Archive for December, 2009

FOE Campaign: Emissions Reductions Target

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on December 29th, 2009

Source: Friends of the Earth Melbourne

Image: greenpeace finland via flickr CC

Dear friends,

We have an urgent action alert about Australia’s emissions reduction targets, which it must lodge by 1 FEBRUARY.  We need to flood the PM’s office with messages between now and mid January – PLEASE take action, and please pass this on to your networks.  If you are happy to do the action, please check here:

For the full story, please read on….

As we know, the Copenhagen talks ended without agreement to set binding emissions reduction targets.

Instead, all that could be managed was a voluntary agreement, which was ‘noted’ rather than formally adopted.

If it is eventually enacted, it will fail to:

· ensure deep enough emissions cuts to stop global temperatures exceeding 2 degrees Celsius,

· offer enough money to help developing countries tackle dangerous climate change.

The very existence of the Copenhagen accord will also make a strong, fair, and legally-binding agreement more difficult to achieve in the coming years.

Australia was one of the countries that lobbied for the Accord. The accord will list the voluntary emissions reduction targets by developed and developing countries, in Annexes to the main document. Countries are asked to provide their target by February 1, 2010.

This is why we have issued this alert.

We still have time to pressure the Australian government to atone for its destructive behaviour at Copenhagen, by demanding it commit to deep emissions reductions targets in its February commitment.

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Volunteer Management Resources

Posted in Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on December 23rd, 2009

Source: People First

OurSharedResources is a new and free service for those who work in the field of supporting and managing volunteers.

In a nutshell, anyone can add useful (and free) resources so that others in the field can access them. The aim is to avoid re-inventing the wheel time and time again. Resources can be:

  • Downloadable, real-world examples of forms, manuals or position descriptions
  • Templates and tools for creating resources
  • Tips, ideas and how-to resources

In addition, you can request resources from peers and see if they are available globally.

Source: People First

Vocational Graduate Certificate in ICT Sustainability

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on December 21st, 2009

Image: o’wan via flickr CC

Box Hill Institute are running a new course for Information Technology (IT) professionals who are interested in the sustainability side of IT. Every business runs on a backbone of IT infrastructure and there is so much that can be done – not only to reduce their IT carbon footprint, but also use IT as a tool to reduce carbon output in other areas.  The course, the first of its kind in Australia, is the Vocational Graduate Certificate in ICT Sustainability. This Graduate Certificate is unique in that it concentrates on Information & Communications Technology (ICT) aspects of sustainability. The ICT Industry is well placed to be the driving force for change in the new low carbon economy.

As a student in this course, you will develop skills not ordinarily found in a straight IT qualification, that will meet industry’s need for employees with knowledge and awareness of ICT sustainability issues. This is a four-unit postgraduate qualification. Subjects will cover: • General sustainability – looking at current issues and solutions • Green ICT – ICT industry developments to reduce carbon footprint • ICT as an industry enabler to carbon reduction – focusing on how ICT will help other industries to lower their carbon footprints • ICT sustainability business case study – skills to develop business proposals to reduce carbon emissions for business. Students will work in small classes with professionally qualified lecturing staff.

An IT background is a prerequisite to study this course, which runs for 1 year, part time. For further information visit the website.

2nd Annual Sustainable Supply Chain Forum

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on December 18th, 2009


In its 2nd year, this practical one-day forum and workshop brings together CSR and Supply Chain practitioners to help develop strategies for implementing sustainability within their organisation’s value chain.  Hear from leading Australian and International companies:  Marks & Spencer (UK), Toyota, Cadbury, NAB, Woolworths, VISY, Corporate Express, Fuji Xerox and many more…

Presentations will focus on ‘how to':

• Drive down costs and carbon in your supply chain

• Implement best practice in your sustainable sourcing strategy

• Manage your downstream supply chain

• Make sustainable frameworks and standards work to your advantage


• Tools for measuring and reducing your scope 3 emissions

• An introduction to the National Register of Responsible Business Practice – a supply chain tool for SMEs

Dates: 4-5 March 2009, Melbourne
Early Bird Ends: 19 February 2010

For more information, and to download the program,  visit the website.

Introduction to Energy Management: February

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on December 17th, 2009

Source: Moreland Energy Foundation

Image: mckaysavage via flickr CC

Moreland Energy Foundation Ltd (MEFL) is running the popular one day Introduction to Energy Management course again in February. Places are limited, so book early!

The full day course covers energy basics, assessment and auditing techniques and retrofit technologies. It also introduces the Australian standards, policies, regulations and programs which frame energy management. The Introduction to Energy Management course is conducted by experts in the area, and is designed for consultants, community groups, utilities, councils, teachers, government agencies and others with a working interest in the area.

When: 25 February, 9am – 5.00pm.
Where: 233 Sydney Road, Brunswick VIC.
Cost: $600+GST per participant, which includes CD, training pack and lunch (discounts can be arranged for not-for-profit organisations).

Visit the website to register and find more information about this or any of MEFL’s other training courses or contact Khadiga on 9385 8501 & Elle on 9385 8519.

Get Up in Copenhagen: Day 1

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on December 9th, 2009

Source: Get Up


G’day from Copenhagen!

Things have kicked off here for the most important meeting of our time – and what an amazing scene it is: tens of thousands of delegates, observers, and media all packed in to one space in the Danish capital.  Our team is here on the ground, and have put together the first of our exclusive behind-the-scenes videos for ‘COPtv: Australia’s eyes and ears in Copenhagen‘.  It’s only day two of the two week conference, but already things are heating up. We’ll be keeping you posted with regular updates from the inside of the negotiations, and designing the best actions Australians can take at home to influence the outcomes over here.  Get your bearings with our first video for ‘COPtv’, and find out what’s going on in the nerve centre.

Video: Welcome to COP15

Source: Get Up

Revised Green Star Timber credit

Posted in Policies by Kate Archdeacon on December 8th, 2009

Source: Green Building Council Australia (GBCA)

Image: via flickr CC

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has announced the release of a revised Green Star Timber credit effective January 1, 2010, which allows for equal consideration of Australian forestry schemes.

The announcement, part of the ongoing Green Star Materials review, follows a detailed review of the GBCA’s Timber credit, conducted by an independent Timber Expert Reference Panel. With the revised Timber credit, all forestry schemes will need to satisfy five ‘Essential’ criteria to be eligible. This will provide one Green Star point to timber certified by any scheme which applies for and can meet these criteria. A second point, for ‘Significant’ criteria, will only be available once the GBCA has undertaken a further round of stakeholder engagement with GBCA members and stakeholders including environmental groups, the timber industry and certification schemes. Green Star projects already registered (Certification Agreement signed and fee paid before January 1, 20101) will EITHER be able to get one point for documenting that their timber is certified by a forestry scheme that has met the essential criteria such as FSC or AFS, once these schemes have been assessed against the first level of criteria, OR projects can continue to get two points in the traditional way for showing that their timber is certified by FSC if they have already specified FSC timber in their project OR if timber used in their project is re-used. New projects will only have the option of achieving one point for the time being.

The revised Timber credit has the support of the Federal Government, specifically The Hon Tony Burke MP, Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and moves away from the recognition of a single scheme to a principles-based approach where several schemes could be rewarded – as long as the essential criteria are met. The GBCA supports an Australian forest industry which produces timber in a sustainable way and one of the aims of the GBCA’s timber review was to ‘shut the door’ on the use of illegal or questionable imported timber in green buildings. The GBCA is confident the revised Timber credit is fair and reasonable, with the essential criteria incorporating; the assessment of chain of custody; governance; standards development and revision; auditing and certification decisions; and verification of legality. Stakeholders will also be asked for further comment on significant criteria for the Timber credit as the GBCA continues to evolve the credit and its tools in its drive for change and improvement in environmental performance.

Guerilla Gardens & forward-thinking councils

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on December 7th, 2009

Source: Friends of the Earth Melbourne

Image: ubrayj02 via flickr CC

From “Guerilla Gardeners Get a Green Light“, by Sue Jackson

At its regular monthly meeting in August, Melbourne’s Yarra Council won itself a green star for forward thinking. Instead of razing local unauthorised street gardens as it had threatened to shortly before the meeting, it did a complete about-face, voting unanimously to become a champion of such initiatives instead.  Yarra, like quite a few other municipalities, is increasingly becoming dotted with community-initiated gardens. These include registered, secure community gardens that councils approve and support, but there are also others — guerilla gardens located in places like planter boxes in the street or on abandoned public land, which are established without prior council approval. As their survival relies on councils turning a blind eye, the future of each individual garden of this type is always precarious.

Guerilla gardeners live with this knowledge, but tend to push it to the back of their minds. At least that had been the case for me and my fellow renegades at Windmill Foodgarden @ Tramstop 22 in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill — right up until the axe fell in early August. The story of what happened next — the spontaneous campaign which overturned a silly decision so successfully that enemies of guerrilla gardens are now its friends — might be useful to anyone else out there trying to bring change on this issue at a local level.

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Melbourne Community Farmers’ Markets: December

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on December 4th, 2009

Source: Melbourne Community Farmers’ Markets

December market dates

December 2009 Newsletter:

What a year it’s been. It’s been very tough for so many and we sincerely thank you for your support.  There’s plenty of good cheer now however…the VFMA accreditation launch saw around 200 producers and artisan makers awarded around Victoria. At our markets, thats over 75% so we are well on our way to the 90% required to gain accreditation for the markets themselves. This will be achieved early in 2010 when the few stallholders whose strength is not paperwork, get their application in! Please help us by spreading the word to look for the signs and support authentic markets…

So the summer spoils roll into the markets and are selling fast so put orders in or miss out! The season welcomes cherries, nectarines, peaches, onions, berries, lettuces, and zucchini with new garlic, basil, spuds, beans, peas, and capsicums just around the corner. Not too mention the free range meat & eggs, organic dairy and handmade cheeses. Then there’s also all the fabulous goodies so perfect for the pantry and as gifts; breads, mayonnaise, meringues, wine, nougat, bikkies, beers, juice, Xmas puds, mince pies and cakes, dips, pates, flowers, olive oil, olives, nuts, dried fruit and so much more.

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Beyond Hope, to Action

Posted in Opinion by Kate Archdeacon on December 3rd, 2009

An unusual post for us, here at Sustainable Melbourne, but potentially relevant as Copenhagen takes centre stage.

Image: greenpeace via flickr CC

From the article “Beyond Hope” by Derrick Jensen, Orion Magazine.

THE MOST COMMON WORDS I hear spoken by any environmentalists anywhere are, “We’re *%$#@*”. Most of these environmentalists are fighting desperately, using whatever tools they have—or rather whatever legal tools they have, which means whatever tools those in power grant them the right to use, which means whatever tools will be ultimately ineffective—to try to protect some piece of ground, to try to stop the manufacture or release of poisons, to try to stop civilized humans from tormenting some group of plants or animals. Sometimes they’re reduced to trying to protect just one tree.

Here’s how John Osborn, an extraordinary activist and friend, sums up his reasons for doing the work: “As things become increasingly chaotic, I want to make sure some doors remain open. If grizzly bears are still alive in twenty, thirty, and forty years, they may still be alive in fifty. If they’re gone in twenty, they’ll be gone forever.”

But no matter what environmentalists do, our best efforts are insufficient. We’re losing badly, on every front. Those in power are hell-bent on destroying the planet, and most people don’t care.

Frankly, I don’t have much hope. But I think that’s a good thing. Hope is what keeps us chained to the system, the conglomerate of people and ideas and ideals that is causing the destruction of the Earth.

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