Edge Environment directors From left: Jonas Bengtsson, Danielle Mulder and Tom Davies.

The recent shift from the Coalition to Labor in Victoria has spurred Sydney-based sustainability consultancy Edge Environment to open an office in Melbourne.

New associate director Gary Foster joined Edge three weeks ago to lead the development of the Victorian business.

Mr Foster said it appeared there was a greater “receptiveness to sustainability” under the Labor government.

“We’re seeing the landscape shifting in Victoria,” Mr Foster said. “It’s a more friendly political and economic environment.”

Gary Foster

Edge Environment specialises in life cycle analysis, infrastructure sustainability, climate change adaptation, industrial ecology and resource efficiency for the built environment sector.

The Sydney office has 16 staff and the firm hopes the Melbourne office will grow to the same size.

“It’s our intention to expand as quickly as we can,” Mr Foster said.

He is currently based in Sydney and making trips to Melbourne, but he expects to be full-time in Melbourne by the end of July.

The firm’s initial goal in Melbourne is to replicate its services for developers and contractors who are already clients in Sydney and then expand to new clients in the food, manufacturing, property, infrastructure and finance sectors.

The services Mr Foster most hopes to promote in Melbourne are:

  • whole buildings and building products life cycle analyses
  • climate change resilience for buildings – risk assessments
  • sustainability strategy creation and implementation support
  • waste reduction, materials efficiency and “closed-loop” recycling advice

Melbourne is Edge’s second expansion, as it set up an office in Sao Paulo, Brazil nine months ago.

Mr Foster is from the UK and is a mechanical engineer by training.

He spent seven years at global engineering firm URS, which has just been taken over by AECOM.

Most recently he was chair of a resources panel for the most sustainable large house builder in the UK and worked on getting innovation into the supply chain.

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