Bangladesh where ATEC’s teams and customers were located. Having only met the team through online Zoom calls, it was incredible to see that the people we’d been working with for over a year were, indeed “real”. And it was even more astounding to actually meet the customers whose lives we were impacting - people we’d only heard about from our ATEC colleagues. (plus to travel to countries I’ve never been before for a cause I cared about was beyond exciting!)

During our travels, we went to Dhaka - one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Dhaka was very new for us and was very exciting to explore. Meeting the ATEC team was our first objective the day we landed - and we were welcomed with open arms, getting our first taste of incredible Bangladeshi hospitality. 

Meetings were our first point of call over the first 2 days, and on Day 3 of the trip, we sought out to meet ATEC’s customers. We were lucky enough to be invited to sit down with Mrs Jonaki Akhtar in her home in Bosila - a neighbourhood approximately 12km from the ATEC Bangladesh office. Mrs Jonaki and her husband were customers of ours, having gotten the ATEC Biodigester a few months back.

Mrs Jonaki was a softly spoken woman with a pleasant smile, and with the help of our colleague Momin who helped us translate, we began to learn more about her day to day life. 

Women in Bangladesh are the primary cooks and spend a lot of time preparing food, cleaning and gathering fuel. Mrs Jonaki typically does the cooking and explained to us how she had previously been cooking with firewood that caused her to cough and eyes to water.

It’s hard to think that what Mrs Jonaki has experienced is common around the world. According to the WHO, around 2.4 billion people worldwide (around a third of the global population) cook using open fires or inefficient stoves fuelled by kerosene, biomass (wood, animal dung and crop waste) and coal. This generates harmful household air pollution which was responsible for an estimated 3.2 million deaths per year in 2020. And women and children - typically responsible for household chores, bear the greatest health burden. Coming from a developed country where things like this seemed to be such foreign concepts, this was something incredibly sad to learn.

As I continued speaking to Mrs Jonaki, I asked how her experience with using the ATEC Biodigester was (The biodigester turns cow & pig manure into safe and clean cooking gas and organic fertilizer for crops) - and she immediately lit up. She exclaimed that since she started using the biodigester, she has saved time. She no longer has to collect firewood, allowing her to do other chores around the house. Reflecting on this, I realised how much her day must be spent on cooking and tending to chores around the house. Having one less chore to do could save a few hours - and make a world of difference!

She mentioned how she feels healthier as well because the air in her kitchen is much cleaner so she can breathe without coughing. I was sad to hear this, thinking of how she must have been very uncomfortable having to spend hours cooking for her family yet staying in the kitchen with watery eyes, and breathing in smoke that can’t possibly be good for her. To hear her speaking of the positive impact of the ATEC Biodigester in her life makes me feel more confident of the incredible work that we’re doing in these communities by working with ATEC. 

And in line with excellent Bangladeshi hospitality which we experienced throughout our time in the country, Mrs Jonaki prepared some cut seasonal fruit for us before we left! Yummy.

To see how our work in countries like Bangladesh has positively impacted people like Mrs Jonaki’s life blows my mind. There’s a lot of work to be done but hearing the story of one person makes it all worth it. I was incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to go on such an eye opening trip and our learnings will inform the impact work we do in these countries and more.

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22 Bricks
ABCH
ATEC
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B Lab ANZ
BZE
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Compass Studio
Cyclion
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Goodtel
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Jaunt
KOSI
KingPump
LVLY
Lumen
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MK Local Foods
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No Lights No Lycra
North West Guadalcanal Association (NWGA)
OBG
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Parliament of Victoria
Peninsula Hot Springs
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ReCo
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Strongim Bisnis
Studio Schools Australia
Thankyou
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Time
WIRE
Whole Kids
iDE
No items found.
22 Bricks
ABCH
ATEC
Abundant Water
Anantaya Jewellery
B Lab ANZ
BZE
Bank Australia
Client Fabric
Clockwork Films
Compass Studio
Cyclion
Dog & Bone
Evee
Gewürzhaus
Goodtel
Green Collar
Hagens Organics
Hey Doodle
Jasper Coffee
Jaunt
KOSI
KingPump
LVLY
Lumen
MIIROKO
MK Local Foods
Marnie Hawson
Merry People
No Lights No Lycra
North West Guadalcanal Association (NWGA)
OBG
One Small Step
Parliament of Victoria
Peninsula Hot Springs
Portable
Possible
Prisma Legal
ReCo
Shadowboxer
Strongim Bisnis
Studio Schools Australia
Thankyou
The Sociable Weaver
Time
WIRE
Whole Kids
iDE

No items found.
No items found.
22 Bricks
ABCH
ATEC
Abundant Water
Anantaya Jewellery
B Lab ANZ
BZE
Bank Australia
Client Fabric
Clockwork Films
Compass Studio
Cyclion
Dog & Bone
Evee
Gewürzhaus
Goodtel
Green Collar
Hagens Organics
Hey Doodle
Jasper Coffee
Jaunt
KOSI
KingPump
LVLY
Lumen
MIIROKO
MK Local Foods
Marnie Hawson
Merry People
No Lights No Lycra
North West Guadalcanal Association (NWGA)
OBG
One Small Step
Parliament of Victoria
Peninsula Hot Springs
Portable
Possible
Prisma Legal
ReCo
Shadowboxer
Strongim Bisnis
Studio Schools Australia
Thankyou
The Sociable Weaver
Time
WIRE
Whole Kids
iDE

Targets

Results

Clients | Help conscious business grow

No destructive clients. Revenue breakdown: 15% Good, 60% Great, 25% Amazing (Here’s what the classifications mean)

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  • No destructive clients.
  • Revenue breakdown: 10% Good, 66% Great, 25% Amazing

Client survey metrics

  • 3 /5 value for money
  • 8 / 10 likely to recommend
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  • 3.4 / 5 value for money
  • 8.8 / 10 likely to recommend

Maintain current revenue

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  • Revenue down 16% YoY

Team | Be the best versions of us

  • All staff spend 70%+ of their time on clients
🟢
  • Spent 71% of our time on clients (over by only 76 hours).
  • Regular, honest check-ins about how we feel
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  • Stand ups, development sessions, watercooler chats, impact updates and more.
  • Targeted and clear personal growth, if we are better our clients will be
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  • Lots of on-the-tools growth, structured learning through weekly Lunch ‘n Learns and Intro to Programming at RMIT.
  • Improve and increase capability across team
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  • Elevated our tool nerd level. See here.
  • Expanding output skills: Market research, Web design, strategy & development, video editing, and automation strategy.
  • 9 day fortnights, with option for 4 day weeks
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  • 40% work 9 day fortnights, 40% part-time hours, 20% standard working hours.

Community | Lift the communities we’re part of

  • Protest and boycott important issues (Australia Day, Melbourne Cup)
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  • Buy with intention from local and discriminated groups
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  • We continue to be intentional about our suppliers as outlined in our policy and report the details in the Community chapter of our report. We took it one step further this year with a public call to pledge to audit suppliers in this campaign www.supplier-impact.com
  • Invest $20k in impact businesses plus $20k of 100% pro bono time
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  • We delivered some pro bono time but dropped the ball and had no official measurements in place. We also did not invest $20k in impact businesses because of the reduced revenue with Becky on maternity leave.
  • Sarah personally donated her photography equipment valued at around $7,500 to empower a content and brand producer in the Solomon Islands.
  • Have a RAP, engaged stakeholders and implemented more change
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  • Due to competing priorities and limited time (no lack in desire) we de-prioritised our Reconciliation Action Plan as we want to do it meaningfully and have the capacity to follow through. However, we took a few first steps outlined here.

Environment | Crank up the action on climate and environment

  • Be climate positive at work and at home
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  • We don’t track our CO2 emissions, rather we take a much more general and high emissions view. However, this year, we didn’t donate to the environment (see above) so we can’t say we countered our CO2.
  • Donate 5% to the environment
🔴
  • We fell short here, we didn't make the donation. More details here.
  • Re-use, recycle and manage dangerous waste
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  • We continue to implement our hazardous waste policy and are on a continuous learning and improvement journey.
  • We repair damaged hardware and minimise purchasing of new equipment.
  • Personally we're all Facebook Marketplace fans.
  • Advocate for climate change / inspire sustainable living
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Governance | Operate fairly and squarely as an impact business

  • Maintain current ownership and governance
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  • Harvey is 100% owned by the Smallchua Family Trust and Rebecca Smallchua is our sole Director.
  • Share templates, documents, insight into business for good
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  • We haven’t actively done this publicly, but when people have asked, we have shared. And we’re sharing a series of things as part of this impact report.
  • Re-use, recycle and manage dangerous waste
🟢
  • We continue to implement our hazardous waste policy and are on a continuous learning and improvement journey.
  • We repair damaged hardware and minimise purchasing of new equipment.
  • Personally we're all Facebook Marketplace fans.
  • Maintain B Corp score from 134.1 with workers included
🟢
  • We applied for our B Corp re-certification at the end of this financial year and are pleased to report we achieved the same score (to the decimal point). Wild!
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