How gut-wrenching stories, grass roots experiences and the drought ridden Aussie terrain led to the co-founding of Ndevr Environmental.
Managing Director, Matt Drum
“In 2006 I took a graduate position with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in Canberra. One of my first roles was to travel the country speaking to farmers who were suffering horrendous conditions at the height of the Millennium drought, to see if they were eligible for the Government’s drought assistance package. We crisscrossed the country to speak to farmers where I sat in on town hall meetings and had endless discussions around utes and farm sheds about the struggles they faced. Farmers both young and old shared stories of their desperation and the seemingly insurmountable struggles they were having over the changing climatic conditions and their catastrophic effects. From the shock of hearing our farmers talking about suicide, or neighbours that recently had; to those who choked back tears when describing how they’d worked their whole lives but had now lost everything, was confronting, to say the least.
It became abundantly clear witnessing first-hand the struggles of these farmers, and travelling the barren, desert-like landscapes across the country, that climate change was ‘a thing’. It was real and it was impacting lives, and I came to understand it was the big issue facing humanity. That was the trigger that would set me on the path to dedicate my career to understanding climate change and doing something about it any way I could.
I took on a role developing policies for the Federal Government in the Department of Climate Change and particularly the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting program. After five years in public service, I felt I could make more impact in the private sector and moved to co-found Ndevr Environmental back in 2010. Over the past decade, we’ve built up a national team of passionate and committed experts, who also recognise the need to act and to act quickly to drive the transition towards a sustainable future. We knew real impact could come if we worked with big business and big emitters, to help them navigate legislation, and more importantly look for opportunities to reduce emissions and to reduce emissions at scale, so that’s something we’ve specialised in.
Along the way we’ve navigated dozens of policy changes and experienced the evolution of the business environment. We’ve partnered with both business and government to drive emissions reductions, facilitate emissions reporting, embrace renewable energy and create a positive impact on broader sustainability issues. We also now have a focus on human rights off the back of the clear links on those most impacted by climate change, also being the most likely victims of modern slavery and other human rights infringements.
It’s been an interesting ride to say the least, but I have to admit this is the most exciting time I have ever experienced in the industry. The world is shifting before my eyes in ways I had hoped for but not expected so quickly. Investment is retreating from the old energy sources to the new at incredible speeds, the world’s largest car manufacturers have set end dates for internal combustion engines and the incumbent energy giants are scrambling to find their place in the inevitable clean energy future. We’ve got a long way to go, but I really feel momentum is now unstoppable and with a team of driven and passionate change-makers alongside me, together we are achieving our mission every day – to help business transition to a sustainable future by contributing to climate action for the earth and its people.”