Archive for June 2012
During 2011-2012, Equilibrium undertook a pilot project with Moonee Valley City Council to develop and implement a small business sustainability program within the municipality called “Environmental Manager on Loan”.
It was a free program to assist SME businesses become more sustainable by providing advice to help them reduce energy, water and waste and greenhouse gas emissions. In the face of rising energy bills as a result of network upgrades (and, to a lesser degree, the price on carbon), SMEs should be paying particular attention to energy efficiency. Helping them identify and overcome internal and external barriers was also an important aspect of the program.
Big businesses obviously have more clout and resources to address sustainability. Assessing and minimising the organisation’s environmental footprint; engaging stakeholders; allaying the concerns of interest groups; encouraging employee participation in volunteer programs on company time; communicating initiatives to stakeholders: these are all part of the big business vocabulary. Read the rest of this entry »
States and Territories are shifting away from environmental grants programs but the Australian Government has more than covered the gap as more than $5 billion is now available for businesses to improve their environmental performance.
The third edition of The Guide To Government Grants by Euqilibrium was launched this week and details more than 97 programs providing funds and support totalling $5.13 billion. More details and access the Guide HERE
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 »
Not long to go until the carbon price is implemented. It’s important to note that it’s not a tax on everyone, but a carbon price that Australia’s biggest polluters will need to pay.
However, we will definitely see the impacts of the carbon price manifest its way through commerce (which, ultimately, is the whole point as it encourages us to gravitate towards cleaner energy sources and technologies). How will this happen? Well, it’s anybody’s guess!
Treasury modelling estimates cost impacts of 0.7%, but there remains tremendous uncertainty as to how the carbon price on the big polluters will actually filter through the supply chain. With the GST at least was a level of certainty (ie. a flat 10% price increase across a broad base of goods and services). Read the rest of this entry »
Equilibrium participated in the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s forum today: “Carbon Tax and Sustainability – building an in-depth understanding and competitive advantage for your business”. The PLMA brought together a panel of experts to cover the carbon price legislation and its implications for the manufacturing, retail and consumer segments of the economy.
General Manager of Equilibrium, Damien Wigley, outlined the development and implementation of carbon strategies. He was joined by Peter Konidaris (Partner, Indirect Taxes, PwC) who spoke about the carbon tax and how it affects businesses, their customers, suppliers and consumers. Holly Angell (Head of Energy and Sustainability, Coles) provided a retailers perspective on the carbon price.
The event was well atended, with around 40 PLMA members joining in on the informative session.
The prism of sustainability can help provide a roadmap to navigate through turbulent times.
There’s a lot of doom and gloom in the international financial press at the moment. It’s difficult to know if America is in recovery or not, if the European Union is about to go into meltdown, whether China has the steam to continue powering ahead, and what impact all of this is going to have on the confidence of Australians. We were relatively shielded from the GFC, but what happens if (when??) GFC version 2.0 hits us?
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio+20 – takes takes place in a few weeks. Despite all the rhetoric preaching the opposite, don’t be surprised if the sustainable development agenda takes a backseat at a high level during these turbulent times as countries try to get themselves back into better economic shape. Government funding for good environmental and social initiatives may shrink and the purse strings of the business community – large, small and everyone in between – will probably tighten as company number crunchers focus on personal survival. Read the rest of this entry »