By Tina Perinotto
27 July 2012 – Arek Sinanian plans to add one or two people a year to his business sector climate change team in SLR Consulting Australia.
Sinanian has been around the traps of carbon management and energy efficiency for a couple of decades, he says, and these days he can see a new encouraging level of activity, after the ructions in climate and energy policy of the past few years, he says.
“Seriously in the past few years, and it’s been partly to do with carbon and changes in carbon policy there’s been a lot of disillusionment and caution because of the uncertainty of the direction Australia and the world is going, Sinanian says.
“But having said that just the last few months – the last five or six months – have shown a level of activity that I haven’t seen for a few years.
“I’m not saying it’s a quantum jump, but I think that whatever the politics and the media is saying is not reflecting on what companies are doing.
“One way or the other a carbon price, global or local, is coming. And dare I say it’s not just carbon policy and climate change [driving change] it’s electricity price rises, which is certainly not all attributable to a carbon price because that’s just come in.”
His team clients include local, state and federal government agencies with much of the work in adaptation.
Other clients are large manufacturers looking for resource efficiency.
“Some are very well known,” Sinanian says.
One client is proposing a new methodology in carbon abatement that it sees as a distinct market advantage for its operations.
Other opportunities range from landfill gas management for one large local council, and carbon farming initiatives.
The company may not be so well known in Australia but globally it has 900 employees.
Sinanian’s role is to bring a new arm to the company’s focus on air monitoring and environmental services.
In Australia there are 200 employees including the climate change 12-strong team that Sinanian started and the sustainability group started by his colleague.
The company operates in the US, the UK, Ireland, South Africa and Australia.
Sinanian previously worked at Parsons Brickerhoff and before that had his own company.
SLR intends to grow organically and geographically, he says. In recent times there have been two appointments in Perth. Sydney and Brisbane are the biggest office.
“My section will probably grow by one or two people a year.”