Sustainable oceans - sustainable giving

Oceans of giving — literally


David Lennon (seen on the right with his first snorkel; a spade that no one told him was not a snorkel) runs an award winning business in Melbourne, Australia, called ReefBall Australia.

Until we met David at B1G1, I had no idea what a ‘Reef Ball’ was.  Now I know that over 500,000 Reef Balls have been deployed in more than 59 countries making them the most successful artificial reef unit in the world — that’s it — they ‘grow’ artificial reefs naturally if that makes sense.

David’s a busy guy and he’s done a ton of things (see below). 

But it’s his giving and the way he does it through B1G1 that truly inspires others and us. David was one of the first businesses to use the B1G1 Giving Certificate. And it’s that that has seriously ‘connected’ David to his clients.

Here’s just one example:



It’s a brilliant looking certificate. And it’s the words that really give it so much impact.

By contracting services through Reef Ball Australia, you have automatically planted 143 trees in Indonesia to help restore essential habitat for the endangered Orangutan through our partnership with B1G1 …..

And I love this closing piece:

The oceans remind us of how connected we are globally and how our actions can be felt globally. At Reef Ball Australia we offset greenhouse emissions and aim to make a positive difference to our customers, our staff, our suppliers, the environment and those less fortunate. Thank you for your support and taking part in making a difference.

And David does it just because he genuinely wants to thank people — he really gets that giving is a ‘no-strings-attached’ thing. He does it humbly.

And look what happened, In David’s own words:

I emailed the certificate to all team members involved in the project. The procurement manager of the UK engineering company managing the whole project (value of project was $29Bn) really liked the concept and as a result it’s triggered him to ask us to be on their database. The significance here is that I hadn't been able to really trigger this interest so far despite the job we did for them being well received and I sort of assumed we already were on their database! This UK company has 13,000 employees and offices in 28 countries so quite a win to get on their books.

But the giving doesn’t stop there. David writes:

As from this week, Sustainable Oceans International has a Charter or Foundation where we allocate 20% of our time free of charge to Worthy Causes. We get to feel good and help reef preservation projects that have limited attention but it can also help us get a foot in the door with overseas projects that are uncertain about what we can do for them and reluctant to commit to a full scoping study. And in just this week alone we've got potential worthy causes in Fiji, Vietnam and Cambodia.

David Lennon wouldn’t tell you this — he’s setting a huge example. Yet to him, it’s just part of what he does.

It’s the epitome of what we call ‘embedding’ the giving so that it becomes an outward expression of who we are as human beings. That’s precisely what B1G1 makes happen — habitually.


David Lennon

David has been a consultant on Reef Ball projects around the world since becoming the authorised Australian Reef Ball contractor in 1997. He holds a degree in Oceanographic Technology from Florida Institute of Technology in the USA and an MSc in Environmental Management from Griffith University in Queensland. He trained under A/Professor Lee Harris, who is recognised as a world leader in submerged breakwater design.

David started his career as a commercial diver, then scuba instructor. He has since worked as a marine consultant on artificial reef and other projects in the USA, the Middle East, South East Asia, the Caribbean, Cyprus and Australia. He has managed large and diverse projects, from a UN funded study of the impact of the first Gulf War on surrounding coral reefs, establishing a fishing resource in a mining area in North Sulawesi to enhancement of estuaries using Reef Balls.

His main interests include promoting 'better design below the waterline' in coastal developments, restoration of impacted reefs and other environments using Reef Balls, and the use of innovative technologies such as underwater webcams to enhance monitoring and understanding of underwater systems.

David has worked with NGOs, government agencies, research institutes and universities, major consultancies and industry and has been on the management committee of a number of environmental and community organisations. He has produced a wide range of publications on environmental topics and is an experienced presenter and trainer.