• Envisioning a clean water future
    Envisioning a clean water future Envisioning a clean water future

    Envisioning a clean water future

  • Envisioning a clean water future Envisioning a clean water future

    Envisioning a clean water future

Envisioning a clean water future

  There have been large improvements in the quality of the world’s water resources over the last 25 years. Since 1990, 2.1 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation. The UN estimate that 91% of the global population uses an improved drinking water source, compared to 76% in 1990.1 That’s the good news. Now for the challenges. Agricultural and coastal development and inadequate sanitation near river catchments still cause significant amounts of sediments, nitrogen, phosphorus and pesticides to be washed into the world’s seas. Nitrate concentrations continue to climb and recently the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) reported 169 coastal dead zones across the globe with only 13 recovering and 415 coastal areas suffering a reduction in dissolved oxygen.2  The association with coral bleaching and polluted run off is well known.3 In 2012, 288 million tons of plastic were manufactured globally and 8 million tonnes of this was dumped […]

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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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    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 […]

Get ready for risk based licensing

Failure to develop and implement an Environmental Management System (EMS) at each site could become a costly exercise in 2014 as the NSW EPA progresses towards its risk based licencing system. The EPA will change the calculation of licence administration fees by introducing an Environmental Management Category – either A, B, C, D or E. The Category will act as a multiplier to the fee, resulting in either an increase, decrease (or no change). For example any sites classified as “E” will have their fee doubled, those classed as an “A” will be recognised as having the highest level of performance and receive a 5% reduction. New approach under the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Licensing Fees) Regulation 2013 Each licence will be allocated an overall risk level of 1, 2 or 3. A higher risk level may result in more intensive monitoring and reporting obligations on the […]

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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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