The Road Ahead to Building a More Sustainable World

“The Garden of Eden is no more”, Sir David Attenborough told Davos 2019 as he delivered his verdict on the destruction that humanity has inflicted on the natural world. Sir David also offered hope, noting that we humans are a “problem-solving species”, but he reiterated that we have just a decade to solve climate change. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres mirrored these sentiments in his “State of the World” address. Megatrends such as climate change are more and more interlinked, he said, but responses are fragmented. He warned that not tackling this was “a recipe for disaster”. While few of us should need …

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The Healthiest Destinations in the World Have Been Revealed

When it comes to health, you’d think London would be leading the pack with its extensive amount of spas, gyms and health-centric eateries. But, according to a new list, no UK city even makes the top 10. TravelSupermarket has just revealed its list of the world’s healthiest cities, taking into account the number of spas, fitness centres, gyms, yoga studios, pilates studios and parks they have, along with restaurants with vegan options, health food shops, the city’s average daylight hours and how much it costs to stay for a night. All of these things considered, the site revealed Paris to be the world’s healthiest …

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Here’s What Happens to Our Plastic Recycling When it Goes Offshore

Last year many Australians were surprised to learn that around half of our plastic waste collected for recycling is exported, and up to 70% was going to China. So much of the world’s plastic was being sent to China that China imposed strict conditions on further imports. The decision sent ripples around the globe, leaving most advanced economies struggling to manage vast quantities of mixed plastics and mixed paper. By July 2018, which is when the most recent data was available, plastic waste exports from Australia to China and Hong Kong reduced by 90%. Since then Southeast Asia has become the new destination for Australia’s …

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What Australian Cities Can Learn About Sustainability from Asia

What makes a city sustainable? Is it a focus on traditional, “green” sustainability, economic strength or how liveable the city is for people? Global sustainability heavyweight Arcadis believes it is a mix of all three. Arcadis’ latest Sustainable Cities Index, which ranks 100 of the world’s leading cities on three pillars of sustainability: people, planet and profit, found that there are some significant variances across the Asia Pacific region. Australian cities all scored middle of the road on the index, with Melbourne not making the top 50. While not a cause for alarm, these rankings reinforce that Australian cities must …

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Australian Sustainable Design: the Challenges, What We’re Getting Right, and Where to From Here

The drive behind building more environmentally friendly residential homes is coming from individuals, not government bodies, and cookie-cutter developments are holding us back, according to a think tank assembled to address the issue of implementing sustainable design. The chair of the discussion, organised by LG Electronics, was architect and TV host Peter Maddison, who argued that changing our behaviour was key to these kinds of properties having their maximum benefit. “In my view, sustainability is a lot bigger than just green stuff,” Maddison said. “We can put the best solar panels in the world in our house, and that’s a …

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Success in Sustainability Combines These 3 Ingredients

Commit. Collaborate. Communicate. That seems to be the mantra these days when it comes to tackling the complexity of sustainability challenges. Whether the topic is carbon removal, renewable energy procurement, transforming supply chains or creating a circular economy, inevitably the road to success is paved with these three ingredients … The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, organised by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and U.N. Environment, sets forth a set of broad targets, including eliminating problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging, increasing reusable packaging and making all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable. It’s a bold and audacious set of commitments, and the …

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Applications to Present in 2019 Close Friday!

The 2019 National Sustainability Conference will be held at Hotel Grand Chancellor Brisbane over 1 – 2 April and applications to present at the conference are currently open The educational program will include sustainability research, participation from diverse industry sectors and topics of integration, technology, automation, climate risk, procurement, renewable energy and sustainable construction. The conference will be looking at current topics and also looking forward to emerging sustainability considerations. Applications to present in 2019 are open until Friday 9 November 2018.  Invitation to Submit Your Presentation Individuals and organisations are invited to submit an abstract to deliver a 30-minute oral …

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Present at the 2019 National Sustainability Conference

The 2019 National Sustainability Conference will be held at Hotel Grand Chancellor Brisbane over 1 – 2 April and applications to present at the conference are currently open The educational program will include sustainability research, participation from diverse industry sectors and topics of integration, technology, automation, climate risk, procurement, renewable energy and sustainable construction. The conference will be looking at current topics and also looking forward to emerging sustainability considerations. Applications to present in 2019 are open until Friday 9 November 2018.  Invitation to Submit Your Presentation Individuals and organisations are invited to submit an abstract to deliver a 30-minute oral …

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Is it time to move beyond the limits of ‘built environment’ thinking?

The constructed world around us provides the stage for our daily life. The term “built environment” is in the past tense, describing a scenario after the fact. What does it actually mean beyond the obvious connotation of buildings and parks? Yet when we pay respect at a formal occasion to the traditional peoples of Australia it is generally referred to as Acknowledgement of Country. Here we acknowledge the environment (country) first and then the custodians of it. Today we are at pains to integrate environmental concerns into our building efforts. We are discussing how to meet climate targets, reduce heat island …

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How to Use Queensland’s New Container Recycling Scheme

There are doubts within the waste industry that Queensland’s new recycling scheme can be ready for launch at the start of next month. From November 1, Queenslanders can claim a 10-cent refund for most plastic drink containers, beer bottles and aluminium cans at one of 232 collection points from Coen to Coolangatta. The state’s first-ever container exchange refund scheme is run by a not-for-profit company called COEX (Container Exchange) and branded as Containers for Change. Recycling companies see future recycling business from “cleaner” recycled glass, plastics and cardboard that comes in through the collection depots. But some large waste lobby groups, represented by …

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