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    Supply chain sustainability: 5 ways to exert your influence Supply chain sustainability: 5 ways to exert your influence

    Supply chain sustainability: 5 ways to exert your influence

Supply chain sustainability: 5 ways to exert your influence

There are strong business benefits to be gained by understanding and managing the sustainability issues that are significant in an organisation or industry’s supply chain. Traditional procurement practices focus on price, product quality and on-time delivery – criteria that impact directly on the bottom line. However, through its various supply chain practices, an organisation can positively or negatively affect the local economy, the environment and people – via its labour practices, level of product responsibility and policies regarding human rights and society in general. Some of the advantages of embedding sustainability considerations into procurement processes include: Reducing risks (reputation, legal, environment, safety, continuity of supply, traceability and quality) Achieving operational efficiencies and cost savings Building mutually beneficial supply chain relationships Demonstrating corporate social responsibility Achieving and retaining certification to  ISO14001:2015; ISO9001:2015 and ISO45001 The standard for Environmental Management Systems, ISO14001:2015, requires organisations to “determine environmental requirement(s) for the procurement of products and […]

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    How to achieve ZERO net carbon emissions from vehicles How to achieve ZERO net carbon emissions from vehicles

    How to achieve ZERO net carbon emissions from vehicles

How to achieve ZERO net carbon emissions from vehicles

It might surprise you that the cost to offset your vehicle emissions is only 2.5-3% of the annual fuel bill, much less than the average fluctuation in fuel prices experienced in the past 12 months. Its easy to offset the greenhouse gases from the combustion of fuel in your company operated cars, trucks, mobile plant and other vehicles. Here are 3 simple steps to follow to obtain accurate emission estimates and achieve genuine carbon neutrality for your vehicle fleet.  The same steps can be applied to your private vehicles too. Note: to calculate emissions from vehicles your company doesn’t operate such as trains, planes, taxis and rental cars, there are different approaches which will be covered in a future blog.  Step 1: Gather activity data Gather all the fuel receipts for the previous financial year and total up the number of litres of each type of fuel used by each […]

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    Are you managing your supply chain? Are you managing your supply chain?

    Are you managing your supply chain?

Are you managing your supply chain?

While presenting a series of one day courses on behalf of SAI Global entitled “Preparing for the transition to ISO14001:2015″ I became aware that one of the concepts in the Draft Standard is new to many people. Its the taking of a “life cycle perspective”.  So, what does this mean? A life cycle is defined in the Draft Standard as the consecutive and interlinked stages of a product system, from raw material acquisition or generation from natural resources to end-of-life treatment. Life cycle assessment has been around since the 1990’s and is often called the “cradle-to-grave” approach for assessing industrial systems. “Cradle-to-grave” begins with the gathering of raw materials from the earth to create the product and ends at the point when all materials are returned to the earth. LCA enables the estimation of the cumulative environmental impacts resulting from all stages in the product life cycle, often including impacts […]

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    What makes effective training? What makes effective training?

    What makes effective training?

What makes effective training?

Deciding how much and what type of environmental training to conduct in your workplace can be a daunting task. Here are 5 tips to guide you through the maze. 1. Focus on high risk Refer to the site’s Aspect Register or Risk Register to establish the workplace tasks that may cause a significant environmental impact. Determine the roles or job function of people commonly undertaking those tasks. There should be written procedures that outline the steps to take and the operating criteria that must be in place. These can form the basis of the training program. 2. Make the training measurable Develop competency criteria for each of the high risks tasks that may cause a significant impact. Ask “What should any person be able to do before they are allowed to work without supervision? What do they need to know? What level of language, literacy, and numeracy is required for […]

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    Opportunities emerge in carbon and energy Opportunities emerge in carbon and energy

    Opportunities emerge in carbon and energy

Opportunities emerge in carbon and energy

If one or more of your company’s facilities has some carbon and energy saving ideas that haven’t come to fruition, now is the time to firm up the program with quotes and calculations of CO2-e reduction potential. The 2015 financial year will offer smart companies the chance to benefit from new Federal Government rebates. While support for renewable energy generation has waned under the Coalition Government, recently released draft legislation has some interesting features to note. Consistent with Canberra’s intention to commence the Direct Action Plan following repeal of the carbon tax sometime later this year, the government released the Emission Reduction Fund White Paper earlier in May. Under this legislation a much wider range of people and businesses will be able to plan one or more emission reduction projects and enter into a contract to secure funding from the Federal government prior to implementation. The Clean Energy Regulator will […]

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    A view from the inside A view from the inside

    A view from the inside

A view from the inside

Successful audits are a win-win for the community and for businesses wanting to prove to themselves and others that they do what they say they do . By examining a business from the inside out an auditor confirms that the company is meeting the expectations of all interested parties. Let’s think of the analogy of clothing. When garments are viewed from the outside in there may be a glossy brand image, attractive packaging, convenience features.  Only when the clothes are turned inside out do the seams, patterns and structure become visible and understood. What you see is the other side of the same thing. The garment hasn’t been deconstructed – just viewed in a different light, in all its reality, worts and all. The strengths and positives are seen and admired – the reinforced seams and new, unfaded materials and the creative effort gone into its design. But a closer […]

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    Don’t just survive….thrive! Don’t just survive….thrive!

    Don’t just survive….thrive!

Don’t just survive….thrive!

People often ask “what is sustainability?” It means maintaining the quality or condition of something into the future. But  this begs the question – “what is it we are trying to sustain?” Economists may focus on maintaining economic growth and place a high value on GDP and jobs. Conservationists may desire to maintain environmental quality and place a high value on species and ecosystem biodiversity.  Social justice advocates may desire to maintain social systems and place a high value on human rights, equality and the eradication of poverty. So in recent years the word “sustainability” has come to mean a basic level of economic AND social AND environmental sustainability. What does this mean for Australian businesses? Business owners may desire to sustain an income to retirement, pass a viable business onto family members or protect shareholders’ investments and value. So it follows that, as a minimum, businesses must be economically […]

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    One small paradox One small paradox

    One small paradox

One small paradox

The idea that human race can achieve more with less seems like a paradox. The dominant economic paradigm that more economic growth creates more happiness and wellbeing is starting to be questioned by economists and decision makers. At the same time there is a cultural shift occurring. More and more individuals are perceiving themselves as tiny parts of a greater whole, as citizens of the planet, governed first and foremost by natural laws. The paradox is that although each person sees themselves as tiny and insignificant in the total scheme of things, they also see themselves as free to make rational choices to live within natural planetary boundaries.                     “I am small but I am part of something big” The humbling realisation of smallness, rather than making one feel powerless leads to empowerment. As individuals with a common goal, people can view themselves as global citizens who can easily connect […]

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    Turning the tide of ocean exploitation Turning the tide of ocean exploitation

    Turning the tide of ocean exploitation

Turning the tide of ocean exploitation

A large expansion of marine sanctuaries, stronger enforcement of laws to prevent illegal fishing and better consumer information are the keys to protect marine biodiversity and fish stocks.  Seafood is a food source for 3,000 million people worldwide according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the US (FAO) (6). In 2012 the Australian government created the largest network of protected marine areas anywhere in the world…. a great step forward but according to the IUCN and UNEP (1) only 1.6% of the world’s oceans have this level of protection and continue to be at risk of overexploitation.  The world’s oceans are the last frontier, a modern day example of Gareth Hardin’s  “tragedy of the commons”. This is because the greatest risk to global fish stocks today is overfishing. According to another study from the FAO, (2) only 15% of fisheries are considered under or moderately exploited meaning they are […]

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    Which office paper is the most sustainable? Which office paper is the most sustainable?

    Which office paper is the most sustainable?

Which office paper is the most sustainable?

With logging of old growth forests still a contentious issue in Australia and rainforest destruction continuing across the globe, companies and individuals need to think carefully about how to exercise their purchasing power if they desire a sustainable pulp and paper industry. Now that technology has enabled the electronic storage of documents, environment and sustainability policies should focus on elimination of paper as the number one priority with a long term goal of the “paperless office”.  Such a transition presents a win-win for the environment and the economy due to the productivity gains of reducing office clutter together with easy retrieval and safe storage of records.  In the short term companies can reduce the consumption of paper with double sided printing as the norm, carefully implemented so that people don’t make mistakes and re-print. The big question is that when its necessary to buy paper, which one is the most […]

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