Roundup: How much hot air your council emits, and other stories

Damian Clarke

Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

How much hot air does your council emit?

Not hot air, as such, but carbon dioxide: the Snapshot Climate Tool, developed by Ironbark Sustainability and Beyond Zero Emissions has been providing greenhouse gas emissions for every council area in Australia since 2019.

A partnership with Google will integrate “Tier 2” data for more granular transport data from Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer into the select council snapshots. This change should allow councils to harness Google’s mapping data to help measure, plan and reduce overall carbon emissions. These are the first community emissions profiles in Australia to incorporate transport activity data in this way.

The Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE)

Saving office furniture from landfill

An astonishing amount of perfectly good office furniture ends up in landfill. It seems that once it’s off the books it’s out of sight as far as the waste hierarchy is concerned. Now, Edge Environmental in partnership with GECA (Good Environmental Choice Australia) and the GlobalPSC (Global Product Stewardship Council) has been funded to design a product stewardship scheme to help reduce the estimated 30,000 tonnes of office furniture that enters Australia’s waste stream each year.

Edge CEO, Jonas Bengtsson, said, “We’ve worked on the issue of fitout waste for many years, and despite great leaps forward in diverting materials such as carpet, glass and plasterboard, furniture has remained a stubbornly hard nut to crack. With this funding we have the opportunity to create a solution that, with the support of property companies, contractors and furniture companies alike, with the potential to improve environmental outcomes, drive economic benefits and create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs.”

Trevor Evans, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management announced the more than $370,000 of funding saying, “When it comes to commercial furniture, we’re talking about a large amount of both textile and plastic waste across the lifecycle of these products from storage and delivery through to the actual components in the furniture.”

The project will start in April and run until 2023.

Cradle to Cradle certification

On the theme of reusing to reduce waste, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute has released Version 4.0 of its Cradle to Cradle Certified® Product Standard.

The Cradle to Cradle standard is a framework that enables companies to:

  • Prioritise action across material health, product circularity, clean air and climate protection, water and soil stewardship, and social fairness
  • Enact change through product innovation and operations
  • Transform their business models, systems and collaboration across their value chains
  • Verify their performance and measure their progress towards sustainability commitments
  • Lead industry transformation towards a safe, circular and equitable future

Enhancements in Version 4 include:

  • New frameworks for product circularity and social fairness
  • More rigorous clean air and climate protection requirements
  • Extended water and soil stewardship requirements
  • Improved material health requirements including chemical regulations and a new restricted substances list

Dr. Christina Raab, vice president of strategy and development for the Institute says, Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4.0 offers businesses of all sizes an ambitious solution for advancing from commitment to action by addressing interconnected sustainability topics, and developing safe and circular products. By benchmarking performance against the standard’s ascending levels of achievement, companies can set strategy, measure progress, and clearly communicate their impact and leadership to their stakeholders.”

Make a Green Move for your business

Greenlister, Green Moves Australia has expanded its areas of advice and consulting to include carbon accounting. Green Moves Australia is also now a Climate Active Registered Consultant.

Green Moves provides independent advice and guidance on energy efficiency, carbon reduction and sustainability. Its services, to date, have included energy auditing, carbon inventories, sustainability guidance and education. The addition of carbon accounting expands its offering and being Climate Active Registered strengthens Green Moves already considerable credibility.