Dr Jennifer Alden – Health Broker, Growing Change and Chair, Bendigo Regional Food Alliance
Dr Paul Bannister – Projects and Advisory Services Director, Energy Action
Ms Anne-Marie Birkill – Partner and Executive Director, One Ventures
Mr Peter Castellas – Chief Executive Officer, Carbon Market Institute
In 2017 a diverse array of local food economies exists across Australia, underpinned by food system resources, often at the local government level, for small to medium scale agriculture, local community food and social enterprises and community food security projects.
Community enthusiasm for local food has provided a starting point for development of innovative enterprises and businesses to sustain our edible future.
A range of activities have taken place in Bendigo with outcomes ranging from the establishment of the Bendigo Regional Food Alliance, with small scale sustainable business involvement, to the development of significant partnerships for a Regional Food Hub.
These enterprises have the potential to contribute to a city that features resilience to a changing climate. In addition contributing to a local food economy that stimulates sustainable business growth alongside needed improvements in health and wellbeing.
By signing to the Paris agreement, Australia is committed to a zero carbon economy by 2050. While that may seem a long way away, actions have to start now and one of the first cabs off the rank is zero energy/emissions buildings.
Net zero buildings generate or offset as much energy or emissions as they create in operation. This requires a combination of exceptional energy efficiency with significant levels of site or local renewable power generation. As significant as the technical challenge is, the intrinsically “whole building” nature of the net zero concept means that the challenging topic of human behaviour also needs to be addressed and resolved.
The concept of exceptional energy efficiency also presents some challenges. We already have some office buildings in Australia performing at 6 stars NABERS using essentially conventional technology, but these are not capable of being brought to net zero using local renewable generation.
Nonetheless, buildings are better placed than most other areas of the economy to drive towards net zero sooner rather than later. This paper presents some of the steps we can practically take along the way.
Good companies start with an innovative solution to a large and growing problem in the market; but great companies are those with resilient executive teams capable of formulating a simple strategy and executing it ruthlessly. Anne-Marie reflects on the critical roles of focus and resilience in building sustainable innovation sector businesses.
The Australian Government has scheduled a major review of domestic climate policy in 2017. The international target, set by Australia in our commitment under the Paris Agreement, of a 26-28 per cent reduction on 2005 levels by 2030 is a floor. The targets will be reviewed and strengthened over time in line with the stocktake and review process. The outcomes of the review will be critical in determining how Australia’s existing climate policies can evolve to meet current and future emissions reduction commitments made under the Paris Agreement.
Business need climate policies that can ensure the effectiveness, stability and predictability of the domestic policy framework over the long term, and outline the pathway for the economic transition to a low (or zero) carbon economy. Importantly business need a carbon price signal to unlock investment. So key things the review will need to cover to help Australia business optimise its position in this transition include: how the safeguard mechanism will evolve to be a true market based system; what the future role of the domestic offsets scheme, the ER; how specific sectors, like electricity, are treated; and how the developments in international carbon markets may impact our emissions intensive, trade exposed economy and lead to potential linkage of markets.
Prof Damien Giurco, Professor of Resource Futures, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney
Dr Melanie Kaebernick, Director Carbon Neutral Program and National Carbon Offset Standard, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy
Ms Parrys Raines – Founder of Climate Girl, International Speaker, Entrepreneur, Board Director, Ambassador, Youth Advocate
Mr Tony Wood – Energy Program Director, Grattan Institute
The renewable energy transition is underway. This presentation looks nationally and internationally at both the material requirements needed to underpin the deployment of renewable energy and challenges in designing for both renewable energy and resource cycles.
It will explore new models for resource governance and share findings from industry and government stakeholders regarding important issues for the development of PV and battery stewardship in Australia.
Business cases for taking climate action vary widely depending on the size of operations, clients and customers, corporate structures and strategic priorities of an organisation.
The Carbon Neutral Program along with the National Carbon Offset Standard offers a voluntary framework for climate action that is suitable for all types of organisations. Leading organisations that have achieved carbon neutral certification include large corporations, SMEs, product manufacturers, service providers, universities, councils and not-for-profit organisations. The integrity of the framework is underpinned by requirements to meet international standards for carbon accounting, regular reporting, independent auditing and transparent public disclosure. The associated trademark is seen as a trusted tick of approval for carbon neutral claims. Beyond this, the option to align reporting requirements as much as possible with existing business operations provides participating organisations with flexibility to aid easy implementation.
The presentation will explore how carbon neutral commitments are a step towards reducing global emissions and at the same time make business sense. Benefits include energy and cost savings, increased customer recognition and competitive edge, improved employee engagement and staff retention, community and environmental outcomes and entry to the carbon neutral supply chain. These benefits will be discussed through examples from organisations that have achieved carbon neutral certification.
Today’s youth will be the generation that proves business can be a force for good and etches into history that a primary role of business is to improve society. Young people believe that business will play a crucial role in the implementation of solutions to some of today’s and tomorrow’s most complex societal challenges.
Why is intergenerational collaboration in business a critical leverage point for long term sustainable business opportunities? The collective skill sets of all generations combined is an enabler to get to the future first; all levels of business can look to engage in open dialogue with youth to identify issues and opportunities for collaboration to find and implement solutions through entrepreneurship and innovation. Young people want to work with organisations that share their values, and are actively remaining ahead of the innovation curve; and those which are not meeting these criteria will be left behind.
Our generations are on the verge of a new era of sustainable business leadership, one that is more inclusive, motivated and driven by purpose. This leadership, incorporating intergenerational relationships, is a vanguard of change that is imperative, urgent and an opportunity for all of us to come together to help Australian transition to a low carbon economy and future.
Wind and solar energy have been rapidly adopted by Australians. More than 40 per cent of South Australia’s electricity comes from wind and more Australian homes have solar PV on their roofs than just about anywhere else on Earth. Yet we also depend on electricity to power our lives at home and at work, and energy affordability has been a hot political topic. These issues were brought home by recent events in South Australia (high prices and blackouts), Tasmania (transmission failures and shortages) and Victoria (plant shutdowns). They led to an emergency meeting of national energy ministers and announcement of a review of electricity security. we are going address climate change and transition to a low-carbon energy future. We can do it well while maintaining affordability and protecting security; or we can do it badly with high prices and insecurity. This presentation will address how we should make this choice.