In this issue

Issue 138

Editorial: Highlighting the 'social' in CSR
A key theme of Ecos 138 is social equity, a core principle of corporate social responsibility (CSR). On page 9, Ian Dunlop writes on the need for equitable solutions to two pressing global problems – the need to cut carbon emissions and the peak oil phenomenon.
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Business signs up to support short-term cuts
While the Australian Government and Opposition are delaying making a decision about short-term cuts to greenhouse gas emissions until 2008, the National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development has signed up almost 100 senior business people to support a national climate change framework that calls for a 20 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions, from 2000 levels, by 2020.
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Tiny bilbies star in WA's biggest native fauna release
Around 40 bilbies and 15 possums have been released in Western Australia's biggest native fauna release project to restore wildlife and healthy ecosystems in the rangelands.
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Taking carbon into account
Leading financial accountancy association CPA Australia has warned that lack of preparation for a carbon emissions trading scheme could cause significant financial reporting issues for Australian business.
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More meaningful 'day at the office'
Another day at the office may turn out to be a lot more interesting for employees of companies signing up to Conservation Volunteers Australia’s new 'Partners in Conservation' program.
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Call for energy labelling of TV screens
Most people don't realise it, but larger plasma screens for the home – some recent models measure 103 inches diagonally (2.4 x 1.4 m) – are overtaking refrigerators and freezers as energy guzzlers, according to RMIT energy expert Alan Pears.
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This year's Banksia winners
The annual Banksia Awards are regarded as the most prestigious environmental awards in Australia.
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Native grasses low-cost option for mine clean-up
Australian researchers are finding that our native grasses offer a cheap, effective and environmentally sound way to rehabilitate old mines and other industrial sites.
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Sweet success in utilising saline water
Date palms have become a figurative oasis in the 'desert' of rising water tables and salinity on Dave and Anita Reilly's South Australian property in the Riverland region near Berri.
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Older may be wiser when it comes to energy, water use
When it comes to being frugal with water and energy, the over-60s are winners, according to the results of a recent large-scale survey of Australian consumer attitudes to sustainable housing.
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Water resource 'snapshot' shows need for groundwater mapping
The National Water Commission has released the second stage of a baseline assessment of Australia's water resources, Australian Water Resources 2005.
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'One child' policy for Australia?
Dr John Coulter from Sustainable Population Australia has controversially called for Australia to adopt a 'humane population strategy … of an average of one child per family' to help avert a 'cull imposed by nature' in the 21st century.
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A warning and action on coral reef conservation
Protecting the Great Barrier Reef from the impacts of climate change, natural disasters and rising human pressures will be a key test of Australia's ability to keep our natural environment healthy and resilient.
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Warmer Tibet, lower flows
China's Xinhua news agency reports that Tibet is warming up faster than anywhere else on the planet, with the average annual temperature rising by 0.3 degrees Celsius every 10 years.
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P back in the loop after S bend?
With the world's phosphorus deposits due to expire in 50 years, a University of Technology Sydney researcher has called for large-scale recycling of human urine, a highly concentrated source of the essential plant nutrient.
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Opinion - Prompt action required on sustainability and global inequity
Sustainability is finally starting to be taken seriously in the corridors of power. For the immediate future, the touchstones of our preparedness to raise our sights above narrow personal and national self-interest and to focus on the ability of humanity at large to survive and prosper will be climate change and the peaking of global oil supply.
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Sea rangers close in on Gulf's killer nets
Along Australia's remote northern coastline, indigenous sea rangers have been working with government and nongovernment organisations to clean up a deadly threat to marine life.
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Catching up with the new carbon cycle
While Australia has been slow to embrace carbon emissions trading, the European Union and to a lesser extent the US have been busy exploring the potential of carbon markets, positioning themselves for a new global paradigm.
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Making sure your home is not an energy sink
When it comes to using energy around the home, people seem to be getting the message that it’s important to 'switch off and save'. The next step is understanding how much energy is used by different activities, so we know which to tackle first.
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Tuning in to a deeper wisdom
In 2005, natural sequence farming founder Peter Andrews was featured on ABC TV's Australian Story, since voted one of the top five episodes of the last 10 years. His book Back from the Brink is a national bestseller. Why are Andrews' ideas attracting so much attention?
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Uranium mining and the question of corporate social responsibility
Does uranium mining carry a greater corporate social responsibility than other commodities in terms of downstream nuclear waste recovery and recycling, and its wider impact on local communities and workers?
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Marine reserves bring NZ waters back to life
One of the world's first marine reserves – Goat Island Reserve at the northern end of the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand – turned 30 this year, and is proving the value of the marine reserve system in maintaining biodiversity.
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The proof is in the printing
Corporate stationery, marketing kits and the like are a necessary part of business communication. So what can businesses do to reduce the environmental impact of such material? A lot, as Ecos discovered during an environmental audit of its own printing procedure.
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The value of a truly sustainable business strategy
When organisations embrace sustainability as a core – rather than peripheral – value, they create competitive advantage and a wealth of goodwill. At least two Australian companies have proved it.
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Reclaimed water that's good enough to bottle
With Australia's future climate predicted to be hotter and drier, Australian researchers are thinking more creatively about our cities' water supplies.
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Community breathes new life into Lagoon Creek
People everywhere are joining forces to take action on local environmental problems, supported by public funding and professional guidance. However, sometimes the solution may involve bringing in the 'heavy artillery'.
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Review - Listening to the land: an extraordinary Australian story
Farmer and environmental visionary, Peter Andrews, was the subject of one of the most popular Australian Story programs ever broadcast on ABC TV. Back from the Brink: How Australia’s landscape can be saved is the background story to that program.
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Review - Sorting the greenwash from 'true green'
The GreenPower accreditation program has been running nationally for seven years, giving Australians the chance to help reduce greenhouse emissions by increasing the demand for electricity from renewable sources.
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Desalination: option or distraction?
Perth already has one and is planning its second, Melbourne is getting a bigger one, Sydney has finally decided to get one, and Queensland and South Australia are likely to follow suit.
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Plant crops to clean up aquaculture waste
Integrated aquaculture has been used for centuries in China, where farmers have grown rice and fish in the same irrigated plot. Now this small-farm practice is beginning to show promise in the West at a larger scale.
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