Author Archive

11.10.2013 – Back to Earth   Leave a comment

The Victorian Government has launched the Back to Earth Initiative to improve resource recovery of organics. Back to Earth Initiative encourages appropriate use of Council green waste bins and the recycling of green waste to reduce the amount currently sent to landfill.

The initiative has been developed by the Metropolitan Waste Management Group (MWMG) in conjunction with eleven councils in Melbourne’s north and west: Banyule, Brimbank, Darebin, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Maribyrnong, Melton, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Nillumbik and Wyndham. It complements new organics processing facilities that will serve communities in the participating councils. MWMG is the Victorian Government body responsible for managing municipal solid waste across metropolitan Melbourne.

On Thursday (10 October 2013) Veolia opened its new organics processing facility at Bulla in Melbourne’s north which will process green waste from the participating Councils. The facility was built as part of the Northern and Western Organics Processing Contract and is the first step in creating a new wave of sustainable resource recovery facilities to service metropolitan Melbourne.

The Northern and Western Organics Processing Contract unlocks around $30 million of industry investment in infrastructure, and around $200 million in local government operating expenditure over the 15 year contract. It will generate dozens of ongoing employment opportunities and up to a hundred jobs during the construction.

Posted October 11, 2013 by equilibrium in Uncategorized

26.6.2013 – Busting energy saving claims. What you should be doing to save energy!   Leave a comment

Claims relating to energy saving products may not always be easily achievable. With energy costs continuously increasing the energy efficiency product market is becoming more and more crowded with suppliers and the one thing they all have in common is that they promise to start saving you money straight away.

Sure there may be some truth to the claims generally but do they really know your business and the way your store equipment and operations depend on each other.

Reproduced from the Independent Retailer (June 2013). To read the full article follow this link.

9.5.2013 – Sustainable Australia Report released   Leave a comment

The Sustainable Australia Report 2013 from the National Sustainability Council was released today presenting a framework for guiding progress that also balances competing interests. However the report itself may present a risk in achieving that goal. See the report here http://www.environment.gov.au/sustainability/measuring/council.html  

The report seeks to establish a framework better defining sustainability and putting forward key indicators across social and human capital, natural capital and economic capital. It is largely presented as a benchmark report to be refined and reported against over time, and with the Sustainable AUstralia Report due in 2015.

Its 266 pages will take time to fully digest and that is a risk. As with some State-of-the-Environment reports, when such documents are too complex and large to be accessible and contain timely data, they can be overwhelming.   

Posted May 9, 2013 by equilibrium in Uncategorized

7.5.2013 – ABC Online and The Drum   Leave a comment

Equilibrium’s work assisting local and State Government to more fully understand the potential benefits and costs of container deposits has been included as part of an article published on ABC Online and The Drum. See http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2013/05/06/3751446.htm and http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4672338.html

The article by Equilibrium’s Nick Harford seeks to expand awareness of the complexity of the issue and the degrees of potentially positive and negative impacts that are best understood to achieve optimal environmental and financial outcomes. 

Posted May 7, 2013 by equilibrium in Uncategorized

18.4.2013 – Amendments to television and computer recycling scheme   Leave a comment

Proposed changes to the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme will make no difference to the general community but will enhance the longer-term viability of the Scheme.

The changes impact organisations operating the Scheme, not how it is delivered to the public. Most notable is the proposal to create one product class so organisations do not have to meet separate targets for recycling TVs and computers but all collected and recycled materials will contribute towards achieving targets.

The proposals are in a discussion paper available at http://www.environment.gov.au/settlements/waste/ewaste/index.html and comments close on 7 May 2013.

Posted April 18, 2013 by equilibrium in Uncategorized

4.4.2013 Waste Less Recycle More   Leave a comment

The NSW Government has announced  a 5-year $465.7 million waste and recycling program aimed at delivering economic, employment and environmental benefits for local communities.

Key areas of the package include:

  1. Waste and recycling infrastructure package - $250 million
  2. Supporting local communities – $137.7 million
  3. Combating illegal dumping – $58 million
  4. Tackling litter – $20 million.

Posted April 2, 2013 by equilibrium in Government Relations

29.11.12 – The challenge of changing behaviour   Leave a comment

On a global scale, environmental and social impacts arise through the actions of billions of actors undertaking trillions of actions, each with varying implications. These actions take place within a general framework of economic and capitalist behaviours, mediated by varying legal codes and social norms.

There’s no single or homogenous audience to talk to about the challenges and opportunities of sustainability and climate change. Instead there are many different actors, be they individuals making consumption choices, governments setting legislation or policy, or corporations making investment and production decisions.

All tend to make choices in isolation, but with cumulative impacts. Ecological and social problems are generally not the result of conscious or deliberate choices but the side effects of all these individual actions and decisions. It’s these unintended consequences that are causing concern: climate change, natural resource depletion, pollution, waste, land degradation, etc, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

22.11.12 – One Planet Living   Leave a comment

Pooran Desai was in town giving presentations recently. He is one of the co-founders of BioRegional, a social enterprise in the UK that created the innovative sustainable community, Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED). BedZED is a mixed-use sustainable community, comprising 100 homes, community facilities and office space for over 100 people. It is a carbon-neutral community, using only energy from renewable sources generated on site.

Desai and Co. used the lessons from the design, construction and monitoring of BedZED to develop One Planet Living, which is BioRegional’s approach to community development and was also used as the framework to create the sustainability platform of the London 2012 OlympicsRead the rest of this entry »

Posted November 21, 2012 by equilibrium in Climate Change & Sustainability

15.11.12 – Taking climate change seriously   Leave a comment

Seems there’s a few organisations taking the potential consequences of climate change very seriously: the US military and intelligence establishment!

At the request of the US intelligence community, the National Research Council was commissioned to “to evaluate the evidence on possible connections between climate change and U.S. national security concerns and to identify ways to increase the ability of the intelligence community to take climate change into account in assessing political and social stresses with implications for U.S. national security.”

The resulting report, Climate and Social Stress: implications for security analysis indicates that accelerating climate change will place unparalleled strains on American military and intelligence agencies in coming years by causing ever more disruptive events around the globe.Clusters of apparently unrelated events exacerbated by a warming climate will create more frequent but unpredictable crises in water supplies, food markets, energy supply chains and public health systems, leading to internal instability or international conflicts. Read the rest of this entry »

08.11.12 – The new world   Leave a comment

The US election has been run and won, with Obama winning another four year term. Following well on the heels of the US is the election of a new suite of powerful elites within China’s ruling political class.  By December, two of the world’s most dominant countries will have “fresh beginnings”.

In their short-term appointments, will they be prepared to tackle some of the biggest long-term challenges confronting us?  Obama, to his credit, at least touched on the topic of climate change in his acceptance speech.

We’ve just seen the devastating impacts of “Superstorm Sandy” and while there is reluctance to blame the storm on climate change directly, the consensus among scientists is that such events around the globe will become more frequent.

An article in The Age recently quoted Yvo de Boer, the UN climate chief during the 2009 Copenhagen climate change talks (and now special global advisor on climate change for KPMG) the next UN climate report will “scare the wits out of everyone”. The IPCC’s fifth assessment report is due to be published in late 2013 and early 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

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