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First Nations people underrepresented in senior positions

Australia’s first detailed snapshot of Indigenous employment has found that just 0.7 per cent of First Nations people were found to hold senior positions. The Indigenous Employment Index, launched on Tuesday, found that indigenous employees are “almost entirely absent” from senior leadership in this country. Insights from 700,000 Australians found that overall, Indigenous Australians make up just 5 per cent of the country’s total workforce. 

Huge support for Metricon amid fears 

Suppliers and subcontractors are rallying behind Metricon, as rumours of collapse continue to swirl around the home building giant. Claims of financial issues and recent crisis talks with the Victorian Government have come out following the sudden death of Metricon founder and chief executive officer Mario Biasin, who reportedly was experiencing mental health issues. For its part, Metricon recently downplayed the speculation, stating it is “completely up to date” with its payments to contractors, suppliers, employees and commissions.

Bloomberg opens data submission period for 2023 Gender Equality Index

Submissions are now open to be considered for inclusion in Bloomberg’s 2023 Bloomberg Gender Equality Index (GEI). Companies can submit gender-related data to the Bloomberg Gender Reporting Framework. The GEI is a reference index that reflects the financial performance of public companies that have demonstrated their commitment to gender equality in the workplace. The deadline for submissions is 30 September, 2022.

Equiem launches new proptech platform

Following its acquisition of Vicinitee for an undisclosed sum, UK-based and Melbourne-founded building operations platform Equiem has launched an end-to-end platform called “Equiem One”, bringing together its tenant experience, operations, and data analytics solutions. Proptech has seen explosive growth in the past 24 months. In March 2022, the industry saw mergers and acquisitions activity totaling $1.1 billion globally.

Property Council launches new Student Accommodation Council 

The Property Council of Australia has launched a Student Accommodation Council in response to strong growth in the sector. Over the past five years, Property Council members have delivered 31,000 purpose-built student beds, with an estimated value of $9.3 billion. The Council’s 10 founding members account for almost 50,000 of the 123,000 purpose-built beds across Australia, with current assets valued at more than $20 billion, and many more projects in the pipeline.

The Council has 10 founding members including Campus Living Villages, Cedar Pacific, Iglu, Journal Student Living, Student One, UniLodge, WeeHur, Dwell, Scape and Yugo.

Melbourne waste to energy plans 

Great Southern Waste Technologies (GSWT) has announced a partnership with Repurpose It to build a new waste to energy (WtE) facility in Melbourne’s outer northern suburbs. It will be GSWT’s second WtE facility in Victoria, after recently getting the green light for a separate facility in Dandenong South. 

REMONDIS acquires hazardous waste disposal operator 

Waste management company REMONDIS Australia has acquired hazardous waste and dangerous goods processing and disposal operator Environmental Treatment Solutions (ETS), strengthening its waste capabilities. ETS entered into joint-venture arrangements with REMONDIS in 2018, with the full acquisition now completed. All 25 of ETS’s staff will stay on.  

UOW joins Decarbonisation Innovation Hub

The University of Wollongong (UOW) will join the newly established Decarbonisation Innovation Hub. A $15 million NSW Government investment will create measurable solutions for business and government that support both commercial growth and emissions reduction and will move the state towards the target of net zero emissions by 2050.

GI Hub Convenes Global Experts to Advise on a G20 Framework to Boost Investment in Sustainable Infrastructure

The Global Infrastructure Hub has announced the formation of a Technical Working Group of global infrastructure, finance, and climate experts to provide strategic advice to the G20 and GI Hub on a forthcoming framework that will offer new recommendations for scaling up private sector investment in sustainable infrastructure. 

Amazon opens first two solar farms in Australia

Amazon’s first two solar farms in Australia – named Gunnedah and Suntop located in regional NSW – have reached commercial operation and are now delivering clean energy to the Australian grid. The two farms will aim to generate 392,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy each year, equal to the annual electricity consumption of 63,000 Australian homes. 

Australia leads the way with more PV per capita than anywhere else in the world

A new report from the Australian PV Institute has revealed that Australia has the world’s highest per capita uptake of solar photovoltaic in the world, according to the IEA PV Power Systems Snapshot of Global PV Markets 2022. Australia comes in first place ahead of the Netherlands and Germany, with solar now contributing over 13 per cent of all electricity demand, a figure that has doubled in less than three years.

Aussie fintech launches in-app home loan switching

Financial technology and platforms business Acacia Money has unveiled an update to its existing app, allowing users to see how their finances stack up financially and environmentally, making it easier to switch to better alternatives. The original app provides users with a comprehensive financial view and uses smart algorithms to automatically identify better performing savings, super and energy options based on both financial and environmental factors. 

Linfox Logistics brings first electric truck trial to Coles supermarkets

Supermarket chain Coles Group is trialling an electric truck to deliver stock to NSW stores with transport partner Linfox Logistics as part of its net-zero by 2050 goals. Other initiatives in the plan included carbon-neutral beef, solar powered distribution centre roofs, and power purchase agreements. Coles is currently the 12th largest energy user in Australia. 

RACQ Bank launches Green Car Loan

RACQ Bank has launched a secured car loan with a 5.59 per cent comparison rate to help Queenslanders purchase zero or low emission vehicles. The “Green Car Loan” is available to new and existing RACQ members for eligible vehicles up to $150,000.

Buyers can also take advantage of the Queensland Government’s $3,000 rebate on new eligible zero emission vehicles with a purchase price up to $58,000 including GST along with continuing discounts on registration.

Forum Group liquidation offers commercial waste inventory

The liquidation of Forum Group will have the inventory of its last major business, Iugis Pty Ltd, offered to market this week. Director Bill Papas allegedly defrauded major banks of over 400 million dollars, and at the time of the company being placed into liquidation last year the inventory that will now go to auction this week had a landed cost of nearly $14 million.

Up for offer is over 800 lots of commercial food waste digesters, skip bins, electric motors and more in a four-part auction across two days. The auctions are currently online with the bidding set to close on Wednesday 25th May and 26 Thursday May. In addition, a number of Surfacide Heolis Systems will also be on offer shortly.

NSW tech commercialisation grants closing soon

Expressions of interest are closing on 3 June 2022 at 5pm AEST for the NSW government’s $40 million clean technology commercialisation grants initiative, delivered by the NSW Environmental Trust. The grant is part of the government’s initiative to deliver innovative, low emissions technologies and help NSW achieve net zero by 2050. 

Contributor callout

International urban sustainability expert professor Peter Droege is seeking contributors for the third edition of the Urban Energy Transition (UET3), the new volume by Elsevier in the successful UET series. This edition is focused on urban, architectural and infrastructural approaches to renewable energy-based urban settings and building solutions going to 2030.

It is focused on a wide range of technological frames, from systems integration to multi-sector solutions; from off-grid, self-consumption systems to the transformed, regenerative building, urban quarter, city and region of the future. Examples include energetic retrofits for older cities, new plus-energy building solutions, cloud e-mobility and solar powered urban transportation, zero energy districts and carbon storing cities. 

Please send interest with a short summary and title of a proposed chapter in UET3 to uet@eurisd.org.

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