Ironbark Update and Approach to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Council Projects

The COVID-19 pandemic is obviously of the highest priority, from a personal health and safety perspective, to broader community health and ongoing business continuity. Like most organisations, we will be guided by the advice by relevant Federal and State Chief Health Officers and are monitoring the situation daily. The information below is relevant for all council projects, programs, partners and networks.

The Short of it:

We have formal systems in place to manage the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are in a position to deliver our projects on time and on budget and are actively quoting for new work and scheduling these into our forward plans.

In the event that all offices are required to close, all staff have remote access and will carry on working in a well-planned and coordinated manner to ensure no disruption to our usual operating service. We have been using technology such as Zoom, Gotowebinar and Skype for over a decade. All document management, CRM and project management tools (Box Drive, Suite CRM and Teamgantt) are cloud based. We are currently trialling cloud-based workshop software and expect to deploy this by the end of March.

In short, we are still working and delivering on our projects and do not expect any changes to our capacity and ability to assist councils in the short or medium term. The demand for real action on climate will continue!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us here or directly to project managers. Otherwise we hope everyone stays safe and hope to you see you soon… via Zoom or Gotowebinar of course.

The Detail:

In response to the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and latest updates from the Federal, State and Territory Governments, Ironbark Sustainability have setup a temporary sub-committee that will meet at least weekly to discuss and monitor risks and actions for staff. The intention is to minimise the risks to staff and minimise disruption. The group consists of the members of Risk Committee and Management Team

This issue is obviously of the highest priority, from a personal health and safety perspective, to broader community health and ongoing business continuity.

Like most organisations, we will be guided by the advice by relevant Federal and State Chief Health Officers and are monitoring the situation daily. 

We have advised staff that working from home is preferable, all staff have been asked to minimize work from our offices in Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney, Sunshine Coast and Darwin. We have advised staff that all non-essential interstate travel is to be postponed and will follow up with relevant projects to discuss alternatives. Activities considered low-risk such as outdoor audits will continue and all office-based work will carry on as business-as-usual.

In the event that all offices are required to close, all staff have remote access and will carry on working in a well-planned and coordinated manner to ensure no disruption to our usual operating service. Ironbark has systems in place that minimize risk during this time, such as enabling remote working and having processes for document and knowledge management to ensure handovers at short notice. With a growing team of 32 staff members, we have the capacity to absorb shocks and move resources around as required. Flexible working arrangements has been central to Ironbark’s working culture since 2004 – essentially our staff can already work from where they want, when they want, as long as projects are completed and councils are satisfied. We have been using technology such as Zoom, Gotowebinar and Skype for over a decade. All document management, CRM and project management tools (Box Drive, Suite CRM and Teamgantt) is cloud based. We are currently trialling cloud-based workshop software and expect to deploy this by the end of March.

We currently expect all climate program, smart lighting and broad sustainability projects with councils to continue with minimal disruption, even in the event of a long-term shutdown of some sectors of the economy. We’re used to completing energy efficiency and climate action projects remotely through all corners of Australia so in many ways this is business-as-usual.

We are aware that coronavirus is placing a strain on many organisations and councils so please contact us if you want to discuss changes to project timelines or outputs or whether we can assist in “smoothing” out any projects by bringing them forward or back.

We are not aware of any instance of COVID-19 amongst our staff however it is possible that absenteeism of staff will impact the delivery schedule. This includes Ironbark staff as well as staff from councils and other relevant stakeholders. This risk will remain open for the duration of all projects and we will communicate with councils throughout the project should any issues eventuate. We are happy to share our internal advice with councils and stakeholders if requested.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us here or directly to project managers. Otherwise we hope everyone stays safe and hope to you see you soon… via Zoom or Gotowebinar of course.

Background

Friday 13th March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) sub-committee established to meet at least weekly to discuss and monitor risks and actions for staff.

Thursday 5th March 2020

All staff reminded about healthy hygiene practices and project managers of all large projects to raise the issue with councils and other stakeholders.

Wednesday 4th March 2020

Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) discussed at Risk Committee meeting.