Archive for February 2011

Carbon emissions and energy prices   Leave a comment

Well, the Gillard government has put a carbon price back on the federal agenda. According to the latest announcement Australia will set a carbon price from July 1, 2012, as an interim measure until a full emissions trading scheme can be introduced 3-5 years later. However, no decision has yet been made on what the price would be, or how much industry and households would be compensated for the new costs.

This economic reform has the backing of key Green and independent MPs in the lower house of Parliament but could still face obstacles in the upper house where earlier schemes were defeated. Meanwhile, Coalition leader Tony Abbott has signalled his intention to oppose the carbon tax plan.

Pricing carbon will obviously lead to rising energy prices as more than 80% of Australia’s electricity is generated by coal-fired power plants. A recent Australian Industry Group report released on 21st February, Energy shock: confronting higher prices, suggests that even without a carbon price, Australian businesses need to prepare for escalating electricity and gas prices over the next decade. Assessing trends and underlying causes, it has found that by 2015 electricity prices are projected to at least double from 2008 levels. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted February 28, 2011 by equilibrium in Climate Change & Sustainability

Putting together a good grant application   Leave a comment

There’s a real knack to putting together a good grant application. To give yourself the best possible chance of securing funding, follow these guidelines… Read the rest of this entry »

‘The Necessary Revolution’ by Peter Senge   Leave a comment

Peter Senge is the author of ‘The Fifth Discipline’, nominated as one of the five greatest business books of all time by The Financial Times.

In this book, Senge turns his attention to the ‘necessary revolution’ underway in today’s (and tomorrow’s) organisations, where bold companies around the world are leading the change from dead-end ‘business as usual’ tactics to transformative strategies that are essential for creating a flourishing, sustainable world.

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Posted February 17, 2011 by equilibrium in Book Reviews

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Lawyers Weekly: The business of going green: why law firms should reduce their carbon footprints   Leave a comment

Improving the sustainability of a law firm has various ongoing benefits beyond reducing its environmental footprint.

Click here to view the article…

Posted February 15, 2011 by equilibrium in Engagement & Communications, Media

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The Commercial Building Disclosure Program   Leave a comment

The Australian Government’s Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) is a national program designed to improve the energy efficiency of Australia’s large office buildings.

Under the CBD program, most sellers or leasers of office space of 2,000m2 or more are required to disclose an up-to-date Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) if they wish to sell, lease or sub-lease that office space.

With energy use in the commercial building sector accounting for around 10% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions, improving the energy efficiency of buildings is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate climate change. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted February 10, 2011 by equilibrium in Compliance & Management

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Carbon Farming Initiative   Leave a comment

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has recently announced the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) framework  .  The carbon offsets scheme will provide new economic opportunities for farmers, growers and landholders through the generation and trading of carbon credits for sale in both the domestic and international markets.

Reductions in carbon pollution can be achieved through a number of mechanisms, such as:

Garnaut Climate Change Review Update 2011   Leave a comment

Reflections on the Australian climate change discussion

Climate change presents a new type of challenge. It is uncertain in its form and extent rather than drawn in clear lines. It is insidious rather than, as yet, directly confrontational. It is long term rather than immediate in both its impact and its remedy’. Professor Ross Garnaut, 3 February 2011.

Since 2008 there have been a number of significant developments in climate change science and understanding of climate change impacts.  Climate change is back on the agenda in Australia, with more community interest than in any other public policy issue.

With the renewed interest in the science, economics and politics of climate change, the Federal Government re-commissioned Professor Ross Garnaut to review  and update significant elements of his 2008 Garnaut Climate Change Review.  The final report will to be presented to the Government by the end of May 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

Internal communications   Leave a comment

We recently undertook a project with Veolia Environmental Services to review their internal communications (IC), and some interesting lessons were learnt.

In order for organisations to make decisions that successfully further its goals, structured forms of authority and communication must be in place. IC is fundamentally a people and relationship process. It is owned by the entire organisation. For an effective system to be implemented, it’s essential that each individual member of the organisation – from senior management to front line staff – is committed to improving and maintaining it. The role of a communications team is to support and enhance this process. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted February 10, 2011 by equilibrium in Engagement & Communications

‘Hot, Flat and Crowded’ by Thomas Friedman   Leave a comment

I found this book to be a real eye-opener, so much so that as soon as I finished reading it, I went right back to the start and began reading it again!

Friedman dives into the pressing issues that threaten our current way of life and that of future generations, the combined impacts of the world becoming ‘hot, flat and crowded’: global climate change, the globalisation of developed nations into a world economy, and skyrocketing human populations in denser areas.  These conditions mean it’s becoming increasingly difficult to alleviate key problems such as fierce competition for scarce resources, the balance of wealth being tipped in favor of the oil producing nations, climate change, the uneven distribution of energy, and increased plant and animal extinction rates. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted February 10, 2011 by equilibrium in Book Reviews

Education for Sustainability   Leave a comment

Well, we’ve hit the new year swimming! Massive floods in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, with the resulting loss of life and infrastructure, has really hit home the reality that we are a part of Mother Nature and not it’s Master. The floods are having major impacts, not just physically and psychologically , but also with the need to adjust government budgets and funding programs to cover the clean-up and repair bill and flow-on effects on disruptions to primary production, such as a reported increase in the price of fruits and vegetables by as much as 70% due to flood damage.

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