Hunter region – moving from “coal country” to clean energy

Almost all councils in the Hunter region – one of NSW’s largest coal-producing areas – have now made the commitment to move away from coal and gas and towards a cleaner future powered by renewables. Lake Macquarie City, Port Stephens and Cessnock City have today become the latest members of the Cities Power Partnership (CPP), […]

Brad Draper: building Aboriginal social housing with long term sustainability in mind, and practice

With his start up building company Aboriginal Sustainable Homes, Brad Draper, a Wiradjuri leader, legendary former rugby league player now businessman and racehorse trainer, has built a duplex that’s slashed maintenance costs, keeps temperatures stable and now he’s got a contract to do another 60. Time for a cash injection to scale up. INDIGENOUS BUSINESS […]

Coles joins ALDI with bold renewables commitments – will Woolworths follow suit?

Both Coles and Aldi now have ambitious clean energy commitments. Will Woolworths follow suit? Coles has committed to sourcing over 90 per cent of its energy requirements from clean energy sources, hot on the tail of ALDI’s commitment a month earlier to purchase 100 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2021. Through […]

Consulting giants targeting net zero but is it enough?

On Tuesday, KPMG Australia’s head of oil & gas Jonathon Peacock sent out strong note of support for the government’s gas plans announced that day, despite widespread criticism on environmental and economic grounds. So how is the rest of the company thinking on climate change? And what about the other giants of consulting that make […]

Cruising down the road to Donald Horne’s Lucky Country

OPINION:  For near on 30 years we have cruised down the road of economic growth feasting on the fruits of the “lucky country”.  Sure, there were a few speed bumps along the way, a few wrong turns, and more than a few prime ministers, but it was mostly smooth sailing.  Hit in the face by […]

Michael Hromek on how to consider Indigenous thinking in design

Yuin man Michael Hromek says he’s got his dream job. He works as the technical executive of Indigenous design at WSP, a multinational engineering and design firm that specialises in infrastructure, buildings, and sustainability, and says it’s been steadily working towards a vision that includes Aboriginal design in all its work. Hromek says the company’s […]

After Juukan Gorge – can anyone ever believe an ESG rating again?

What do companies do once they’ve been evaluated on their environmental, social and governance (known as ESG) performance? It’s a good question when you think about Rio Tinto following its out-of-the-league act of global vandalism in destroying a 46,000 year old sacred site of major significance in human history just to get to the ore […]

Tim Williams: we need to fight for the cities

Many things are currently as clear as mud. Is it safe to be old now and leave one’s house or not? Should my child’s teacher be compelled to return to school to do their job? Is this Covid thing the worst thing since a rat got off a boat in London and spread the Black […]

The clash between business and sacred sites is far from over

Rio Tinto’s destruction of a 46,000 year old, registered Aboriginal heritage site, Juukan Gorge in May this year, has exposed the weakness of the Western Australian Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (Act).  But Aboriginal representatives say a newly drafted Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2020 probably won’t change anything; they’re not hopeful that Aboriginal heritage sites in […]

Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft under the greenwash spotlight

When it comes to sustainability, it’s hard to tell who is going green and who is just green washing. It’s easy for companies to talk a big game about sustainability. Some have even taken some major strides to change how their businesses operate. But just how green are these companies actually going? How green is […]

Unlocking the big barriers to an “efficiency first” approach

In Europe the top barriers to implementing the decision-making principle of “efficiency first” in energy system planning and policymaking turn out to be lack of political will, lack of expertise and awareness, professional cultures, die-hard personal habits, and overarching regulatory structure.

Flow Systems is back in action and growing fast

Flow Systems has recruited around 10 people in the last six months and has plans to hire around another 10 in the coming months to join the team of 80 to 90 people. The recruitment drive is to help the company cope with an influx of work providing embedded energy systems, mainly in Queensland but […]

How sustainable is our shiny new normal?

The answer is, not very, if it’s anything like the old one The COVID-19 pandemic is like an X-ray into all the broken parts of our economy. We know what they are and have a grand opportunity to fix them, but it will take some visionary leadership, some exceptional courage, and an ample measure of […]

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 […]

To solve our problems, we should be free of ideologies, right?

A citizen’s jury would capture “a balance of gender, age group, ethnicity, and income” The Covid crisis has evolved into a social-distancing crisis. And this supervirulent member of the Coronaviridae family, couldn’t ask for a more perfect host. We humans are social creatures — we love each other’s company. Viruses have existed for billions of years — […]

What we’re reading in Australia and overseas

BNP Paribas does good French bank BNP Paribas SA released A$140 million in green bonds as a reward to 100 companies on the Australian Climate Transition Index. All of these eight year bonds pay a fixed coupon with a potential return based on performance of the index, comprised of 300 Australian companies expected to thrive […]

Cbus Property aims for the top with its latest sustainability report

Cbus Property this week released its sustainability report outlining significant in-roads over the past 12 months and targets to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Since updating its commitment to sustainability in 2018, the company has achieved the highest-rated National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) energy portfolio in Australia. The Global Real Estate Sustainability […]

What just happened? How we need to be investing in a responsible recovery

As we suspended business as usual during the pandemic what’s impossible to ignore is that “responsible investment strategies, that is, those that more actively factor in social and environmental risks in their decisions, outperformed the broader market during this downturn, and not for the first time. “ Initial Reaction: For investment teams responsible for the […]

Green Wallet: A simple star rating to prove your spending is green

Everything we buy has a price tag on the environment. From your morning coffee to the new shoes bought for work, everything we purchase has a carbon footprint. For Tom Ferrier, founder of Green Wallet, a new way to make sustainable purchases, consumerism is at the root of climate change. In 2018, the United Nations […]