Archive for the ‘Compliance & Management’ Category
The Independent Australian Sustainable Paper Procurement Guide assists buyers of printing and communication papers to make informed purchasing decisions.
It will help you avoid known pitfalls and issues that can result in unsustainable outcomes and have a negative impact on your business reputations and brands.
Equilibrium has partnered with pulp and paper market intelligence experts IndustryEdge to produce the Guide. It covers the widest possible range of sustainability issues, supplying both minimum and known best practice criteria. It includes commentary drawn from our team’s extensive consulting experience. It does not refer to or recommend any particular products or manufacturers.
Focus in this Guide is on printing and communication papers. A companion Guide will shortly be released for the tissue sector, which is similar, but has some important differences.
Individual copies are just AUD100 (plus GST in Australia) per copy, with multiple copies available at discount rates.
More information here
In the face of sustainability challenges, special environmental courts and tribunals are emerging. The NGO, Access Initiative, published a report entitled “Greening Justice: Creating and Improving Environmental Courts and Tribunals” that demonstrates the significant growth of these tribunals. The report highlights that, currently, over 350 specialised environmental courts and tribunals (ECTs) have been established in 41 countries, with most of these being created just since 2004.
With the growth of ECTs comes the growth in lawyers willing to use them. Legal activism is the use of the legal process as a powerful tool for effecting social change and advancing the public interest. Activist lawyers are increasingly challenging businesses on environmental and social grounds and working to highlight lapses in corporate responsibility through the legal system. This is occurring at the global, national and local level. Read the rest of this entry »
Take shorter showers. Turn the lights off and switch appliances off at the power point. Drive the car less often. Recycle and re-use.
We have thrived as a species because of our capacity to adapt and change, but are we going to be able to change our behaviours fast enough in the face of evidence that suggests we are living beyond our means? To bring a balance into economic, social and environmental considerations, we face clear challenges requiring changes in our everyday behaviour.
Professor Bas Verplanken provided some interesting insight this week during a public lecture he held in Melbourne on behalf of BehaviourWorks. He is a professor and head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, England, where he specialises in theory-informed applied research, with a particular emphasis on habits in the health, consumer and environmental behaviour fields. Read the rest of this entry »
At Equilibrium, we work at the intersection of economy, society and environment. Quite often, this means we immerse ourselves in a “grey area” of uncertainty, that is, the choices we try to help our clients make are not always black and white. Sustainability, corporate responsibility, or however you wish to call it, means different things to different people.
Having a very clear definition of what the client, as a business, is trying to achieve is an absolutely critical first step. Are they purely interested in energy efficiency? Do they want to implement a sustainable supply chain policy? Are they interested in waste reduction, or water savings? Do they want to reduce their carbon footprint? Do they want to implement a staff awareness campaign around sustainability? Do they want to create a new product or service with better environmental credentials? Or do they want to do all these, and more??? Read the rest of this entry »
There are mixed stories coming out of Rio+20 this week. Even if governments don’t make great progress, the need for sustainability is not going to evaporate. In the face of many environmental and social challenges, the need to address business footprints and implement responsible practices is only going to increase. Business shouldn’t wait for government.
Embedding sustainability into an organisation’s DNA is a challenge at the best of times. Like exercise and a healthy diet, fostering sustainability is a form of preventative medicine. It’s critical to long-term health and life span. But, just like exercise and a healthy diet, it’s also hard to demonstrate the immediate payoffs. We know it’s ultimately good for us, but can we be bothered working up a sweat today, or choose the bowl of fruit instead of the greasy eggs and bacon on offer? Read the rest of this entry »
While there is no question that environmental and social issues can impact a company’s reputation, it must be noted that quality and affordability of a product remain the number one attributes the mass market looks for in a company or a brand. Dr Paul Tebo says, “companies like Nike, Walmart (before their move to environmental leadership) and McDonalds are companies who have had significant issues yet continue to be very successful businesses. And ExxonMobil and BP continue to do just fine despite their hiccups”.(1)
Locally, Harvey Norman has weathered the “No Harvey No” campaign. On the other hand, small to medium sized companies (SMEs), which dominate the business community, are the ones that need to better understand their exposure to external scrutiny. Read the rest of this entry »
Scientists and economists love using models to make future predictions, despite the use of assumptions that tend to make such predictions imperfect. It is impossible to fully know what the future holds. Still, having some idea is better than having no idea and models enable us to visualise what could potentially become the real thing. It allows forward thinking government and business decisions and investments to be made today that will influence where we end up tomorrow.
This month, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released their Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction. Assuming “no new policies”, it projects existing socio-economic trends forward fourty years and their implications for four key areas of concern: climate change, biodiversity, water and the health impacts of environmental pollution. Read the rest of this entry »
The outlook for the global economy – according to media reports, economic think-tanks and international institutions – is not all roses as we delve into 2012. Markets in the European Union are down for goods and services, social tensions are on the rise in the Middle-East, the US is in a holding pattern, and many local companies are freezing contracts, deferring investments, shedding staff and preparing for worst-case-scenarios.
It would seem that consumers are preoccupied with saving their jobs and homes rather than any interest in “saving the planet.” Environmental and social activists are trying hard to keep green issues in view, while the public’s concern over climate change in this year of the carbon tax may shift from “we-must-do-something” to “it’s debatable”, especially as electricity prices begin to increase the costs of living and doing business. Read the rest of this entry »
Trends that shape the business landscape matter. Those managers that react quickly to such forces, or even better, anticipate them, can use them to advantage by protecting or improving the bottom line by minimising risks, capturing emerging market opportunities and spurring innovation.
In 2012, Equilibrium is presenting “The Evolving Landscape: sustainability and trends in social and legal pressure on Australian business”, a series of quarterly papers that lay out trends and highlight how companies developing products or providing services are operating in a rapidly changing landscape. In addition to daily operational challenges, a number of factors – social and legal – are converging to increase the risks of action and pressure against businesses with respect to environmental and social issues.
Not only can companies, as well as individual directors and senior managers and employees, find themselves being judged in a court of law for breaches, but with the rapid pace of technology and social networking they are increasingly being exposed and judged in the court of public opinion, where there are no judicial controls and processes and lawyers are worthless.
Together, this series of papers will help you better understand the dynamics of the sustainability space which present challenges, but also present new business opportunities and operational efficiencies. The papers provide insight and include case studies and constructive suggestions for ways to handle the emerging sustainability issues to help you build a more resilient business.
The first paper, “Q1: Introducing the Evolving Landscape” is available for FREE and can be downloaded here
The ACCC has launched its “Carbon Price Claims – guide for business”. It can be found here