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Public/social/ethical

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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26 March 2014 — Murdoch University has released a study finding it is in the financial interests of villages located on mine sites to install renewable energy generation. While employing behaviour change measures and energy efficiency could reduce a village’s carbon footprint by six per cent, the switch to renewables could cut the high carbon footprint of a mining village dramatically and pay for itself, the study found. Read More  
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24 March 2014 — National energy efficiency program CitySwitch has clocked up its 500th member, with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development joining the legion of businesses working to cut energy costs. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 18 March 2014 — Austral has become the first company to create bricks and pavers certified as carbon neutral under the government’s national Carbon Offset Standard. The bricks are available nationally under the Daniel Robertson brand and are manufactured by Austral at its Longford plant in Tasmania. Read More  
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By Maria Atkinson, Maria Atkinson Consultancy 13 March 2014 – “There’s a lot of talk about green buildings but they are still a relatively new concept in Australia and at the moment a lot of people in the industry don’t know how to build green or who to turn to for advice.” Hard to believe I said that just over 10 years ago. It was October 2003 and, as the founding chief executive officer of the Green Building Council of Australia, I was looking forward to Australia’s first green building... 
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By Willow Aliento 11 March 2014 — Net Balance is set to expand its sustainable infrastructure capabilities with the imminent appointment of a new Infrastructure Sustainability Consultant to develop and coordinate a new training program specifically for the infrastructure and construction sectors. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 10 March 2014 — A new partnership between Investec, the South Australian Government and not-for-profit housing provider Community Housing Limited will use an innovative rent-then-buy model to deliver affordable housing for workers including teachers, nurses, police officers and hospitality staff. The project in the inner-Adelaide suburb of Bowden will comprise 80 apartments, with at least 40 per cent of the dwellings earmarked for an affordable ownership program and the balance... 
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By Cameron Jewell 5 March 2014 — Gender diversity lowers risk and improves organisational performance, according to an Ernst & Young report that looks at the issue from the perspective of male business leaders. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 26 February 2014 — Lend Lease has pulled out of its involvement in the coal port expansion at Abbot Point on the Great Barrier Reef. The decision follows a sustained campaign by environmental groups, which included an open letter to Lend Lease warning of the “reputational risk” of engaging with the project. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 25 February 2014 — UPDATED 28 February 2014: Australia’s airports clearly demonstrate that what constitutes “sustainability” is open to a wide variety of interpretations, which therefore results in dramatically different outcomes in terms of actual green measures. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 25 February 2014 — Some of Australia’s major airports are vying for sustainability with their design, construction and energy-efficiency initiatives. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 5 February 2014 — Some of Australia’s property companies are gaining top global accolades for their sustainability performance but according to a damning new report the commercial property sector as a whole is failing to meet even basic sustainability benchmarks. Read More  
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By Willow Aliento 5 February 2014 — Research published by CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) and Accenture shows that many companies are recognising the benefits from investing in sustainability measures and engaging with their supply chain, however, uncertainty around the regulatory framework is slowing down the rate of investment in emissions reduction. Read More  
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30 January 2014 — Following the success of solar energy installations on its United States stores, furnishings retailer IKEA will soon announce a solar energy program for Australia, according to a company spokesperson. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 23 January 2014 — Westpac has been named the most sustainable company in the world in the 2014 Global 100 Index, a ranking of the top sustainable companies announced today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Concerns have been raised, however, that the organisation continues to lend to coal and gas projects. Read More  
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15 January 2014:  The National Association of Women in Construction has launched a new Australia-wide NAWIC International Women’s Day Scholarship. The scholarship, valued at $14,000, provides funding for a research paper that challenges existing industry thinking and outlines practical recommendations to enhance the Australian property and construction industry.  
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By Tina Perinotto 19 December 2013 — Natalie Isaacs isn’t being figurative when she says her 1 Million Women campaign is correctly named and targeted. If we are going to change behaviour in sufficient quantities to change the world and save our climate, that’s at least how many women will need to be mobilised. Read More  
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By Leon Gettler 12 December 2013 — Green MashUP: Will your super fund leave you burning? Will your returns wipe out your investment like a home washed away in a super storm? How vulnerable are your retirement plans to climate change? Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 12 December 2013 — The investment industry is capable of leading the transition to a low carbon world, but the majority of the world’s players are acting contrary to the interests of those whose money they represent Read More  
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By Sarah-Jane Sherwood, Communicate Blue “The financial crisis has lifted the veil on capitalism, exposing its inherent frailties, but there is cause for hope,” says Mike Townsend of Earthshine, UK and Brad Zarnett of Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series, Canada. Read More  
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9 December 2013 — The Australian Institute of Architects’ National Council has officially approved the organisation’s first gender equity policy. Read More  
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By Cameron Jewell 5 December 2013: Property is leading the corporate sector, with Commonwealth Property Office Fund and Charter Hall having strong, long term plans to reduce carbon emissions, according to the latest CDP climate change report on Australia and New Zealand. And the City of Sydney has played a large role, with both leaders members of the  Better Buildings Partnership, which the City manages. Read More  
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5 December 2013 — Teachers Mutual Bank has been recognised as a global leader in community investment at London Benchmarking Group’s Australia & New Zealand 2013 Index. The LBG is an internationally recognised standard for measuring and evaluating a corporation’s community investment. Read More  
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26 November 2013 — Sustainability firm Net Balance has released Australia’s first research into “creating shared value” at a forum in Melbourne today. Read More  
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14 November 2013 — Westpac’s 2013 annual review and sustainability report has stated the company has already invested $3.6 billion of $6 billion earmarked for cleantech projects by 2017, showcasing the role big business can play in assisting a sector facing increasing government hostility. Read More  
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