27 February, 2012

Sustainable Business Weekly [Procurement, Floods, Qld State Election]


The Association for Sustainability in Business (ASB) is easily confused with the Australian Sustainable Group (ASBG).

ASB are running a Conference - Taking Care of Business: Sustainable Transformation which will be held on the Gold Coast in May 2012.

It will include the Green Procurement Challenge Workshop presented by Monique Chelin and Greg Edmonds.

The aim of procurement is to deliver value for money. The aim of green procurement is to deliver value for money AND value for the environment. The principles of green procurement are being mandated by corporations at all levels and at each tier of government, as part of standard operating procedures around Australia.

Green procurement is a set of tools applied to your current procurement process to ensure your organisation can buy products and services in a sustainable manner.

An organisation which has an effective green procurement system can take advantage of cost-savings through buying smarter, achieve compliance with current and proposed procurement legislation (especially government procurement standards) and achieve recognition for sustainable business practices. At the same time, green procurement enables you to reduce your company's environmental footprint and strengthen relationships with staff, suppliers and customers.

A properly structured green procurement system allows you to buy goods and services that have a substantially lower impact on the environment while maintaining quality, functionality and cost competitiveness.

Monique & Greg propose to help you not get bogged down with complex technical details and jargon – like product life cycle analysis – and to focus on achieving the desired outcomes of value for money and the environment through the purchasing decisions you make. The Green Procurement Challenge includes an interactive workshop and tools that get you started straight away and will point you in the right direction to start or improve your current green procurement system.

The presentation will demonstrate the cost-savings and benefits to the environment, brand and process efficiency through making sound environmental purchasing decisions. We will also demystify the terms of "green specifications", product certifications, life cycle analysis and eco-labelling.Take the time to learn about green procurement and you won’t ever be de-railed again by suppliers with greenwash slogans. Don’t let confusion ruin your genuine efforts to develop and maintain sustainable purchasing in your organisation The conference program is available on the website and will feature over fifty (50) presenters.

The Qld Floods Commission

The Qld Floods commission has been out of the news this week, drowned under Federal Politics. The commission was given an extension last month, to investigate “new evidence” concerning the operation of Wivenhoe Dam releases in Jan 2011.

The Commission of Inquiry delivered the interim report on 1 August 2011, covering matters associated with flood preparedness to enable early recommendations to be implemented before next summer's wet season. The final report will be delivered on 16 March 2012.
It is impossible to pin any one unusual weather event (such as the Qld floods in Jan 2011 or bush fires in Victoria) on climate change.

However the evidence is emerging that suggests that climate change is already influencing the weather. The IPCC reports that both heat waves and intense rain events have increased in frequency during the last 50 years, and human-induced global warming more likely than not contributed to the trend. Satellite-based rainfall measurements show tropical areas got more rain in the form of large storms or light rainfall instead of moderate storms between 1979 and 2003.

Since the 1970s, the area affected by drought and the number of intense tropical cyclones also have increased, trends that IPCC scientists say were more likely than not influenced by human activities. Regardless of the outcomes of the Qld Floods Commission, future Qld Governments will have to respond to the causes and impacts of Climate Change.

Qld State Elections

In the current circumstances of the Federal Leadership kerfuffle, not much has happened in the Qld State Election campaign concerning Environmental Management.

However, last Tuesday, the Liberal National Party did announce a plan to open up the Trinity Inlet to larger cruise ships into Cairns. There have been no costings or Environmental assessment on this proposal.

Apparently, cruise ships already inject $12 million-plus a year to the Cairns economy, but the LNP fear that as cruise ships grow larger, the lack of access to Cairns could see the city miss out.
Over the weekend, the Qld Premier, announced the intention to extend the “Wild Rivers Area” to include another 5 river catchments on Cape York Peninsula. . The LNP are proposing to open up this area for commercial development & dissolved the Department of Environment & Resource Management into multiple departments.

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