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Issue 131




Editorial - Taking the initiative

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Inquiry encourages broader corporate reporting accountability
A recent inquiry by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC) into corporate responsibility and triple bottom line reporting has found that there is no change required to current regulations for Australia's corporations to show a higher regard for the interests of wider stakeholders in addition to shareholders.
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Phosphorus sheds new light on the ocean's carbon dioxide pump
A recent finding that the preserved skeletons of ancient deep-sea corals stored phosphorus in exactly the same amounts as the surrounding oceans has opened the way for researchers to measure the ability of the world's oceans to absorb man-made CO2.
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Centrelink's fleet car forest
As a result of an organisation-wide commitment to offsetting its vehicle fleet's CO2 emission, Centrelink will have a dedicated forest of 14 450 native trees planted for its efforts by Greenfleet at Monivae near Hamilton in Victoria.
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Maglev generator bodes well for wind power
Engineers at June's Wind Power Asia Exhibition 2006 in Beijing showed off what they are claiming is a significant advance in wind power efficiency: the world's first full-permanent magnetic levitation (Maglev) wind power generator.
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Maths expertise will underpin national greenhouse maps
Mathematical research is going to help create detailed land use maps that will enable Australia to estimate and better manage its greenhouse gas emissions.
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Sheep reproduction hope for NZ possum control
Researchers from AgResearch New Zealand and CSIRO Livestock Industries hope that sheep with natural genetic mutations affecting their reproduction may prove to be an excellent model in developing a possible control for New Zealand's possum plague.
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Miserly water recycler installed in Melbourne
As part of implementing a Trade Waste and Water Resources Management Plan assisted by City West Water, commercial launderer Melbourne Linen Services is the first operation in Australia to install a highly efficient AquaRecycle Laundry Water Recycling System.
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Wanted for lease: 6 star office
Green dividends are driving a new design era in commercial buildings, now being reflected in Australia. With some outstanding examples of sustainable office blocks in our capital cities attracting the international limelight, what constitutes a green building, what are the main drivers and future projections of the increasing shift to more environmentally sound commercial spaces, and what is the cost/benefit reality behind it?
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Solar cities generating new approaches
The far-reaching national Solar Cities program is set to trial the widescale deployment of the latest solar technology. It also aims to find new ways for communities to think about their energy use, and for electricity markets to deliver competitively priced renewable energy where and when it is needed.
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Helping re-vegetate China's Loess Plateau
ACIAR, CSIRO Land and Water, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, have developed a joint collaborative project and special Decision Support Tool to raise awareness amongst China's many land and water managers about re-vegetation techniques and the impact that national environmental policy will have on their limited water resources.
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Making a natural impact
After 12 years following a hunch, Dean Cameron developed a highly efficient natural waste treatment system that's a winner in Australia and could be an answer for developing countries.
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Tip of the icebergs
The number of tourist trips to the Antarctic each year is increasing dramatically as popularity for the 'once in a lifetime' destination spreads and more operators establish routes to the frozen wilderness. Can tourism's impacts in the pristine south land be reliably controlled, or will the heavy lure of profit overpower efforts to prevent cumulative human impacts on precisely what people are going to see?
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Antarctic microbes clean up petroleum pollutants
Under the right conditions, microorganisms in Antarctic soils and marine sediments could help environmental managers clean up fuel and oil spills.
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Going the corporate mile
The past decade has seen a growing recognition in the boardroom and among executives that there is more than just virtue and image to be gained for companies that choose to operate responsibly, value their employees and the environment, and foster the wellbeing of their communities. Why are Australian companies lagging behind?
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Savings and Loans – in the returns business
The Adelaide-based Savings and Loans Credit Union won the 'Best New Entrant' Award at the 2006 Corporate Responsibility Index (CRI) awards.
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Rio Tinto – exploring the new frontier
The mining giant made a commitment in the 1990s to implement a CSR scheme throughout its international operations.
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The end of the beginning
For sceptics outside the mining industry, it might still seem implausible that mining and sustainable development could go together. At the same time, some people within the industry believe the case for sustainable development has already been made.
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Review - Treehugger central
Treehugger website: www.treehugger.com
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Review - A shame about your old TV
High Tech Trash Digital Devices, Hidden Toxins, and Human Health by Elizabeth Grossman
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Review - Snapshots of environmentalists
Green Power: Environmentalists who have changed the face of Australia by Christine Williams
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Mini yellow subs will accelerate underwater research worldwide
A team from the Australian National University in Canberra is leading underwater monitoring technology, having reached the commercial stage with their cost-beating, mini autonomous submarines.
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Urban wildlife questions put residents in the picture
A recent community survey about wildlife in 38 urban bushland fragments in Brisbane has yielded some interesting findings: a high appreciation and tolerance for wildlife – including 'nuisance' species – among neighbouring residents; a wealth of local knowledge; and a need for further education.
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Events calendar

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