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16 April 2014 — Here is a business opportunity for Australian companies skilled in cleaning up contaminated land. Chinadialogue has reported that China lacks the experience to clean up its polluted soil. Gao Shengda, secretary of the China Environmental Remediation Association, told Chinadialogue that experience in soil remediation was a limiting factor in assessing and treating soil, and Chinese companies were only just getting started. Mr Shengda told Chinadialogue: “It takes experience for... 
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16 April 2014 — Renewable energy demonstration projects and carbon capture schemes across Europe will benefit from more than two billion euros raised by sales of 300 million emission allowances by the European Investment Bank. The bank has successfully completed sales under the NER300 programme, one of the largest funding programmes for carbon capture and storage demonstration projects and renewable energy technologies, and a total of EUR 548 million has been raised during the second phase of sales. “The... 
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15 April 2014 — A new book on the practical legal implications of wild law is set to be launched in Brisbane. Wild law was coined by author and environmental law professional Cormac Cullinan to refer to human laws consistent with Earth jurisprudence, an emerging philosophy of law that seeks to provide the foundation for a radical shift in law and governance from an exclusive focus on human beings to recognition of human interconnectedness with the comprehensive Earth community. A wild law is a... 
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15 April 2014 — Standards Australia has released nine standards relating to electric vehicles for public comment. The standards cover matters relating to vocabulary, occupant safety and recharging infrastructure, and are based on standards from the International Electrotechnical Commission and International Organisation for Standardization. Standards Australia initiated a consultation process with the electric vehicle industry in 2011. Adrian O’Connell, general manager operations for Standards... 
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10 April 2014 — Planning and good governance will be vital to managing climate change adaptation responses, the Planning Institute of Australia has said in response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recently released Working Group II report. See our article IPCC: no person untouched by climate change While urban and regional planning were essential to managing climate change, so too was enhanced coordination of disaster mitigation and management across government to boost resilience... 
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9 April 2014 — ClimateWorks is looking for a commercial building to use as a case study regarding the business case for energy efficiency. The organisation would like to hear from a building owner or manager who is keen to develop a business case case study. The building would be provided with a free Level 2 audit conducted by an experienced consultant to identify opportunities for cost savings. The case study will include a range of information designed to illustrate the business case for undertaking... 
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9 April 2014 — The LEED certification tool has reached three billion square feet (280 million square metres) of certified space globally, the US Green Building Council has announced. “This milestone is the result of leaders across our industry making the business and environmental case for healthy, sustainable buildings,” said president, chief executive and founding chair of the USGBC Rick Fedrizzi. A recent report by McGraw-Hill estimated that green construction would comprise half of all... 
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8 April 2014 — The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark has begun its sustainability assessment of property companies and funds for 2014. GRESB assesses the environmental, social and governance performance of real estate portfolios, with the objective of providing investors and managers with information to accurately monitor and manage sustainability performance. In 2013, 550 property companies and funds, managing US$1.6 trillion, participated in the GRESB survey. Since inception in 2009,... 
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1 April 2014 – The Australian Construction Industry Forum will launch a new business development portal,  for companies in the building industry. The Customised Forecast Dashboard will use data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Cordell Information and expert economic reports to provide insight into local prospective market opportunities, labour requirements, construction costs and the outlook for supply and demand across all sectors over the next ten years. The dashboard, which will be... 
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26 March 2014 — The Australian Technology Association has partnered with Timor Adventures to offer a responsible tourism holiday where your money will help to provide solar power installations in community facilities and remote villages. The tours were first offered in 2013 and went so well they are being offered again this year. On a Light Up Timor Leste tour donations are used to purchase solar systems. On the tour you will get to know the community where the systems will be installed, and you’ll... 
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By Willow Aliento 26 March 2014 — A growing number of countries including China are working out how to measure and price natural capital, a report from not-for-profit organisation Business for Social Responsibility shows, though Australia is lagging behind. Global Public Sector Trends in Ecosystem Services 2009-2013 tracks the public sector’s uptake of the ecosystem services approach around the world. In China, a state level eco-compensation program resulted in Henan Province transferring US$648,824... 
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18 March 2014 — Rapid transit projects are being funded and developed without proper assessment according to a report released by the Bus Industry Confederation of Australia. Rapid Transit: Investing in Australia’s Future outlines an approach for assessing light rail and bus rapid transit projects. “The application of a rigorous assessment framework is something we believe in for all types of infrastructure, but what makes this report unique is an approach to assessing rapid transit projects... 
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12 March 2014 — Good Environmental Choice Australia is seeking feedback from developers, manufacturers and infrastructure project teams on which additional standards it should develop to help projects earn points under the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s rating scheme. The IS scheme awards ratings to infrastructure projects to demonstrate sustainability performance, and aims to reward procurement and use of major materials that have environmental labels or are from sustainable... 
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6 March 2014 — Sustainable development is becoming the “new normal” for retail and hospitality in the United States, a recently released McGraw Hill Construction SmartMarket report states. Some of the key points from the Green Retail and Hospitality report include: In 2013, 52 per cent of owners in the retail and restaurant sectors expected that more than 50 per cent of their new projects will be green construction. All hotel owners surveyed in 2013 were undertaking a proportion of green building... 
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4 March 2014 — The largest distribution centre in the southern hemisphere, Sydney Markets Limited, has won the Best Renewable Resources: Recycling award at the Global Sustainability Leadership Conference and Awards held in Mumbai, India. The markets were selected from over 2500 international entries. Some of the strategies that made them stand out include a recycling program that has reduced the markets’ waste disposal costs by over $7 million since 2005. The markets generate 20,000 tonnes of... 
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27 February 2014 — Registrations for the International Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction are now open. The awards are open to projects in architecture, building and civil engineering, landscape and urban design, materials, products and construction technologies. It is a two-stage competition, with the first stage comprising a regional competition in each of the five world regions: Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa Middle East and the Asia Pacific.  The 15 projects that receive... 
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26 February 2014 — Standards Australia has released a draft standard (AS 1546.4) for onsite domestic greywater recycling systems for public comment, as the number of people using recycled domestic greywater for watering gardens and other non-potable uses grows. The standard aims to address the concerns health authorities and environmental protection authorities have in terms of disease risks and pollutant loads, and also creates a set of guidelines that offer consumers protection in terms of quality... 
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26 February 2014 — Consumer organisation CHOICE has joined forces with ClimateWorks Australia to urge the Federal Government to introduce a best practice light vehicle CO2 emissions standard, bringing Australia into alignment with policy in Europe and America. ClimateWorks executive director Anna Skarbek said that Australia currently had no minimum standard for fuel efficiency [and therefore no standard for the resulting CO2 emissions]. “Our analysis [in conjunction with transport analysts Rare... 
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25 February 2014 — A creative director is being sort for Australia’s first festival celebrating the contributions of landscape architects to the natural and built environments. The Festival of Landscape Architecture will take place in Brisbane from 16–18 October 2014, and is designed to engage the profession, students, universities, government and the public by exploring and celebrating the role and benefits of landscape architecture. The festival will feature a range of events including a... 
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20 February 2014 — Research by carbon advisory firm RepuTex has found that Direct Action could be more effective at reducing domestic carbon emissions than the carbon tax. The key, however, is designing it appropriately. According to RepuTex, the government’s Emission Reduction Fund is likely to result in domestic abatement of 123 million tonnes of CO2-e by 2020. This could increase to 243Mt if the ERF were to be supported by “absolute” emissions baselines, and if it were made obligatory... 
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19 February 2014 — The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme will have zero impact on household power bills, according to an analysis released this week by the REC Agents Association, an industry body representing companies that trade in renewable energy certificates. The analysis was released as speculation grows that the federal government intends to cut or wind back the Renewable Energy Target. This week the government appointed climate sceptic Dick Warburton to head the RET review, in a sign... 
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11 February 2014 — The fifth edition of Your Home, a consumer guide and technical manual for creating sustainable homes, has been released by the Department of Industry. Your Home contains practical, detailed information on environmentally sustainable design and building to homeowners and the building industry, with the latest edition incorporating the newest research on sustainable design and technology. Read More  
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11 February 2014 — A unique nationwide GreenPower and carbon offsets scheme that promises consumers lower tariffs for electricity from renewable sources was officially launched at Woodend in Victoria by Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters this week. The Community Climate Chest, also known as C3, will provide a mechanism for customers to save up to 50 per cent on current GreenPower tariffs, which are set at higher rates than standard coal-generated power by all major power retailers. C3 is a joint initiative... 
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10 February 2014 — The federal government is set to begin an Inquiry on the “role of public transport in delivering productivity outcomes”. There will be hearings in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth next week, and, according to a Greens spokeswoman, the Secretariat is still happy to receive submissions for the next few days, and submissions can be as little as a one page covering letter with a recent report, body of work or article attached. For those in Western Australia, it was a big opportunity... 
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10 February 2014 — Global certification and assurance company Bureau Veritas has been recognised as one of the top certification bodies for sustainability in the Green Quadrant Sustainability Assurance Global 2013 report by analyst firm Verdantix. The study was based on assessing the preferences of 15 key decision makers from heavyweight firms across seven countries, with the assurance providers assessed across 63 criteria. Other firms that rated highly included accountancy firms KPMG and Deloitte. In... 
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10 February 2014 — Relocation company Two Men and a Truck has launched a corporate social responsibility program designed to embrace environmental and community initiatives within the business and wider community. Two Men and a Truck founder Richard Kuipers said CSR had become increasingly important over the 20 years the company had been around, and that his company’s “Moving Together” program channelled the business’s environmental and social activities into a strategic, workable model. “There... 
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5 February 2014 — It’s a bit of a good news-bad news week in terms of the pursuit of fossil fuels in fragile areas, with Shell announcing the scrapping of their 2014 Arctic drilling plans following a US court ruling, while our own Barrier Reef has had its wellbeing gambled for the lure of increased coal exports. The World Heritage-listed reef and marine park, already suffering coral bleaching and die-back from ocean warming, is under further threat from dredging works required for the expansion... 
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23 January 2014 – Brief: The United Nations Global Compact and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors will jointly develop a best practice toolkit for the real estate and construction sector in a move to improve responsible business practices. “The collaboration marks the UN Global Compact’s first initiative to address corporate sustainability in a specific sector following the recent launch of its Post-2015 Business Engagement Architecture,” a joint media statement by the... 
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22 January 2014 — A contract to supply a hybrid grid energy storage system to SP AusNet for its electricity distribution network in Victoria has been won by ABB. The system has the potential to manage peak demands like those recently seen in southern Australia. The grid energy storage and diesel generation system features a one megawatt-1MWh battery energy storage as well as 1MW diesel generator power, and will function as a pilot plant for potential future grid-integrated generation and storage... 
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20 January 2014 — Good Environmental Choice Australia cleaning and paint products have been approved by the Green Building Council of Australia, meaning they can now contribute towards achieving Green Star credits. Products certified under GECA’s Cleaning Products standard can contribute to achieving credit points to projects being certified under the GBCA’s new Green Star Performance tool. Products certified under GECA’s Paints and Coatings standard: contribute to achieving credit points... 
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