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Public/social/ethical

By Willow Aliento 22 July 2014 — A sustainable new hub for co-working, creative work and events being developed in Richmond by GIW Environmental Solutions in collaboration with interior architects Tone & Co launched its website this week and invited a community of freelancers, creatives and professionals to become members of the space. Lennox Street Exchange combines an open-plan office, cafe and performance and event space within a pre-existing warehouse, which has had an interior redevelopment... 
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7 July 2014 — The Australian CleanTech Index has outperformed the S&P ASX200 for the 2013-14 financial year, with a gain of 19.6 per cent compared with the ASX200’s 12.3 per cent. Though 2014 has seen a 7.2 per cent decline while the ASX200 has enjoyed a 0.8 per cent gain, for the full year the index outperformed both the ASX200 and ASX Small Ords. The cleantech industry is split into a number of sub-sectors that have environmental and economic benefits. These are solar thermal and photovoltaics,... 
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By Willow Aliento 3 July 2014 — A week-long experiment carried out in Launceston last month has demonstrated a range of ways retail can become more sustainable and better meet people’s needs for engagement and interaction. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 3 July 2014 — A new  initiative launching this month will help retailers overcome the time pressures and business as usual mindset that can form a barrier to sustainable practise, according to the National Retail Association’s retail sustainability project manager Daile Kelleher. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 2 July 2014 — One of many bonuses of the high-level Green Star office for the Australian Taxation Office in the Victorian-NSW border town of Albury was the boost the project gave to the sustainable construction capacity of the area’s building trades. Read More  
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By Tom Swann, Fossil Free ANU 2 July 2014 — Is climate change the biggest challenge facing humanity? ANU vice chancellor Ian Young thinks so. Or at least that’s what he told me recently, when we met to discuss ANU’s fossil fuel investments. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 1 July 2014 — Big banks, fast food operations and up-market fashion retailers are some of the worst environmental performers, according to an ecological footprint analysis of hundreds of retail tenancies carried out by The Footprint Company. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 26 June 2014 — Office technology company Fuji Xerox’s eco-manufacturing plant in Sydney aims to enact the company’s resource stewardship policy that globally sees 97 per cent of products being remanufactured, upcycled or recycled. According to sustainability manager Amanda Keogh, that’s just the start of it’s commitment. Read More  
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25 June 2014 — Good Environmental Choice Australia has released a new standard to address the environmental, health and social issues associated with textiles, including clothing and soft furnishings. Read More  
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By Dr Rocio Bona 24 June 2014 — My journey in the built environment industry as a sustainability professional has taken me to a number of countries to work on different project types, in different sized companies, with different cultures and under different regulatory frameworks. Today, I sit back and take a moment to reflect on what makes a sustainability professional successful. No matter where I have been or what the economic environment has been like, there are three indispensable qualities... 
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By Cameron Jewell 18 June 2014 — The influential Committee for Economic Development of Australia has made a powerful case for Australia to respond to climate change, with risks of inaction including increased extreme weather costs and reduction in access to foreign capital for major projects. Read More  
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By Tina Perinotto 12 June 2014 — Mike Hill and his partner Lorna Pitt have decided to keep the last three units in the groundbreaking Westwyck Eco Village project in Melbourne’s West Brunswick after 15 of apartments in the final stage sold quickly in April and May. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 4 June 2014 — South Australia’s huge clean energy industry, producing clean low-cost wholesale electricity, jobs and more than $5 billion of investment for the state, would be under threat if the   Renewable Energy Target were removed the RET review panel has been told as it held a public hearing in Adelaide on Wednesday. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 4 June 2013 — Toyota’s manufacturing plant in Altona, Victoria is now home to a 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, the largest roof-mounted PV system in Victoria, and the third-largest nationally. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 3 June 2014 — The Federal Government’s Future Fund, which manages commonwealth funds saved towards Australian Public Service Superannuation, has appointed global sustainability heavyweight Joel Posters as its new head of environmental, social and governance risk management. Currently based in The Netherlands, Posters is the managing director of Sustainable Impact, a consulting firm that advises on corporate sustainability, sustainable business, responsible investing, community... 
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  By Blair Palese, 350.org 29 May 2014 — A recent article in the Australian Financial Review suggested that the fossil fuel divestment message is falling on deaf ears in Australia, the backyard of the coal industry, despite significant wins internationally. A survey, commissioned by the Minerals Council of Australia, the peak advocacy body representing mining companies such as BHP, Rio Tinto and Whitehaven Coal, showed that after only one year of campaigning by 350.org and other organisations... 
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By Greg Bourne, ARENA 28 May 2014 — Sustainable Business Australia this week hosted the inaugural Fiona Wain Oration delivered by Australian Renewable Energy Agency chair Greg Bourne. His speech – “Making our own luck: What will it take to build an inclusive, resilient and prosperous Australia?” – challenged the government’s stance on renewables and the clean economy Read More  
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27 May 2014 — Frasers Property and Sekisui House, joint venture partners of the $2 billion Central Park precinct, have teamed up with GoGet to develop a “pod” of 44 car share vehicles, the largest cluster of car share vehicles in Australia. Frasers Property chief executive Guy Pahor, speaking at the facility’s launch on Tuesday morning, said Central Park would be home to 8000 residents on completion, so the car sharing facility could end up the busiest in Australia. “The considerable environmental... 
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By Leon Gettler 27 May 2014 — According to Morgan Stanley, the fossil fuel divestment campaign is the big trend to watch in 2014. “Not since the apartheid era in South Africa have college campuses in the US and elsewhere teemed with the call for divestment. For this generation of students, the moral imperative today is to stop all fossil fuel extraction. Read More  
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15 May 2013 — Insurer Lloyd’s of London has called on insurers to incorporate climate change into their models. In its report, Catastrophe Modelling and Climate Change, the 326-year-old LLoyds – a partially mutualised marketplace where underwriters, individuals and corporations come together to pool and spread risk – said it was important that insurers’ catastrophe modelling tools kept pace with the effects of climate change. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 13 May 2014 — Indonesia has the potential to leapfrog the West in terms of sustainable development, according to Chris Tanner, Brisbane firm Bligh Tanner’s principal engineer – planning and environment. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 8 May 2013 — The Commission of Audit report painted a grim picture of what can possibly be expected from Tuesday’s Federal Budget. The Fifth Estate put an ear to the ground to get a feel for how the commission’s axe-wielding recommendations have been received. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 8 May 2014 — Stanford University has announced it will no longer invest in coal, banning direct investment in around 100 publicly traded companies, and divesting current holdings worth around $18.7 billion. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 1 May 2014 — A new Business of Sustainability website developed by Consult Australia to assist professional services firms navigate the process of going green has been released. Read More  
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15 April 2014 — South African Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for a global consumer-led boycott of companies that contribute to climate change. Writing in The Guardian, the Archbishop said that while nations like the US and Canada continue to contemplate fossil-fuel industry projects such as the Keystone XL Pipeline despite the latest IPCC reports on the urgency of reducing carbon emissions, it is the responsibility of individuals to use the tactics that worked against... 
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By Cameron Jewell 1 April 2014 — Extended interview: The Fifth Estate often hears that sustainability is a naff term, people have green fatigue and business needs to find new language for these concepts. So when we were presented with an email saying green and sustainability had become taboo words with corporates and we needed to move to “blue”, it was met with an extended eye roll. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 10 April 2014 — Just as the original Trojan horse was made of wood, so too is the leverage the Green Building Institute, promoter of the Green Globes rating system, has used to undermine the use of the US Green Building Council’s LEED ratings system by government funded projects in the United States. A major lobbying push by the alternative rating system – which has a board featuring members from chemical companies, lobbyists for the vinyl industry, firms involved with the... 
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By Daniel Nyberg and Christopher Wright 1 April 2014 — From The Conversation: We find ourselves in an era of what we might call creative self-destruction. We’re destroying ourselves – it’s as simple as that. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 1 April 2014 – Through a triple-bottom line approach to carbon neutrality and member-focused business practices, Teachers Mutual Bank has out-ranked many larger organisations in being named in the Ethisphere Institute’s 2014 World’s Most Ethical Companies ranking. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 1 April 2014 — An update to the Australian Securities Exchange’s Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations means companies must now disclose environmental, economic and social sustainability risks, or explain why they have not. Read More  
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