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Hot on the heels of the latest devastating International Panel on Climate Change report news comes that Shell which recently bought green energy provider PowerShop, has taken another step into the renewable energy space. It’s bought 49 per cent of WestWind Energy Development in a deal announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Jobs and Biz – Shell, WestWind, WA electric buses, KPMG and Kate Hudson, ERM and Point Advisory

Hot on the heels of the latest devastating International Panel on Climate Change report news comes that Shell which recently bought green energy provider PowerShop, has taken another step into the renewable energy space.  It’s bought 49 per cent of WestWind Energy Development in a deal announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Raymond Lou, lead partner for Baker McKenzie, which acted for Shell in both this acquisition and that of PowerShop, said the acquisition complemented the oil giant’s earlier investment in Australian solar developer, ESCO Pacific, “as a key part of Shell’s strategy to build a diversified and integrated portfolio of low-carbon generation assets”.

The deal was led by senior partner of Baker McKenzie’s Lance Sacks with Raymond Lou, and Eric Li in Sydney, with assistance from Aylin Cunsolo, Tanya Denning, Sarah Merrett, Rachel McNally, Gillian Woon, Sinan Alnajjar, Brett Walker, Macy Jong and others. 

ERM nabs Point Advisory to add to its expansionary kitty

London headquartered sustainability advisory ERM has expanded its patch in Australia with the acquisition of Point Advisory, which also works in the space. ERM said the added capacity would help support clients seeking to “operationalise” sustainability, namely in sustainability economics, energy, procurement, strategy and human rights.

Other recent acquisitions include E4Tech, Element Energy, Stratos and OPEX, companies that are either in the sustainability advisory area or energy transition. Two years ago it acquired Kathy Jones & Associates, a business well known in the property and government sectors.

Tom Reichert, ERM Group chief executive officer, said: “A strong new wave of ESG capital inflow is happening, driven by a combination of governments and corporates around the world committing to net zero targets.”

Australia’s pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 might be criticised by many, especially those who take even a cursory glance at the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, but nevertheless Reichert says it’s led to a “major shift” in the business and investment landscape.

This will rapidly accelerate demand for climate change, carbon consulting and sustainability services, similar to what’s been seen in other markets over the past decade, he said.

Neil Salisbury, co-founder and CEO of Point Advisory, said: “We are excited to be joining ERM. This is a critical decade for action on climate change, biodiversity loss and delivering on the other SDGs. Joining ERM will enable us to collaborate with a global network of sustainability leaders to help address some of the most pressing challenges facing our planet and people.”

WA buses rule okay… if they’re electric

Western Australia got with the program this week with the first bright red battery-electric bus rolling onto the streets in Joondalup.

The new bus on trial, delivered under the Public Transport Authority‘s existing bus supply contract with Volvo, will be evaluated on a range of factors including; safety, reliability, efficiency, emissions reductions, life-cycle costs, risks, and adaptability.

Powered by lithium-ion batteries, the bus will plug in at Joondalup bus depot to charge on a new high-voltage EV charging system powered by a combination of the existing grid network and a 100 kilowatt solar power array connected to a large on-site battery storage system.

“This is an important goal for our government, so I am really keen to see the outcome of the trial – and how transitioning to greener technology can support local jobs and manufacturing,” said Climate Action Minister Reece Whitby.

In NSW, electric buses hit the streets in November, with power from a solar array installed on the roof of their Leichhardt bus depot, and onboard batteries capable of holding up to10 times as much energy as an electric car.

The NSW government announced a $70 million investment to transition the state’s bus fleet to zero-emissions technology, with Western Sydney-based company Custom Denning awarded a contract to design, manufacture and assemble 79 new electric buses.

In solar news LG Electronics Inc. (LG) is closing the solar panel business by the expected date of June 30 citing intensification of price competition and rising cost of raw materials. LG’s Business Company, which operates the solar panel business, will reorganise its portfolio around information technology and information display.

Congratulations

Mary Ann van Bodegraven has started a new position as head of sustainability at building and construction material supply company Boral (Boral Limited).

“Looking forward to supporting our decarbonisation and broader Sustainability journey, and helping achieve our company purpose of ‘Creating a world future generations will be proud of’,” she wrote on LinkedIn about the new role. Prior to this, she worked at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners in Australia, Pacific & Indonesia as head of sustainability.

Climate change and sustainability practitioner Janette O’Neill has been appointed PwC Australia’s chief sustainability officer and financial services ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) lead.

“Organisations and governments are facing a wide range of complex, interconnected and disorderly ESG issues” said O’Neill.

KPMG appoints Kate Hudson

And speaking of the big four accounting/consulting firms Kate Hudson has joined KPMG as director in social infrastructure and placemaking in the real estate advisory team,

after a stint at her own consulting business and a development management background with Lendlease.

The role was an “interesting diverse” opportunity she said. An attraction was working in a small team (albeit part of a behemoth!) that will look at “growing amazing opportunities” in government and the private sector, providing commercial transactions advice.

By social infrastructure Hudson refers to the impact of big “operator led” projects such as social and affordable housing developed by government, or student accommodation (when the students come back) delivered by universities or seniors living and build to rent, where the developer has an operational stake in the project.

With skills that stretch across a range of areas Hudson thinks the new role will fit well.

“It’s about the people who live and breathe and play in the community. How we create a community, placemaking.”

Way back Hudson admits to a background in architecture though she didn’t practice, becoming heavily involved instead in strategic facility planning, which is now related to placemaking The goal now, she says is to measure impact and outcomes, through collaboration between economists and urban planners.

“It’s crucial to work out that the social infrastructure we’re putting in place has a benefit that can be measured.”

So the work is good but so too her new team’s apparent strong commitment to diversity.

Among her first projects will be work with unsolicited bids to government, asset disposal for and highest and best land use assessments.

Green Building Council of Australia’[1] s (GBCA) senior manager of operations transformation Elham Monavari has won the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) CPB Contractors Award for contribution to sustainability for the creation of the new Green Star Homes rating tool for GBCA which aims to reduce emissions by 70,000 tonnes over the next decade.

“It was amazing to be recognised for something that I love – positively contributing towards sustainability,” Ms Monavari shared on LinkedIn. “For me this is not just a job, but a part of who I am, so the recognition was really touching.”

Brookfield finds fashion

And while one arm of Brookfield is busy carrying the world into renewables, the other one has discovered fashon! Brookfield Properties, Architectus, MPA and Slattery have joined together to support the Melbourne Fashion Festival’s inaugural First Nations Runway on March 11, showcasing First Nations fashion designers. The sold out event is sponsored by Kinway – The Victorian Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce and presented on the land of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation.

ISP and RAPs

Property investor ISPT has launched a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to work towards greater strategic alignment towards a more reconciled Australia. 

Since 2006, RAPs have enabled organisations to strategically and sustainably take meaningful action, creating a workplace culture that understands, values and respects the histories, cultures and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“As building owners, [we acknowledge] our role in integrating our properties within the natural environment, as we respectfully acknowledge, celebrate, and learn the culture and history of the lands and communities our properties are situated,” ISPT general manager of sustainability and technical services Alicia Maynard

Opportunities

Looking to upskill in 2022? EY is now offering a masters in sustainability at Hult International Business School, to all staff, regardless of role.

EY has multiple job openings at the moment, if you’re interested. Including; mid-senior level sustainability consultants/managers, and sustainability communications and reporting senior consultants/managers, to join the climate change and sustainability services team in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth or Brisbane.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a sea change, The Cape in Victoria’s Bass Coast is seeking an urban farmer to oversee a water efficient, productive $2 million urban farm and oversee horticultural elements of the farm including food production and nursery, with the help of the community members and volunteers, as well as events, tours, members areas, education and other activities. The Sustainable Landscape Company is advertising the role starting at 3 days per week before increasing to full time as the farm becomes fully operational in 2023.

If you’re in Sydney, the iconic Opera House is looking for a new environmental sustainability project coordinator to help it to continue to meet its environmental sustainability goals and objectives. The full time role is through the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Napier & Blakeley Pty Ltdis searching for a sustainability building services engineer in asset performance and sustainability to work in Melbourne.


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