Aussie miners named and shamed for practices in Africa

Australian mining companies operating in Africa have been named and shamed for human rights abuses, environmental damage and unreported workplace deaths and injuries, according to a research project by the US-based Centre for Public Integrity. The 18-month Fatal Extraction study by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in collaboration with reporters, communities and human rights […]

Tributes for Phillip Toyne, the quiet giant of environmental leadership

Tributes are pouring in for former ACF director Phillip Toyne, hailed as an inspirational leader in the environment movement, a champion of land rights and an unassuming but highly effective political strategist who could unite opposing forces. Mr Toyne died on Saturday, aged 67, after a long illness from cancer. He was ACF executive director […]

Consumers: We're mad as hell and we want our solar

Public anger at energy retailers combined with the hype around Tesla’s new battery is transforming mainstream opinions about going “off grid”. No longer is leaving the grid just for the hard-nosed greenies. Since Elon Musk’s game-changing big reveal last month Australian solar companies have noticed increased interest in solar panels with people asking how they […]

Consumers: We’re mad as hell and we want our solar

Public anger at energy retailers combined with the hype around Tesla’s new battery is transforming mainstream opinions about going “off grid”. No longer is leaving the grid just for the hard-nosed greenies. Since Elon Musk’s game-changing big reveal last month Australian solar companies have noticed increased interest in solar panels with people asking how they […]

NZ: Christchurch – time to remember city making is an iterative process

It’s been over four years and the rest of the world seems to have moved on. The near-complete destruction of Christchurch’s city centre in 2011 was a hot topic in the months following the 2011 earthquakes but the newsworthiness of these events has worn off as reconstruction plans and efforts have started. It’s almost like […]

Analytics and Big Data on a roll in efficient buildings

There are myriad challenges facing the buildings sector in Australia and across the globe. Energy prices are rising, assets are ageing, budgets are shrinking, technology choices are increasing and the pressure to be sustainable and green is higher than ever. To compete in this rapidly changing and competitive environment, organisations need better performance outcomes. But […]

Toorak steps into sustainable apartments (quietly)

A luxury residential apartment project in Melbourne’s upmarket suburb of Toorak has taken steps towards  sustainability, mostly without the buyers even realising it. Marketing for One Irving Road, developed by Jack Gringlas’s Jadig Group, includes an emissions-free electric BMW i3 for the first five buyers. Asking prices range from $1.55 million to $4.5 million, and […]

News from the front desk: Issue No 243

On what Lang Walker knows about green bonds (and others are picking up) This is interesting. Two of the five buildings in the $600 million ANZ climate bonds issuance last week turn out to be new developments That’s Walker Corporation’s Tower 4 D in Collins Square in Melbourne, due for completion mid next year and […]

Medibank adds health to green outcomes at its new Melbourne HQ

We recently featured a story on WELL ratings for buildings, the latest rating tool on the block, pushing sustainability ever outwards past the regular boundaries. One of the buildings that aspires to similar outcomes is the Medibank offices in Melbourne, developed by CBUS and designed by HASSELL. In the health insurer’s new Melbourne offices, among […]

QLD planning under Labor: we’re waiting and looking for difference. Yes? No?

A Queensland government paper on planning reform leaves big environmental questions waiting to be answered, says the Environment Defenders Office. EDO chief executive Jo Bragg said directions paper Better Planning for Queensland released on Monday did not indicate a clear commitment to environmental protection. Ms Bragg’s reaction to the paper was different to the Property […]

Special report: Carbon farming and the ERF

The failure of the Emissions Reduction Fund continues with reports this week of pre-existing projects reaping generous government hand-outs achieving little additional carbon abatement and nowhere near the government’s stated figures. This includes gas landfill projects already operating. Even proponents of useful projects with co-benefits – such as those that involve avoided clearing, regenerating bushland, […]

NZ: Michelle Johansson's new business takes wings on the green uplift

New Zealand architect Michelle Johansson recently departed her role as associate at JASMAX to set up her own consultancy, Johansson Group. The business is focused on raising standards in NZ’s design, construction and materials supply sectors. The new company will offer services such as materials tracking sheets for Living Building Challenge projects, assisting with LBC […]

NZ: Michelle Johansson’s new business takes wings on the green uplift

New Zealand architect Michelle Johansson recently departed her role as associate at JASMAX to set up her own consultancy, Johansson Group. The business is focused on raising standards in NZ’s design, construction and materials supply sectors. The new company will offer services such as materials tracking sheets for Living Building Challenge projects, assisting with LBC […]

New building technology for humans and buildings

Honeywell has launched a new building technology platform that aims to improve operational efficiency across both the human resources and building systems aspects through integrating data and enabling precise management of multiple systems via a touchscreen interface. The Honeywell Command Wall features map-based visualisation and navigation, along with integrated workflows and system-wide integration. It also […]

Green Square lot fast tracked and for sale

BRIEF: UrbanGrowth NSW has offered for sale a “superlot” of land at the Green Square Town Centre development at least five years ahead of schedule in order to create a “sense of place” for the huge urban regeneration project. UrbanGrowth NSW chief executive, David Pitchford said the 1.35 hectare site would help create a heart […]

So how much of our money are we handing over to gas explorers?

BRIEF: NSW Greens have called for the state government to adopt a policy that would end compensation payments for cancellation of fossil fuel exploration permits, after it was revealed money was paid to Pangaea Resources for the cancellation of two permits covering large parts of the Hunter, Northern and North Western NSW. Ironically, Pangaea has […]

George Marshall and six ways to stop climate inertia

On the basis of his very serious contention that “life is a focus group”, full of continuous conversation about what matters and what doesn’t, George Marshall’s talk in Sydney last week commenced with a video of a series of vox pops he undertook in the streets of Dublin in response to the question: what do […]

News from the front desk: Issue No 228

On the dangers of feisty electorates, development, and one-term governments Yes it’s election season in NSW. And yes the idea of first term governments losing office is no longer new and might well be the way of the future if “Big Brother” politics – or democracy writ real – continues to roar up the charts. […]

Spotless moves to expand its empire with AE Smith buy

Diversified facilities management company Spotless Group has taken steps into the mechanical services and energy efficiency technology sector with this month’s signing of a conditional acquisition of AE Smith. The transaction is expected to be finalised at the end of this month. “I am excited by the opportunity to further strengthen our capabilities by providing […]

CBD program amendments tabled in Parliament

Amendments to the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Amendment Bill 2014 were tabled in Parliament last week as part of a package of amendments to the original BEED legislation – Act, Regulations and Determinations. A statement from the federal government said CBD amendments had been generated “in response to requests from industry stakeholders since the inception […]