Carbon-cutting makes good business sense

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In the 59th Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 11 February 2015, we talk about how we can catalyse action to reduce carbon emissions.

Our guest in the sustainable studio is Fran MacDonald from the Western Alliance for Greenhouse Action, WAGA. She explains about ‘Low Carbon West’ – the new greenhouse strategy for Victoria’s western region which delivers a plan for the transition to a low carbon economy, and about what this strategy means for Geelong.

‘Low Carbon West’ was officially launched on 25 November 2014.

We also talk with Fran about the new Reenergise Geelong initiative which will soon be launched by an alliance of civil and corporate groups in Geelong.



Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 59:

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“Taking bold action on climate change simply makes good business sense.”
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, in The Guardian on 5 February 2015


“In the years ahead, the only sustainable growth will be green growth. It’s a guarantee of jobs and prosperity for generations to come. It’s a massive opportunity.”
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, January 2015


» The Liberal Democrats – 29 January 2015:
Going green isn’t a luxury extra, it’s a necessary investment in our future


More information

More about the the topics we talked about in The Sustainable Hour


In this podcast interview, Fran MacDonald explains how the strategy was developed, the overall goals, tasks and timelines, and the project partners: Western Alliance for Greenhouse Action, LeadWest and Western Melbourne Regional Development Australia.

In the interview, Fran mentions a reports on Environmental Upgrade Agreements with figures about economic development potential – investment and jobs creation – from environmental upgrades. The report quantifies the economic benefits that may flow from facilitating access to Environmental Upgrade Agreements – a mechanism for building owners to access attractive finance for retrofitting: unlocking $4.5 billion of investment and +18,000 jobs across Victoria.

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You can download the report here:

» ‘Addendum – The ongoing financial and environmental benefits of retrofitting Victoria’s building stock’ (PDF)

These 22 powerpoint slides show the financial savings for businesses and carbon savings. All of it’s potential to be realised if we can increase retrofitting activity by just 15 percent:

» ‘The economic benefits of retrofitting Victoria’s building stock through Environmental Upgrade Agreements’

Here are a couple of links where you can learn more about the region’s and Geelong’s greenhouse gas emissions, and which sectors generate them:
 
» WAGA’s website: www.waga.com.au

“Local councils in Melbourne’s western region have agreed to a low carbon plan that includes a cool roofs program for commercial buildings, planning scheme amendments to deliver higher energy efficiency standards for residential buildings, and voluntary incentives for developers of high performance commercial buildings.”


» Here is a link to a page that talks about the savings that have been made by upgrades to street lighting and other council facilities across the region, including by City of Greater Geelong: www.waga.com.au/climate-change-action/lighting-the-west

» Here is an article about the launch of ‘Low Carbon West’ in November 2014

» Summary booklet (PDF)

» The full strategy documents for Low Carbon West can be downloaded here:
www.lowcarbonwest.wordpress.com

» Low Carbon West – Overarching strategy
» Low Carbon West – Communities Sector Report
» Low Carbon West – Business and Industry – Sector Report
» Low Carbon West – Urban Growth and Development – Sector Report
» Low Carbon West – Transporting People and Freight – Sector Report
» Low Carbon West – Summary Booklet

» The Fifth Estate – 9 December 2014:
Melbourne’s western region councils take the low carbon road


» The Fifth Estate – 11 December 2014:
Canberra leading the nation on sustainability
When Canberra’s Reverse Solar Auction won this year’s Gold Banksia Award, the nation’s top honour in sustainability, it was no isolated gem of achievement.



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Adelaide the “world’s first carbon neutral city”

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On 11 February 2015, the South Australian Government announced plans to make Adelaide the “world’s first carbon neutral city”. With a focus on renewable energy innovation, improved cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, and bold new driverless cars, the Adelaide ‘green zone’ will make the city of churches a sustainability star.



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Influential business leaders call for a worldwide ‘zero carbon’ by 2050

By 2020, 100 of the world’s largest companies will have committed to 100 percent renewable power

Some of the world’s most influential business leaders are calling for a worldwide commitment to “net zero” greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, and urged the private sector to match this ambition by committing to long term targets for sustainable economic growth.

Richard Branson and Unilever CEO Paul Polman are among those putting their names behind the net zero goal, which aims at dramatically reducing carbon pollution and offsetting any surplus greenhouse gases with actions that absorb emissions. By endorsing a 2050 target, these leading business voices are calling for a timeframe that greatly increases the world’s chances of averting the worst consequences of climate change, while stimulating the global economy at the same time.

As this bold show of support for the 2050 goal makes headlines, a report entitled “The Business Case for Adopting the Long-term Goal Goal for Net Zero Emissions,” published by the Track 0 initiative, clearly outlines 10 reasons for businesses to adopt the net zero goal.

To meet the world’s growing demand for energy, the smartest companies are making bold commitments to be 100% renewable as an integral part of their business strategies.

» An infographic shows how RE100 will get the corporate world to 100%:
www.theclimategroup.org

» About RE100

“We’re working to accelerate the scale-up of renewable power to help us deliver a better, healthier and more sustainable world for what will soon be 9 billion people.

Businesses are already taking bold and ambitious action to help create the transformative change we need to drive the clean energy revolution. One of the ways they are doing this is by switching to renewable power. This is a smart business decision. It can provide energy security, help manage fluctuating energy costs, improve reputation and deliver carbon emission reduction goals.

Convened by The Climate Group and in partnership with CDP, RE100 will raise awareness of the benefits for going ‘100% renewable’. The initiative will celebrate the success of companies on their journey to being 100% renewable and will collaborate with others to determine the best approaches for achieving the final goal.

Fifteen companies have now joined the campaign and made a public commitment to going 100% renewable.

RE100 brings together BT Group, Commerzbank, Formula E, H&M, IKEA Group, KPN, Mars, Nestlé, Philips, Reed Elsevier Group, J. Safra Sarasin Bank, SAP, SGS, Swiss Re and YOOX Group. Find out more about the campaign at TheRE100.org.”



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Tipping point for Big Electricity in Australia

Excellent news was released recently that the two large Australian energy distributors AGL and Origin are adopting a new business model to introduce systems to instal PV on roof tops both domestic and commercial.

This means that Australia at last is adopting the most logical approach to the large scale introduction of commercial and residential roof top solar introduction, similar to business models which have been running successfully in Europe, Canada and USA for many years. The proactive programs tabled is certain to see a rapid uptake of solar.

AGL is Australia’s largest generator of electricity – they provide electricity to nearly four million consumers – and in November last year it was announced that they have now chosen a new managing director – hired a 56 year old American, Andrew Vesey – who is suppsed to be a man with an eye to the future, particularly the evolution of a new business model and the inevitable emergence of PV solar and battery storage.

AGL Energy chairman Jerry Maycock said the appointment was made with an eye to the future – that of distributed generation, solar and storage, and how to manage the desire by many of its customers to manage their own energy needs.

And with Andrew Vesey, AGL now has a leader who has “significant experience in emerging technologies”.
At last Australia is starting to wake up.

» www.reneweconomy.com.au



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Geelong Active Streets

Geelong Active Streets will trial a new temporary bicycle route in central Geelong over a number of weeks in February. This will culminate in an event over the weekend of 21-22 February and coincide with the 2015 Sustainable Living Festival.

The aim is to engage the community and promote health and wellbeing while raising awareness about sustainable transport and cycling safety. Geelong Active Streets will be evaluating the success of the trial and providing recommendations to the City of Greater Geelong.



If you would like to promote the event through your networks that would be greatly appreciated.



» To discuss the project please do not hesitate to contact Philippa Abbott in the office on tel: 9417 0020. 





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GEELONG:

Clean up your neighbourhood

Registrations for Clean Up Australia Day 2015 are now open. This is your chance to help clean up your local park, beach or creek.

When
There are three days that you may want to be part of:
Business Clean Up Day – Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Schools Clean Up Day – Friday, 27 February 2015
Clean Up Australia Day – Sunday, 1 March 2015

How to get involved
Individuals and local groups can either choose their own site to Clean Up or volunteer at an existing site.
All your group needs to do is:
• Select the site you are going to clean up.
• Register the site and your group details on the Clean Up Australia Day website – www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au – or phone 1800 282 329

You will be sent a free Clean Up Kit including gloves and bags by Clean Up Australia.

Join a group
If you do not belong to a group all you need to do is visit the Clean Up Australia website to locate a Clean Up site in your area.
Then simply turn up on the day with gloves, sturdy shoes, sunglasses and sun protection and sign-on as a volunteer.
Registrations for sites within the City of Greater Geelong need to be completed by Friday 13 February 2015.
For all enquiries contact our Waste Education Officer (dmunro@geelongcity.vic.gov.au) on 03 5272 4337.

» www.geelongaustralia.com.au



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Global Divestment Day

Friday 13 February and Saturday 14 February

Universities are doing little to nothing to protect their finances from Climate:
• 98% of universities are doing little to nothing about climate change risk in their investment portfolios.
• Over 75% of universities have no publicly available information on their websites regarding their climate risk management.

» Divestment FAQs
Aimed at a medical and health audience, but equally useful for any interested citizen who want to be informed.



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