09 June, 2011

Sustainable Business Weekly QLD Edition [Seminar next week, Perceptions, Setting a Price, CSG, Renewables]

Tied up in Green Tape?

If one attends ASBG QLD’s Environmental Management Seminar on Thursday 16 June 08:00-12:30, one will have the opportunity to find out the best way to stay out of trouble with the Environmental Regulator in Queensland.

One will also have the opportunity to discuss the issues that one faces with Environmental compliance.

Through its greentape reduction project, the Department of Environment and Resouce Management (DERM) is in the process of reviewing the licensing framework under the Environmental Protection Act 1994, with the aim of reducing the regulatory costs of environmental regulation while upholding environmental standards for the community.

The project is a response to business and government concerns that navigating the environmental regulatory framework has become increasingly difficult, making it harder to comply with regulatory requirements.

A discussion paper and regulatory assessment statement has been developed to provide an opportunity for interested parties to comment about the proposed initiatives. Written submissions are open until 1 July 2011.

Perception is reality

The Australian Sustainable Business Group (ASBG) is pursuing the development of businesses in Australia for a sustainable future. That is our core business.

ASBG achieves our objectives through weekly newsletters and by running training courses and seminars primarily focused on Environmental management. However, that is just the starting point.

ASBG needs your help. We (collectively) need to improve the general public’s perception of Australian Businesses.

Everyday Australian Businesses are labelled with the tag “polluters”. Australian businesses need position themselves to meet on going demands in a global market. This requires both economically and environmentally sustainable solutions.

ASBG needs some good news stories. Please share with us some case studies or even some of your marketing material.

What is your business doing to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions?

What is your water specific intake? (litres of water per commercial activity measure). How are you reducing or reprocessing your waste?

If you are going to the trouble of collecting data for the purposes of environmental compliance, then you need to make sure the data does not go to waste.

As individual businesses, as industries and as a business group, we have to get better at telling the general public about the things we are doing for a sustainable future.

We have to get better at telling politicians and bureaucrats about the impacts of the decisions they make are having on our respective businesses.

Setting a Price on Carbon

Last Sunday, on World Environment Day 45,000 Australians allegedly said ‘YES’ to setting a price on carbon.

The very next day a Galaxy Poll for the News Limited alleged that 58 per cent of people are opposed to the carbon tax. Their sample size of 500 people indicated that just 28 per cent are in favour, with 14 per cent uncommitted.

As you read this, politicians are in the process of negotiating what the carbon price will look like. Over the next 25 days, crucial details including the starting price and compensation measures will be decided.

Australian Businesses need to weigh into this debate.

ASBG has adopted a position calling for a relatively low starting price. Professor Garnaut is calling for $26/tonne. Some are lobbying for $10/tonne. The Federal Opposition want $0/tonne & a subsidy scheme instead. Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has alluded to a starting price of around $20/tonne.

Wayne Swan also pointed to modelling which suggests our renewables sector will experience dramatic growth under a carbon price – with the renewable electricity sector projected to be 600 per cent bigger in 2050 than it is today.

ASBG realise that a carbon price alone is not enough. A renewable energy target alone is not enough. If the carbon tax is brought in too low, it will kick start the coal seam gas industry in preference to wind, solar thermal & other renewable energy technologies.

CSG/LNG Compliance

DERM has released a CSG/LNG Compliance Plan 2011 for Coal Seam Gas (CSG) to liquefied natural gas (LNG) related compliance activities.

DERM hopes that publishing this compliance plan and advising both the community and industry of what can be expected in 2011, will fulfill its commitment to ensure compliance activities are carried out in a transparent manner.

Renewable Energy impost

A Coles supermarket has been asked by the local Municipal Authority, to use at least 50 per cent renewable energy for a development on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

Meanwhile, the Melbourne Energy Institute recently released a report which indicates that the cost of renewable energy has been significantly overestimated by the Australian Government and industry.

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