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Jon Dee is an award-winning social entrepreneur, broadcaster and campaigner.
On Sky News Business channel from July 2015 to November 2017, Jon researched, wrote and presented 115 episodes of ‘Smart Money’ - a live weekly TV program where he showed businesses how to become more innovative, efficient and sustainable.
Companies that Jon interviewed on his programme included Toyota, McDonald’s, KPMG, SABMiller, Coca-Cola, Westpac, PwC, LEGO, Qantas, BT, Tesla, Accenture, IKEA, M&S, News Corp, The Body Shop, Fujitsu, KFC, Mirvac, Marriott Hotels, Mars, Jaguar Land Rover, Sydney Opera House, Coles, Lion, Unilever and many others.
In total, he wrote and presented over 700 different business sustainability news stories and interviews.
Jon is currently the Energy Transition Leader at Arup Australia, where he works on renewable energy, pumped-hydro, battery storage, sustainability and hydrogen-related projects. In his push to increase corporate adoption of renewable energy, Jon is also the Coordinator for RE100 Australia, heading up the initiative in Australia.
Within Australia and overseas, Jon gives keynote speeches, MC’s events and consults to major companies on efficiency, sustainability and change management.
His guidebooks ‘Sustainable Growth’, ‘EnergyCut’ and ‘EnergySmart’ have shifted over 140,000 copies. Thanks to Government funding, his 2017 ‘EnergySmart’ book can be downloaded for free from EnergySmartSaver.com.au.
Creating Social and Environmental Change
As a philanthropist, Jon Dee co-founded Planet Ark with Pat Cash in 1991 and ran the organisation for its first 15 years. As Managing Director he initiated and oversaw the organisation’s highly successful initiatives and prime time TV advertising campaigns.
Jon has produced and directed over 300 environmentally focused TV adverts and videos featuring Tom Cruise, Kylie Minogue, Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman, Bob Geldof,
Sir Richard Branson, Greta Scacchi, Pierce Brosnan, Jeff Goldblum and many others.
Jon is the Global Director of One Tree Per Child which he founded with
Ambassadors, Supporters and Patrons of the initiative include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lord Stern, Lord Hastings, Costa Georgiadis, Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from River Cottage. Jon and Olivia launched it in Australia with help from Malcolm Turnbull, Greg Hunt and News Corp.
Jon and Olivia also founded Australia’s highly successful National Tree Day and fronted the event for the community planting of its first 10 million trees.
Jon is also the Managing Director of The DoSomething Foundation, a registered charity that he co-founded in 2007 with Pat Cash and Tina Jackson. The organisation seeks to bring about positive social and environmental change.
As a campaigner he founded National Recycling Week, National Leftovers Day and DoSomething Day. Over 60 News Corp newspapers support the DoSomething Day initiative to promote volunteering in the community.
In 2012 Jon founded National Op Shop Week, which he runs with Salvos Stores, Vinnies and The Red Cross. He also initiated the highly successful RecyclingNearYou.com.au, DoSomethingNearYou.com.au and FoodWise.com.au websites.
In 1989, Jon founded Rock Aid Armenia for which he recruited the support of leading rock bands such as Pink Floyd, Queen, Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and many more. He had a top 40 UK hit with his all-star version of ‘Smoke on the Water’ and his ‘Earthquake Album’ was the first UK charity album to go ‘gold’, selling 100,000 copies in 10 days. Together with Ara Tadevosyan, Jon initiated the building of a brand new music school in the earthquake zone. Opened in 2013, it now teaches 220 children a year.
Jon was a member of the environment committee for the Sydney 2000 bid which oversaw the development of the Environmental Guidelines for the 2000 Games. In 1994 he also recruited Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman to front the ‘Green Games’ video. Jon’s video of Tom and Nicole got more international PR than any other part of the Sydney 2000 bid.
In 2005, Jon initiated the Ban The Bulb campaign that led to Australia phasing out of incandescent globes. This move has saved Australians billions of dollars in energy bills.
In 2010-11 Jon initiated and ran the successful campaign to bring about a voluntary industry ban on phosphates in household laundry detergents. As a result, the 2 billion laundry washes carried out in Australia every year are now phosphate-free.
Jon has also played a key role in the national campaign to ban plastic bags. Jon and Ben Kearney co-organised Australia’s first plastic bag ban in Coles Bay Tasmania. Jon then worked with the South Australian and Tasmanian governments in bringing about their plastic bag bans. In 2016, then Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt publicly acknowledged Jon’s major role in the phaseout of plastic bags.
In 2014, Jon launched a campaign to phase out plastic microbeads in personal care products. Jon managed to get key companies to agree to phase out their use. This campaign led to the nationally agreed phase out plan for plastic microbeads. As of July 2018, personal care products in Australia no longer contain polluting plastic microbeads.
Jon was made Australian of the Year 2010 (NSW). In 2009, the President of Armenia awarded Jon ‘The Order Of Honor’ for his work in the earthquake zone. The medal is Armenia’s highest honour and Jon received permission from the Queen to accept it.