double decker bus

Business news: NSW construction industry gender parity boosted by govt funding

On Friday the NSW Treasurer, Matt Kean and his colleagues, ministers Rob Stokes and Natalie Ward, announced a commitment of $20.2 million towards improving the culture of the construction industry to be more gender inclusive. Just 12 per cent of Australia’s one-million strong construction workforce is female, construction has the widest pay gap of any industry and women are leaving the industry around 40 per cent faster than men.

“At a time when infrastructure construction is facing a workforce shortfall of more than 100,000 workers by 2023, we need to improve the culture of the industry so more women will join and find long term career paths in it,” Construction Industry Culture Taskforce chair Gabrielle Trainor said.

ESG compliance a vital challenge, new KPMG survey finds

New research from KPMG has revealed that only 39 per cent of leaders believe they have implemented the operational changes needed to achieve ESG targets by 2030, and 43 per cent of leaders feel that complying with regulatory change will be one of the top three challenges when it comes to ESG. However, KPMG Australia’s 2022 ESG Revolution Survey also found that collaboration on ESG will be vital over the current decade as 94 per cent of chief financial officers believe social responsibility will be an important priority for their organisation in 2030.

Surge in solar PV demand 

Sydney-based solar company Solaray Energy has seen inquiries double since the federal election, rebounding to the levels of demand seen in 2020, with customers ordering larger systems and one in two wanting batteries to store solar energy. The company’s director and co-founder Jonathan Fisk said Australia was “entering a new golden age for solar and storage,” attributing the rebound to a new pro-renewable energy parliament and surging energy prices. As of 31 July 2021, Australian households and businesses had installed around 2.9 million PV systems.

E-waste recycling gets a boost

The Australian Business Growth Fund has announced a $7.5 million investment in Australian owned and operated e-waste recycling business Scipher. ABGF’s investment was matched by a $7.5 million investment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The value of the global e-waste market is estimated to reach over $112 billion by 2030. Australians produce a whopping 23.4 kgs of e-waste a person every year, and are one of the greatest contributors to the global e-waste problem.  

Australian bus company acquires London’s double-decker buses

Australian bus company Kinetic alongside an investor group has acquired Go-Ahead Group Plc, the biggest operator of London’s commuter trains and iconic double-decker buses, including part of the city’s zero-emissions fleet, for a price tag of £648 million ($A787 million). Kinetic, which runs the largest bus network in Australia and New Zealand, also owns Govia Thameslink Railway, the UK’s largest rail operator. 

Australians prefer shopping with ethical retailers 

New Sustainability Spotlight report from Power Retail and sustainability consultancy The Purpose Agents reveals that almost half of Australians (47.16 per cent) prefer shopping with retailers that are transparent about their sustainability practices. The report also found that over 65 per cent of Australians believe that the retail industry generates too much waste, with 1 in 3 considering the product’s lifecycle and packaging before purchasing it. The report found 63 per cent of consumers would be willing to pay more for products made using ethically sourced or sustainable materials and practices.

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