On what we don’t want for Christmas (a nonsense government inquiry)

News from the front desk, Issue 509: Just in case you’ve been too busy enjoying end-of-year drinks with your colleagues – as you well should be – news this week included climate sceptic extraordinaire Nationals MP George Christensen picked to lead a parliamentary probe into the legality of insurers and lenders “blacklisting” fossil fuel projects, […]

On the Declare movement and moving on

News from the front desk, Issue 508: You just know when a piece of news is going to have a big impact. Last week it was that two global giants of the architectural world had resigned from Architects Declare in the UK. The reason? That both, Foster + Partners and Zaha Hadid Architects, work on […]

On the rise of net zero pledges that aren’t quite good enough

News from the front desk, Issue 507: So, Australia is on an economic tear so that means there is nothing stopping sustainability, right? Out of our recent Building Circularity came some gems of insights into the urgent tasks to hand to reduce the carbon in our structures. And the immense ambition and possibilities opening up to […]

On fifty shades of property tax

News from the front desk: The NSW government wants to do with land tax and stamp duty what it’s signalled it’s doing with energy and climate policy: something radical, innovative and what advocates have urged for decades.

On the real issues in the Queensland election

On the face of it the handling of the pandemic and who might be best to lead the Sunshine State out of the doom and gloom it’s caused is dominating the mainstream coverage of the Queensland election this weekend. But on closer inspection, environmental issues are front and centre in some of the seats that […]

On the green avalanche continues

News from the front desk: We called someone in NZ this week to canvass a new project on embodied carbon we’re running. Even though we’ve barely started to digest the massive 127 ebook we just published on net zero and operational energy.

On the rising tide of good ideas heading for the cities

If you caught the ABC’s Four Corners episode on Monday night about the dire state of our economy, you’d have seen the eerie shots of near-empty streets that were once the busiest in the country. It’s no surprise that Melbourne’s CBD is still deserted but new data from the Property Council of Australia shows that […]

There has never been a more vital time to be a B Corp

No individual person, country or organisation can solve the myriad of challenges facing societies. Collaboration is critical – and businesses can, and should, be at the forefront, using their business to positively impact their stakeholders and the environment. There is a global community of companies that believe in the power of business to help solve […]

Job news: Mirvac, Warren & Mahoney, 3XN & megatrends now

It’s not an easy time to be growing a business but industries and companies that keep abreast of major trends such as digitalisation are likely to fare better in the recovery, according to business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. The firm has identified a range of trends impacting the business world, including a rising demand for […]

On why the V shaped recovery in sustainability is coming fast

News from the Front Desk, Issue 498: John Hewson former Liberal leader is starting to change his tune on climate change: he’s becoming more optimistic. Christiana Figueres, the global climate powerhouse of negotiation, agrees. And so does business. South Pole, a global company that offsets carbon for corporates and consults on sustainability and climate to […]

Up Expletive Hill

Mick Daley makes no apologies for joining the Bob Brown Convoy to northern Queensland to stop the Adani coal mine ahead of the last federal election. It was entirely in the same spirit as the Freedom Rides and the Civil Rights movements, he says. There are also precedents for what he did next.

On what we’re doing, and what’s next

News from the Front Desk, Issue 496:When the NSW planning minister periodically taps an agency chief on the shoulder to share what the new priorities for their work should be, it’s something to be responded to, with alacrity. For Greater Sydney Commission boss Geoffrey Roberts, that tap came recently in the wake of the Coronavirus […]

Engineers Australia’s chief engineer on elevating engineers to “wicked problem” solvers

Engineers are devilishly good problem-solvers, according to Engineers Australia’s first chief engineer, Jane MacMaster. They are traditionally directed at technical problems, but Macmaster says an engineer’s knack for “asking the right questions” can help navigate Australia’s complex “wicked problems”, such as the Covid recovery and climate change. MacMaster is passionate about elevating the profile and […]

On why personal responsibility is just part of the picture

News from the Front Desk, Issue 493: Sometimes urging people to take personal responsibility is a fraudulent strategy for positive change. A con that says it’s all our own fault if the planet blows up. We need to take shorter showers, recycle, don’t buy plastics, travel less. If we’re fat or sick or work in […]

On what we learnt at Flick the Switch – that we want more net zero

News from the front desk, issue 492: Here at The Fifth Estate our heads are spinning after what was an action packed five hours at our Flick the Switch event yesterday about the transition to all electric, net zero buildings and cities. The subject matter certainly struck a chord – we had record numbers in […]