News and Events 2011
14 December: This year ARIES co-hosted a Christmas party at Macquarie University with Louise Metcalf and her team from Pax Leader labs. Presentations covered the pressing need for change in business, and inspired us with what some business leaders are doing right now. Louise also talked about her experience over the past three years creating better leaders for high performing organisations. And we launched our new corporate offering - Sustainability in a Box!
14 November: ARIES Guest Speaker Dr Jason Leadbitter
PVC - Story of a Controversial Substance
"God created 90 elements, but the devil created one: chlorine." (Greenpeace)
- The problems with PVC
- Greenpeace's attack on PVC
- How the Body Shop, Tesco, Forum for the Future and The Natural Step became involved
- The strengths and benefits of PVC
- The role of life cycle analysis
- The challenges of making a more sustainable PVC
- The new 10-year sustainability plan for the European PVC industry
Bio: Jason has had 23 years experience working within the PVC industry, now as Sustainability and Compliance Manager at INEOS ChlorVinyls, Europe’s largest PVC producer. He has an active European role in a number of trade associations, especially on environmental and waste management issues, and is the current Chairman of the Controlled-Loop Recycling Committee of VinylPlus – the European PVC industry voluntary commitment. Jason is the author of a number of books and publications especially on issues relating to sustainability.
17 October: Robert Perey gave an ARIES workshop on Sustainability Leadership to members of the NSW Department of Corrective Services.
21 September: Dr Alice Woodhead presented a one-day ARIES workshop to the Lachlan CMA.
Systems Thinking for Resilient NRM.
A practical introduction to systems thinking and complex adaptive systems.
25 July: Robert Perey gave an ARIES workshop on Sustainability Leadership to members of the NSW Department of Corrective Services.
1 July: ARIES announced that its partnership with the Macquarie University Faculty of Business and Economics was successful in gaining a grant from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to develop an Energy Efficiency Training Program for accounting and business management projects. The program will consist of three courses:
- Training for practising accountants who have Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) and personal clients
- Training for accountants in improving greenhouse gas measurement and reporting in large energy users
- Developing dedicated sections on accounting and reporting for energy efficiency within undergraduate and postgraduate units at Macquarie University.
The first two courses will be delivered by CPA Australia.
The project team will be assisted by leading experts on sustainability and energy efficiency including Mr Nick Ridehalgh (Director of KPMG), Mr Steven Beletich (Beletich & Associates), and Mr Andrew Petersen (CEO of Sustainable Business Australia).
1 June: ARIES launched the following free sustainability teaching materials.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations commissioned ARIES to develop a module in energy efficiency and renewable energy for students in the tertiary education sector, as part of the Skills for the Carbon Challenge initiative.
It is designed to provide students with the understanding, skills and capabilities to incorporate concerns about energy efficiency, energy effectiveness and renewable energy into their personal and working lives. The modular construction of the unit allows teachers and lecturers to either utilise the content within existing courses, or to develop new short courses.
More details here.
Indigenous Concepts of Country and Sustainability
The Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations also commissioned ARIES, as part of the Skills for the Carbon Challenge initiative, to develop a 3-hour Indigenous Concepts of Country and Sustainability module that could be inserted across a variety of university curricula – particularly within non-technical courses including business, education, arts, health and other social sciences.
The Indigenous concept of Country provides an excellent way for students to engage with systemic thinking and sustainability. It is the holistic engagement of a person with a specific physical location that is both symbolic and real. Australian Indigenous people have a deep emotional connection to Country – they care for and nurture Country; visit Country; talk to Country; sing for Country; and feel sorry for Country. Country defines identity and with identity comes obligation to oneself, to others past, present and future, and to nature.
More details here.
11 April: The Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) launched its new website of resources for learning and teaching sustainability. ARIES was commissioned by the ALTC to compile the Teaching Toolkit for this website. The toolkit comprises a database of teaching materials to incorporate sustainability into the higher education curriculum, and is searchable by discipline area or by issue.
Visit the ALTC's Learning and Teaching Sustainability website here.
Two ARIES projects were launched at the same time:
- A module in energy efficiency and renewable energy for students in the tertiary education sector, commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations as part of the Skills for the Carbon Challenge initiative.
- A teaching module in Indigenous Concepts of Country and Sustainability for students in the higher education sector, also commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations as part of the Skills for the Carbon Challenge initiative.
15 February: "Where Public Policy and Sustainability Intersect". Prof Suzanne Benn was invited to facilitate this discussion with David Bell, General Manager Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Westpac, as part of the A&NZSustain's Roundtable Series.
28 January: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's remarks to the World Economic Forum session on redefining sustainable development, in Davos, Switzerland.
- Our current over-consumption is a 'suicide pact'.
- We need a free-market revolution for global sustainability.
- The one resource that is scarcest of all: time.
To read his short talk, click here.
January: Publication of new book by Prof Suzanne Benn and Dianne Bolton, Key Concepts in Corporate Social Responsibility.
24 January: Prof Suzanne Benn is appointed as a Trustee of the Western Sydney Parklands Trust.