EMS Association Newsletter Autumn 2010

2010 National EMS Conference
12-13 October 2010
Waterfront Campus
Deakin University
Geelong, Victoria

'Framework for collective action' has been chosen as this year's conference theme in response to the increasingly complex solutions being mooted for the big issues of our time.

The 2010 Conference will explore how Environmental Management Systems can and are being used to achieve outcomes at local and global levels. Keynote speaker, Jennifer Smith Grubb, was founding president of Sustainable Silicon Valley, a business, government and non-governmental partnership which uses the EMS process as a collective, regional planning tool to reduce CO2 emissions in California.

Sponsorship packages, the call for papers and registration are open on the conference website: www.ems.asn.au/events/2010/

Membership news

The number of registered users of the website is approaching 400. It would be great to have all those who have registered sign up as financial members. Fees are $88 per year. Financial members receive reduced registration fees at all EMSA events, including the conference.

COMING SOON: Members able to profile themselves and/or their companies on the EMS website.

Have you met the new EMSA committee?

There are 10 people from across Australia serving on the EMSA Committee. They would like to hear any events, services or activities you would like to see EMSA provide, or any feedback you wish to provide. Go to http://www.ems.asn.au/my/contact/

Newsletter editor

Welcome to Shona Cameron, Environment Essentials Consultant, who has bravely taken on the task of editing the periodic newsletter. If you have any EMS-related news (on events, thought-provoking issues, suggestions on topics for events and similar), please contact Shona at newseditor@ems.asn.au. We aim to have four editions of the newsletter each year.

In the news

Green Loans Shut Down

The Minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts announced on 19 February 2010 that parts of the loan program will be discontinued from 22 March 2010. Many financial institutions, such as Westpac who recently introduced the loan, are no longer accepting applications. This news comes as a blow to many Australians who were aiming to improve their environmental management. - Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

More information: http://www.environment.gov.au/greenloans/

Philippa Rowland at Copenhagen Summit

Many in the EMS Association will know Philippa Rowland, the public officer for Clean Energy for Eternity. Philippa was one of many NGO representatives at the Copenhagen Summit in 2009. For an alternative viewpoint on the Summit (other than pollie speak!) – have a look at her blog - Clean Energy for Eternity in Copenhagen - http://cefecop.blogspot.com/

Boyne smelters reducing pollution

Queensland’s Department of Environment and Resource Management has ordered Boyne Smelters, Australia’s largest aluminium smelter, to implement a transitional environmental program after a fire at the plant last May. The plant’s carbon bake section, resulting in hefty benzo(a)pyrene pollution had been posing a particular concern to the authority. As part of their plan to improve efficiency of the carbon bake, monitoring data will be compiled and given to the department on a quarterly basis.

More information - http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/04/2836364.htm

Nuclear waste dump needed

Radioactive materials have a variety of important uses in medicine, industry, agriculture, environment and sterilisation, as well as in our homes. Low-level radioactive waste, including contaminated laboratory waste, such as paper, plastic, glassware and protective clothing, contaminated soil, smoke detectors and emergency exit signs is currently being kept in random locations at hospitals and universities. Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson says that a secure storage site needs to be created. The Ngapa clan of Muckaty Station have volunteered about four square kilometres of their land for the nuclear dump, which would occupy a one-square-kilometre parcel of that area. Controversy has ensued, and discussions surrounding possible contamination and the local Aboriginal community’s ancient bond to this land are at the heart of the debate.

More information - http://www.openaustralia.org/debates/?id=2010-02-24.8.1&s=speaker%3A10218#g8.2

Rock blasting damages art

Excavators are urged to take greater care when carrying out works at culturally significant sites. This comes after Holcim Australia (formerly Cemex) damaged rock engravings in a Pilbara heritage-protected area. The company have avoided prosecution, but now must develop a cultural awareness program and pay compensation.

More information - http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/09/2814827.htm

Small business leads the way in greenhouse gas certification

A Melbourne-based printer remains at the forefront of the industry, by becoming the first business in Australia to gain ISO 14064-1:2006 Certification for greenhouse gas verification. Vega Colour Group is the first business in Australia to have met internationally recognised standards for measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions.

More information - http://www.vega.com.au/Environment/ISO1406412006/tabid/119/Default.aspx

Prime Minister's Task Group on Energy Efficiency

The Government has established a Task Group on Energy Efficiency to report to the Prime Minister by mid-2010 on options to deliver a step change improvement in Australia’s energy efficiency by 2020 and will place Australia at the forefront of  OECD energy efficiency improvement. As part of the consultation process, individuals, businesses, academics, technical specialists and policy analysts have the opportunity to participate in one of four invitation only stakeholder workshops being conducted during April 2010. Further information on the Mnister’s Task Group on Energy Efficiency is available from the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website at http://www.vision6.com.au/ch/3767/2dcps9v/1180703/5277cxzb9.html. The website also contains details on how to make a Submission to the Issues Paper which closes on 3 May 2010.