Newsletter

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August 2017

Focus – National Security

Climate change needs to be central to Australia’s national security agenda

With the events to our immediate north, national security, indeed international security, has been in the news a lot lately – and with good reason. The world has changed significantly this decade through seismic geopolitical shifts. It is also changing through climate shifts. Both have significant impacts for national security and Australia has more to lose than most when it comes to the impact of climate change on national security.

It is therefore timely for the Senate in the Australian Parliament to be conducting an inquiry into the national security implications of climate change. As the country’s peak business body on sustainable development, Sustainable Business Australia, contributed by making a submission to the inquiry, the only such organisation to do so, to date.

Climate change poses multiple threats on industries and businesses across Australia. The notion of national security transcends beyond the military paradigm and incorporates the threats to the social and economic well-­being of Australia. The logic is clear and the evidence is manifest.

You can read the full article on the SBA Blog, listen to a discussion on the issue (Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud) and read our submission.

SBA Activity

Climate Action in 2017

In late August, SBA released a report for C-Suite executives to assist with business in becoming more transparent with their investors about climate-related financial risks and opportunities, transitioning to a zero-carbon economy.

The report “Climate Action in 2017 – Insights into the readiness of Australian business to disclose climate-related financial risks and opportunities” is based on research by SBA using the CDP climate disclosures from the ASX200 and analysis and insights by leading environmental and energy management advisory firm, Energetics.

The report calls on business to disclose carbon liabilities; for transparency about emission reduction strategies and, for climate response strategies to be integrated into core businesses. The report provides insights into how Australian business is evaluating and disclosing their material climate risks and opportunities that are most relevant to their business activities and asks how well prepared they are to meet the increasing level of disclosure being demanded by investors and shareholders.

You can read the full article on the SBA Blog, listen to a discussion on the issue (Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud) and read our submission.

 Natural Capital

SBA was the lead business delegate at the National Environmental – Economic Accounting Workshop in Melbourne on 15 and 16 August 2017. The workshop was hosted by the Australian and Victorian Governments and brought together environmental and natural resource management organisations, academia, business and government representatives from the commonwealth and all states and territories. The outcome from the workshop will inform the development of the strategy for a common national approach to environmental-economic accounting.

For more information, you can read this briefing note and look at a presentation on Business engagement and another to the Business panel

Further information on Australian Environmental-Economic Accounts is available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Bureau of Meteorology in late 2013 also produced a Guide to environmental accounting in Australia.

 SBA Communications

SBA has introduced two new communications channels over the past month and expanded its social media presence. The moves assist SBA to communicate its role, activities, achievements and needs and highlight the important work of its members on sustainable development.

Starting in August and early September, SBA started the process of migrating to a new online web presence with the introduction of www.sbablog.net. This is our home between our old site of www.sba.asn.au and a new online presence we’re planning. We will share more about that before the end of the year. The old site and its content remains accessible but won’t be updated as a part of the transformation. www.sbablog.net will contain our statements, reports and links to information.

We have also started recording brief podcasts so you can listen to what we and the members are doing. Podcasting is experiencing significant growth in use by organisations and consumers are responding by downloading more and more content every week. So rather than thinking (as we do!), “I must read that…” and never do, you can now get a quick five to ten-minute snapshot of what we think will be of key and keen interest to you.

We’re now also on the key platforms of Apple Podcasts (or iTunes as it was previously known) as well as SoundCloud. Various ‘apps’ allow you to subscribe to one or both.

We have seven audio items available as of today, including these two from our members:

  • Kimberly-Clark: SBA CEO Andrew Petersen speaks with Jacquie Fegent-McGeachie and Natalie Turner about the company’s sustainable business program globally and locally.
  • Group: In August 2017, Re. Group opened a new facility in Townsville. SBA CEO, Andrew Petersen, caught up with the MD of Re. Group, David Singh, to discuss Material Recovery Facilities in Australia.

Finally, for some time now, our online media presence has focused on the website, CEO Andrew Petersen’s LinkedIn page and Twitter. We’ve expanded that in recent times and you can now find us on a LinkedIn ‘company page’, facebook, Instagram and Google+.

Member News

AGL: AGL Energy wind farm helps turn clean energy wave into tsunami (AFR$)

City of Sydney: SBA congratulates City of Sydney as a Finalist in the Built Environment Category for 2017 Green Globe Awards

Good Environmental Choice Australia: GBCA us launching its Positive Procurement Pledge on 19 September 2017 challenging businesses, government agencies, industry groups and NGOs around the world to get serious about sustainable procurement. By taking the pledge, organisations are committing to developing, documenting and implementing a sustainable procurement policy to govern all purchasing decisions by 31 December 2020 (if not already). GECA’s Positive Procurement Pledge is open to any organisation – regardless of its sector, size, and location – that is involved in procurement decisions and processes.

Jacobs: DuPont has announced the winners of the 13th Edition of the DuPont Safety and Sustainability Awards. The awards recognise outstanding initiatives aimed at enhancing workplace safety, sustainability and operational effectiveness. Among this year’s winners was Jacobs, one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional, and construction services. The company received a Regional Sustainability Award.

NRMA: NRMA released its Annual Report. The report speaks of the organisation’s support for the Sustainable Development Goals (page 5) and the NRMA’s key leadership role in the SBA Sustainable Mobility Project (page 50).

Unilever: Global food firms join IBM blockchain project to improve traceability (Business Green $)

WBCSD and Global Network News

WBCSD Article: The transport revolution: when science-fiction becomes business reality

WBCSD Opinion: It is time to fix our broken food systems

WBCSD Opinion: We have to look beyond electric cars if we want sustainable cities fit for the future

Sustainable Business Council of New Zealand: Weekly Newsletter

Events

Investor Group on Climate Change: IGCC 2017 Climate Change Investment & Finance Summit in Melbourne; 9 October 2017

All Energy 2017: The Future of Energy in Melbourne; 11 and 12 October 2017 

Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia: 2017 Annual Infrastructure Sustainability Conference & Awards in Melbourne; 17 to 19 October 2017

Green Globe Awards: Winners will be announced; 19 October 2017, Sydney.

Banksia Awards 2017: The 2017 Banksia Sustainability Awards provides guests with the opportunities to meet the 2017 Banksia Awards Finalists as well as discovering first-hand the breadth and depth of the expertise developed by a diversified cross-section of Australians, be they individuals, local councils, community groups, SMBs or large corporations. This day-long event features the exchange of novel ideas and the presentation of original research. On top of that, guests can gain an insight into the recent and ongoing advances and get a chance to network with peers; 1 November 2017, Sydney.

SBA Member Briefing; SAVE THE DATE; 2 November 2017

Other domestic events listed by ecogeneration and Sustainability Matters.

Other international events listed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.


Updated: 15 September 2017