11 March 2014 — Net Balance is set to expand its sustainable infrastructure capabilities with the imminent appointment of a new Infrastructure Sustainability Consultant to develop and coordinate a new training program specifically for the infrastructure and construction sectors.
Director Terence Jeyaretnam told The Fifth Estate the company is hoping to have someone start in the role in April, with the program planned to launch in June.
The company currently has 60 staff in Australia, a number which has held steady for the past two years, with new roles a case of expanding services to cater for the evolution of the commercial sector’s own pursuit of sustainability.
“From our perspective we don’t think the market [for sustainability services] is growing – it’s business as usual. [The business sector] is showing the leadership it has always shown, which keeps creating new and emerging areas of work for us,” Mr Jeyaretnam said.
“[Businesses] tend to follow their peers, and when they see them step into new areas, they step into them also.”
Mr Jeyaretnam said 10 years ago there was a much greater need to educate executives and board members on the relevance of sustainability to their operations, whereas now there is a general level of awareness and willingness to take steps.
To continue enhancing the understanding and strategic sustainability decision making capabilities of the upper echelons of management, the Net Balance Foundation has entered into a three-year collaboration with the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, to relaunch the Prince of Wales’s Business and Sustainability Programme in Australia.
The first session of the program was held last week at the Mansion Hotel in Werribee Park, Melbourne.
“Alongside an outstanding line-up of speakers including Paul Gilding, Pavan Sukhdev, Jonathon Porritt, Will Stefan and Mark Joiner, we had an equally impressive list of 25 delegates, with CEOs, COOs and other senior executives from over 16 major companies including Wesfarmers, NAB, Origin, Stockland, World Vision, Nestle, Air NZ and Toyota,” Mr Jeyaretnam said.
One of the things he observed was an approach among attendees of, “What do we need to do, by when do we need to do it and how do we have an influence?”
“It really said to me that business is certainly focused on making their business sustainable – they see the risks, they see significant opportunities, and they see a competitive advantage [in being sustainable],” Mr Jeyaretnam said.