Green Pages Business Directory 2009/10
The green news
Procuring a green reward
The dollars and sense of green buildings
This year environmental issues have taken centre stage like never before. Along with the state of the world’s economy, issues such as climate change and business sustainability are now seen as critical to our future in Australia and around the world.
Office Guide Great green products for the sustainable office.
Green Tips: in the office 20 easy tips to green your office.
Government updates The troubled gestation of the Rudd Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme might be getting media attention but government bodies across the board are taking steps towards a more sustainable Australia.
In the battle to make our modern world more sustainable, using procurement to deliver sustainable outcomes makes environmental and economic sense for Australian companies.
Green light for greentechs Australia’s greentech sector may have been a little unloved and overlooked as investors stampeded to safety during the economic meltdown. + Responsible investment Now, more than ever, governments, businesses and individuals are starting to acknowledge that we live in a world that has real and present environmental constraints. + The Arkx Carbon Fund Profile of an emerging Australian green investment fund.
Green buildings are no longer just a trend or a luxury. With cuts of up to 9 percent in operating costs and increased building values of 7.5 percent, it just makes good business sense.
The Gauge Employee chill out zones, a fireplace and cutting edge sustainability measures make The Gauge a green building showcase. + Santos Place/ Northbridge The Nielson Properties’ Northbridge is proof that Brisbane is catching up fast to the green office building revolution. + Retro with a green tinge To really make a difference we need to ‘retrogreen’ our older office buildings.
The low carbon journey
Brave new world The growing demand for true Our leading team of experts paint a picture of our green brands sustainable future. From
As nations prepare for the United Nations climate meeting in Copenhagen, Australia’s national climate change intiatives face tough battles before parliament and in the court of public opinion.
Vision for a lowemissions future A 7.7 percent cut in Australia’s carbon emissions by 2020? It’s as easy as providing incentives for efficient buildings, but we need the vision and leadership to do it now, not later.
Low Carbon Reindustrialisation In Australia today, each person is responsible for about 26 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions but we'll each soon be living on a carbon budget of just 2 tonnes each.
90 The 2009/10 Directory
technology to transport, tax reform to green jobs and water to energy, we explore the key issues that provide a road map to Australia's possible new eco economy.
Dubious green marketing claims have attracted the attention of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the consumer advocacy organisation Choice and others.
Our B2B Directory of over 800 sustainable products and services is tailored to architects, government, corporate executives and commercial businesses that are looking to account for and reduce their environmental impact.
The global financial crisis From the woes of the global economic crisis come glimmers of hope + A place in heaven for carbon sinners + Preparing for the green gold rush + How to build a resilient future with less water + Transport in a brave new world + Reforming tax laws can drive the Green Revolution + A smarter grid for tomorrow
Case study: Coopers Investment in low carbon energy distinguishes Coopers as a leader in green innovation.
Green tips: Money 30 money saving eco-tips.
+ Blue sky for brands Sustainable outputs on corporate and brand reputation and its importance for managers and marketers. + Case study: Fuji Xerox A shining example of how eco-manufacturing can become core business for a truly green brand.
Business Directory 2009/10
Office Guide Products
Great Green Products for the Sustainable Office AUSPEN The cheap plastic Biro was a harbinger of the throwaway consumer society we live in now. Products like Auspen’s Refillable Whiteboard Markers, however, are bringing us full circle. Auspens are Xylene-free and engineered to be reused and can be refilled with only 20 drops of ink when they dry out. One bottle of ink lasts more than 30 refills and even the nibs can be replaced when needed. www.auspenmarkers.com
Carbon neutral coffee
AVERY Enviro Business Cards
As if we don’t have enough to feel guilty about, new research from the Carbon Reduction Institute (CRI) shows each latté consumed has the same environmental impact as leaving a 60 watt bathroom light globe on for three hours. Jasper Coffee has calculated the footprint from its packaging, air flights, power, water and vehicles and had the results audited by the CRI. It now offsets 100 percent of its operations with a renewable energy project in India to make Jasper Coffee a 100 percent Carbon Neutral Coffee Company. www.jaspercoffee.com
Made from 100 percent post consumer waste recycled material, Avery’s Enviro Business Cards allow you to save money by only printing the number of cards you need and save time by printing them when you need them. For easy design and printing, check out Avery Design and Print Online with its great collection of templates and clip art. www.averyproducts.com.au
Re-Define two seater sofa Designed and manufactured in Australia by Wharington Sustainable Furniture, the mouldings for the Re-Define range are produced from granulated plastic derived from obsolete telephones. The Re-Define is certified by Good Environmental Choice and has a Blue Tick from the Australasian Furnishing Research and Development Institute. Wharington also has an Environmental Pledge to take back its furniture at end of life for remanufacture. www.sustainablefurniture.com.au
â€œBy paying fair prices to the producer, a business and its customers can feel they are contributing to a fairer world and sustainable land use.â€?
Bokashi bin it For apartment and terrace dwellers lacking the space for a traditional compost heap, the EM Bokashi bin is the answer. EM Bokashi uses a combination of sawdust and bran infused with Effective Micro-organisms (EM) to rapidly break down organic matter such as food scraps. Place your kitchen waste into the bucket, then sprinkle a handful of EM Bokashi over the waste. Repeat this layering process until the Bokashi Bucket is full then bury the waste in your garden, pot plants etc. www.bokashi.com.au
Business Directory 2009/10
Office Guide Products
Triple bottom line books Written in the pragmatic language of business leaders by 30-year IBM veteran, Bob Willard, The Sustainability Advantage and its sequel, The Next Sustainability Way, are two books every business executive should read. Both show that the business benefits of sustainable development strategies are quantifiable and real, and that executives do not have to be tree hugging environmental activists to profit. The sustainability strategies presented in these practical guides are easy to grasp, yet powerful enough to reveal significant business opportunities. www.sustainabilityadvantage.com.
Sustainable Toby Coffeemaker Toby’s Estate is a Sydney institution. The coffee maker believes sustainability is all about doing business the right way. This means going direct to the source of its tea, coffee, cocoa and other products to meet the growers and cooperatives, and choosing the highest quality products from people who respect their land and their workers. By paying fair prices to the producer, the people at Toby’s Estate feel good about the way it does business and its customers can feel they are contributing to sustainable land use and a fairer world. www.tobysestate.com.au.
Todae’s magazine rack This stylish and fully recycled cardboard magazine rack is an innovative, eco-friendly way to keep your reading collection tidy and organised. Not only is the cardboard recycled, reinforced and moisture resistant, it is also fully foldable, completely flat and light in its packaging. It’s extra sturdy and there are no exposed cardboard edges on any side of the product, only smooth, glossy and attractive printed material. www.todae.com.au
Feature Brave New World
Brave New World Leading Green Pages' experts paint a picture of our sustainable future. From technology to transport, tax reform to green jobs and water to energy, we explore the key issues that provide a road map to Australia's possible new eco economy.
The global financial crisis from despair to excitement From the woes of the global economic crisis come glimmers of hope – a broad questioning of the notion of never ending growth and the consumer based economy that could well lead to a more sustainable world. By Paul Gilding
ILLUSTRATIONS: © STEVE TIERNEY / www.teaguesart.com
hese are exciting times. While every week I have a conversation with someone who feels despair at the ecological and economic crisis unfolding around us, I have come to an acceptance of the inevitability of this crisis. So I focus instead on the uplifting responses emerging around the world as people build new sustainable approaches and gather support for them. The so-called global financial crisis is in fact a blessing for humanity. While it is causing significant dislocation, it is bringing into sharp relief the idiocy of our consumer culture and the unsustainability of our economic model. It is a blessing because the sooner we face up to this, the less suffering there will ultimately be. While people have questioned our economic model for many decades, the debate has stayed on the fringes. Now we have mainstream commentators starting to question the fundamental assumptions behind the global market. One example is Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, author and long time advocate of globalisation and free markets, Tom Friedman, who argued in a recent New York Times column: ‘What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? What if it’s telling us that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall — when Mother Nature and the market both said: “No more”.’ That’s why I’m excited. After decades of involvement in social change I have come to trust my intuition and now it
is screaming at me that our time has arrived. We are now going to tackle the big issues – the causes of our problems rather than just the symptoms. Without the global financial crisis we may never have got Barack Obama. We now have the president of the world’s most powerful country arguing for worldwide nuclear disarmament and a culture of service in our communities, reaching out to the Islamic world and appointing science-based advocates for action on climate change to key positions. I feel great optimism that America is going to play a very different role in the world when Obama appoints people like Nobel Prize winner Steven Chu as Secretary for Energy, and Harvard
“The so-called global financial crisis is in fact a blessing for humanity.”
Professor John Holdren as his chief science advisor. Obama described Holdren as ‘one of the most passionate and persistent voices of our time about the growing threat of climate change’. In China too, where we all focus on the very real problem of rapid expansion of coal fired power stations, there are also reasons for hope. Where did the world’s first production plug in hybrid go on sale for just $22,000? China. With even Toyota struggling to catch up, and Ford and GM firmly left in the dust, a Chinese company, BYD, is building the capacity for 500,000 electric cars and buses a year by the end of 2011. Some rumours suggest a tie-up with Wal-Mart to sell them in the US. Yes, it’s going to get ugly in the ecosystem, we are going to see some very unpleasant consequences of our failure to act, and we are going to see some significant suffering as food supplies dwindle, oil prices spike and governments scramble to respond to climate disasters. But all over the world people are engaging with bottom up, community-based movements to make their world a better place to live. And that turns economic despair into excitement for the future. Paul Gilding has been actively engaged in sustainability for over 35 years. A former Greenpeace executive director and founder of Ecos Corporation, he is a globally recognised writer, advisor and advocate on climate change and sustainability. This article was adapted from his blog The Cockatoo Chronicles: www.paulgilding.com
Business Directory 2009/10
Feature Brave New World
A place in heaven for carbon sinners If the future of the planet depends on me changing my behaviour, then the cause is lost already. That’s why I’m pinning my behavioural redemption on a new era of telecommunications – technology that does for my greenhouse indiscretions what Microsoft does for my spelling. The good news is, it’s already here. By Dr Karl Mallon, Climate Risk
’m sure you turn off all the lights, TV, DVD player, stereo, computers, microwave, phone chargers, kid’s Nintendo DS chargers, electric toothbrushes and all the other electrical parasites in the house when you go to bed, but I don’t. No, Australia’s Kyoto emission inventory is lucky if I hit a few light switches as I stagger upstairs. That’s as good as it gets. Thankfully the ‘Ruddnet’, or broadband available everywhere, may just arrive in the nick of time. Imagine a plug socket that can monitor the devices using it, and can tell when it’s finished charging. Or a house that knows I’ve gone to bed and turns off the lights. Or a computer that puts itself on standby because it knows I’ve gone to make a cup of tea. Imagine no more. It’s all possible and being done. ‘Presence Based Power’ is the concept that energy should follow the person, not the device. It can use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags or just the presence of a mobile phone in my pocket. Of course, because I don’t pay anything for pollution today, I’m not using it, but when we’re all living on five kilos of carbon a day, this will be my Nicorette. And I suspect I won’t be alone. And while I’m in the confessional, I’ll tell you that I drive into work occasionally. Now, I’m far from alone in this. About 74 percent of Australians drive to work and just a handful share the car. Buses and trains are great at avoiding emissions, but they don’t come to my door. They don’t connect. And if I’m having to wait, I have absolutely no
idea when the next one will come or if it will be full when it arrives, leaving me waiting even longer. So if you want to get me on a bus, I want to order it from my mobile phone, I want it to come to my door and I want it to tell any connections I have to bloody well wait for me – and save me a seat while you’re at it. Well ladies and gentlemen, it’s time we booked a passage to Finland, because that’s what they do there! Even in Brisbane (or little Finland as you and I can now call it) there are places where taxis are being incorporated into the transport system to get you to the nearest transit hub. And if that goes wrong, iPhones have an application that
maps where your bus or train is just in case you are wondering if it still exists. The point I am making here is that broadband and wireless is bringing intelligence down to the level of sockets, devices and even vehicles, while allowing control and automation to be removed and centralised. And that’s just what the planet needs to deal with carbon intensive people like me. This article is based on a Climate Risk Ltd report commissioned by Telstra ‘Towards a HighBandwidth Low-Carbon Future’. Dr Karl Mallon is director of Science and Systems at Climate Risk Ltd.
Preparing for the green gold rush With billions being spent on economic stimulus packages around the world, why shouldn’t the money not only provide jobs but be invested in a new green skilled work force? By Charles Berger, Australian Conservation Foundation
‘Australia could generate up to 850,000 green collar jobs by 2030 in renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable water systems, biomaterials, green buildings and waste and recycling.’ ACF-ACTU report ‘Green Gold Rush’
n the 1950s, predictions of how computers would make our lives easier were standard magazine fare, but very few foresaw just how deeply information technology would permeate so many aspects of our working lives. In the 1980s and ‘90s, specialised jobs were created in the design, manufacture, installation and operation of computers and software. Regions that were clever or lucky enough to lead in these industries such as Silicon Valley saw immense economic benefit. But the true impact of the IT revolution was not simply the creation of these new industries, it was also the extent to which existing jobs and businesses were completely transformed. Nearly all jobs in today’s industrialised economies are, to a greater or lesser extent, ‘computer jobs’. Taxi drivers use digital dispatching systems and GPS navigational instruments, lawyers use sophisticated document
tracking systems and online research tools, architects and publishers and environmental advocates like me do much of their work on computers. When we talk of green jobs, it is therefore not merely the promise of some thousands of opportunities in specialised fields – important and impressive as those opportunities are. Just as it would be a mistake to view the IT revolution merely in terms of the number of software programmers created, so does the green jobs revolution mean much more than the number of solar panel installers and energy auditors created. This is not to say those new roles are unimportant. A report titled ‘Green Gold Rush’, by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), found that Australia could create 850,000 jobs by 2030 in six key growth industries: renewable energy, energy efficiency,
sustainable water systems, biomaterials, green buildings and waste and recycling. For that to happen, business innovation and government support must work hand-in-hand. Ambitious environmental policies such as a strong carbon price, world leading building standards and investment incentives are a key to creating markets for good ideas to be translated into good businesses. Smart, ambitious environmental regulation can therefore be an engine for economic activity. Countries that realise this are already reaping the benefits, such as Germany, which has stimulated the development of a world-class solar industry through strong policy incentives for solar power. In 2050, will we look back on the green jobs revolution as we now look back on the IT revolution? Will resource efficiency and ecologically sensible business be as integrated into our workforce as computers are today? The choice is in our hands, but one thing is for sure: nations that act now will be much better placed to seize the opportunities that the new green economy will create. The real question is not whether the green jobs revolution is happening, but whether Australia will be left behind in the race to develop flourishing and prosperous green industries. Charles Berger is the director of strategic ideas at ACF. He leads ACF’s work on sustainable consumption, institutional reform, corporate responsibility, population dynamics, environmental taxation and sustainable economic transformation.
Business Directory 2009/10
Feature Brave New World
How to build a resilient future with less water Water is fundamental to life – everyone has an obligation to protect it. Yet in our rural communities where water is used to irrigate the land, there simply isn’t enough to go around. By Dr John Williams, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists
he health of our rivers and groundwater has been severely degraded by unsustainable usage levels. With the benefit of hindsight we can see our mistake: we over allocated water resources in a period of relatively high rainfall from 1950 to 2000. The science suggests the weather patterns in southern Australia have shifted again to a dry phase reminiscent of the years 1935 to 1947. While the precise role of cyclical changes versus the impact of climate change remains unclear, it appears that the southern Murray Darling Basin is faced with a double whammy adjustment. First, adjusting to over allocation in a relatively wet period and then a further adjustment to the impacts of climate change. How do we plan for the future, when current water shortages will almost certainly be exacerbated by climate change? Firstly, we must accept that we will face a future with less water and that we have a system that is currently over allocated. The system needs to be reset so that water extraction is in line with the capacity of rivers and groundwater. We need to rethink our fundamental values of water and landscape and our relationship to them, understanding the limitations of our resources and realising potential where there is abundance. Australia has a huge fertile crescent of reliable high-rainfall country and fertile soils around our coastline, on which we can develop sustainable
agriculture and horticulture. Unfortunately so far, we have chosen to use these lands for urban sprawl, tourism and hobby farms. Would those land use decisions have been made if we'd known then what we know now? But before we can decide how to plan for the future, we need to address the immediate problem. This is how we make the transition to a low water regime before we cripple rural communities and completely degrade the rivers and natural systems that
underpin our agricultural production. The magnitude of the adjustment is massive – beyond anything that has been contemplated before in the Australian community. To deal with this, we will need a well-balanced approach to water reform that can be best thought of as a three legged stool. Currently we have only two legs, buy-back and infrastructure improvement to lift efficiency. Without a third leg of support to help regional communities plan for a future with less water, the stool will fall over. From what I observe, this third leg is currently missing; our communities are being expected to make these huge adjustments with little support from federal or state governments. Australian society as a whole has played a role in the development of this catastrophe through our government’s over-allocation of water extraction from our rivers and groundwater. It seems only fair that we all take responsible action to assist our communities to make the required adjustment. Ultimately, this will give us all assurance for a more sustainable future. Assisting communities which suffer from our past mistakes and moving forward with lessons learned could turn the current crisis an opportunity where Australians work together to rebuild resilient communities and healthier rivers. John Williams is a founding member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, former chief of CSIRO Land and Water and currently commissioner for Natural Resources in NSW.
Green Tips In The Office
20 Office Tips
Establish a ‘Green Office’ team or committee to implement ongoing energy efficiency strategies and other environmental initiatives. Try to engage people from as many parts of the business as possible; you’ll be surprised who will come up with great ideas.
01 MULTIPLE BINS 05COMPOST
Put in place a multiple bin system, with one for paper, one for glass, one for plastic, and one for food scraps. In particular, put a paper recycling bin next to everyone’s desk (and make sure it goes into the recycling system and not into general waste).
When holding a conference or other large event try to reduce its environmental impact. Buy locally, choose energy-efficient and environmentally-aware venues that are using GreenPower, and offset any remaining emissions.
Consider getting a Bokashi bin or a worm farm for your food scraps and the keen gardeners in the office can take it in turns to take the final product home.
A lot of coffee shops that service large office buildings offer the option for you to bring your own mug – just think of how many plastic or paper cups you won’t be using over the course of the year.
NO PLASTIC CUPS
And while you’re at it, ban disposable plastic cups from the office and paper ones too. Have enough crockery and glasses for everyone in the office plus visitors.
“Many Australian electricity retailers offer the option for customers to receive energy only from renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal.”
08 LIGHT LAYOUT
Move office furniture away from windows to maximise natural sunlight. This means less electricity use, lower costs and a more work friendly environment.
09 USE DISHWASHERS Filling the dishwasher up and using it on the economy cycle uses far less water and electricity than everyone washing up their own glasses and mugs as they go.
Many Australian electricity retailers offer the option for customers to receive energy only from renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal. By making the switch, you save on emissions and drive demand for renewable energy. For information see www.greenpower.gov.au
NO HARDCOPY REPORTS
Use on-line (versus hard copy) versions of items such as annual reports, and information memorandums. Cut and paste necessary information and/or print only those pages instead of the whole report.
NO BOTTLED WATER
Besides being expensive, bottled water has a huge environmental impact due to the amount of plasic needed to package it and the energy used to transport it around the world. Help put a stop to this rort by installing an efficient, under-sink water filter system or a water cooler and give staff drinking glasses or permanent alloy water bottles (from any camping store) that can be used throughout the day.
Cars generate 41.7 million tonnes of Australia’s overall carbon dioxide emissions and heavy traffic generally reduces the liveability of a city. Encourage your employees to use public transport, consider supporting them financially by covering the upfront cost of an annual train, bus or ferry pass in return for an instalment out of their wages.
Riding, walking or runnng to work is a great way to stay fit, reduce carbon emissions and peak hour congestion. Encourage your staff to make the switch by providing bike lock up areas and showers for your staff in your office.
Buy paper that’s recycled or comes from a Forest Stewardship Council accredited supplier (see www. fscaustralia.org for more information).
Set aside a space in your stationary cupboard for used envelopes, bags, single-side printed paper etc. so they can easily be re-used or recycled.
13 CAR POOL
If you do need to use your car – perhaps your office isn’t on a public transport route – consider car-pooling with others in your office or offices nearby. It takes a bit of organisation to get people in the car but you’re potentially taking three cars off the road that day and reducing traffic and emissions.
Consider phasing out writeonce CDs in favour of re-writable CDs or memory sticks. While they may cost a bit more, these can be re-used many times saving resources and money in the long run. Better yet, add password protected downloads and websites such as 'YouSendIt' to your computer applications so staff and clients can download documents without the need for sticks or CD's.
Many building materials such as paint, wallboards, adhesives and ceiling tiles can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, which contribute to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). If you’re fitting out a new office or renovating an old one, consider using low VOCemission materials.
“Establish a ‘Green Office’ team to implement ongoing energy efficiency strategies and other environmental initiatives in your office.”
Buy recycled ink and toner cartridges. Reconditioned or remanufactured printer, photocopier and fax machine ink/toner cartridges are available for many brands. If your brand of machine doesn’t allow these sort of cartridges to be used (some don’t) consider switching to one that does when you refresh your equipment. Also make sure you take spent cartridges to a certified recycling facility rather than just putting them in the bin.
Fill your office with plants. Ideally you want one plant for every person in the office. There’s all sorts of advantages, they cleanse the air of carbon dioxide, look nice and just generally improve the ambience of the office.
Business Directory 2009/10
Published on Aug 10, 2009
With brilliant articles from leading voices in corporate sustainability the 2009/10 Business Directory provides a comprehensive guide to sus...