On Friday 15 November, LEP Digital Founder and Director, Laura Prael, joined 38 fellow Central Coast CEOs at The Entrance to clean up the sea. The inaugural Take 3 CEO Clean-Up event helped raise more than $14,400 for the fight against plastic pollution in our oceans.
Plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to ocean and marine life, as well as the broader environment. “More than eight million tonnes of new plastic ends up in our oceans each year and it’s predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean,” said Tim Silverwood, CEO and Co-Founder of Take 3 for the Sea.
LEP Digital brought the idea of the CEO Clean-up to the Take 3 team in early 2019, as a pro-bono business initiative to support the community and our environment. LEP Digital built the campaign website and all of its marketing collateral, as well as conducting business outreach to encourage participation and fundraising. “In January this year, I decided that my business, LEP Digital, could do more,” said Laura. “So, I took the ambitious idea of raising 30 thousand dollars from a CEO Clean-Up to Tim and the Take 3 for the Sea team.”
The Take 3 CEO Clean-Up was the first of its kind, modelled on the successful Vinnies CEO Sleep Out concept, and designed to help fight against the plastic problem. Every day, businesses on the Central Coast contribute to this problem, but on Friday, they became part of the solution when business leaders were given the opportunity to lead by example and make a positive change in the community.
A total of 39 CEOs from prominent businesses around the Central Coast, including Central Coast Council CEO Gary Murphy, rolled up their sleeves and collected a whopping 227 kilograms of plastic from Terilbah Reserve, The Entrance North. The morning began with a traditional welcome to country and speeches from Tim Silverwood, Laura Prael and Emma Barbato from Southern Cross Austereo – a major sponsor. Later, CEOs worked together in two groups, one tackled the land and the other, the water.
The most commonly collected items found by clean-up teams on land were cigarette butts and straws, but they also collected a rusted grill and window frames. The remaining groups took to the water in double kayaks and on a water barge where the most commonly collected waste included fishing hooks and lines and plastic bottles.
CEOs who took part in the clean-up event were also given the opportunity to raise funds to help continue the cleaning up of our oceans. Laura Prael raised an impressive $1,040 in the fight against plastic pollution, finishing 5th on the fundraising leaderboard. Finishing at the top of the leaderboard was Central Coast Industry Connect Executive Officer, Frank Sammut, who raised a total of $1,830.
“It was a privilege to be part of this inaugural event, working alongside other CEOs, to make a difference to our Central Coast waterways,” said Frank.
“Don’t underestimate your power, influence and courage,” said Laura in her address at the event. “I urge you to apply what you’ve seen and heard today to your workplace everyday. Every individual makes an impact on the planet every single day, and we can choose what sort of impact we want to make.”
Thank you to all Central Coast CEOs who contributed to cleaning up our oceans. For more information, or for media comments, please get in touch by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.