Monday, December 21, 2009

Personal Energy Meter

Simon Hay has proposed "A Global Personal Energy Meter" at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. The idea is that your mobile phone would track where you are and what you are doing, calculating how much energy you are using, so you can make decisions to use less (perhaps receiving some incentives to do so). This appears to be a logical extension of the tracking devices which the Cambridge Computer Lab has been experimenting with for decades (I wore one of the devices when I visited Andy Hopper in Cambridge in 1996).

As well as the formal paper there is a sixteen slide show.This is an idea worth exploring. There are obvious problems with privacy, as there were with the previous computer labs tracking devices. However, as anyone who has read the draft energy audit standards knows, the state of the art in energy measurement for carbon auditing is not very advanced. Therefore the information needed from a personal tracking device need not be very precise. Also gaps in measurements can be tolerated far more than with a security tracking badge.
Abstract. Every day each of us consumes a significant amount of energy,
both directly through transportation, heating and use of appliances,
and indirectly from our needs for the production of food, manufacture
of goods and provision of services. I envisage a personal energy meter
which can record and apportion an individual’s energy usage in order
to provide baseline information and incentives for reducing the environmental
impact of our lives. Contextual information will be crucial for
apportioning the use and energy costs of shared resources. In order to
obtain this it will be necessary to develop low cost, low infrastructure
location systems that can be deployed on a truly global scale. ...

From: A Global Personal Energy Meter, Simon Hay, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, 2009.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

ICT Energy, Carbon and Cost Tools from UK

The UK's university ICT consortium (JISC) is providing a free ICT Energy and Carbon Footprinting Tool and a Cost and Carbon Comparison Tool. These were developed for assessing university campuses, but may be more widely applicable. The comparison tool is not as flexible as it may first appear as it just compares desktop PCs with thin clients.

1. An ICT Energy and Carbon Footprinting Tool to estimate the energy and carbon footprint of your ICT estate. Contains a worked example from the University of Sheffield. An updated version (August 2009) is designed to be more user friendly and incorporates changes based on feedback from other institutions. Detailed commentary by Chris Cartledge on how the University of Sheffield's energy and carbon footprint was calculated can also be downloaded.

2. A Cost and Carbon Comparison Tool for thick vs thin clients (Beta Version). An Excel tool designed to help Further and Higher Education Institutions estimate the costs and carbon emissions of thick (PCs) versus thin clients over a given evaluation period. An updated version will be posted by the end of August 2009.

From: Sustainable IT Tools, SusteIT, 2009

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Measuring and Reporting Carbon Emissions

Australian company Enviroease are are offering a two day course in "Measuring and Reporting Carbon Emissions" , for $1,650. The course is run in Sydney every couple of months and in-house courses can be arranged:
Covering the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, calculation tools, ISO Standards and the new regulatory framework, this course will help you plan for the carbon economy and the new obligations for carbon reporting. The course is designed for people who are at the beginning stages of GHG management. The pace and level of difficulty medium. ...

From:Measuring and Reporting Carbon Emissions, Enviroease, 2009


American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment

Campus Carbon Calculator

The Campus Carbon Calculator is a free manual and spreadsheet to help universities calculate their greenhouse gas emissions and look at costs and options for reductions. This is a US orientated calculator and much of the advice on funding in the manual is specific to US institutions. But there is a Canadian version of the calculator, which could be useful in Australia and other parts of the world which use standard units of measurement. The calculator is used for the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (see next posting).

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Global 50% CO2 Reduction by 2050

The Group of Eight meeting in L’Aquila issued a declaration on Responsible Leadership for a Sustainable Future 8 July 2009. This supported a reduction in co2 emissions from 1990 levels by 2050 of 50% globally and by developed countries of 80%. Unfortunately there was no mention of short terms goals within a practical time frame, such as by 2020. There was support for cap & trade schemes and carbon trading.

International aviation and maritime transport were singled out as significant and growing source of emissions. Research and development in basic and applied clean technology research and development was also mentioned. Unfortunately there was no mention of measures to reduce energy use, which are likely to be more practical in the sort term, over the next ten years, than "clean technology" which will take many decades to be developed and implemented. I will be teaching some of the reduction measures to students around the world in COMP7310: Green ICT Strategies at The Australian National Universityfrom late July.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Advances Needed in Climate Change Politics

Michael H. Smith, Visiting Fellow at the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society talked on "Overview of Key Advances in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation - Updating the IPCC 4th Assessment 2 Years On", 25 June 2009 in Canberra. Michael outlined areas where there have been rapid advances in technology to reduce CO2 emissions and other areas where the original IPCC report had not covered adequately.

A example of a rapid advance is in the creation of low CO2 cement, which Australia leads the world in the development of. An example of an area not adequately covered in the original report is the potential for mitigation through ICT.

Michael pointed out that the service industries make a far larger contribution to the Australian economy and employ far more people than mining and agriculture. However, it is the mining and agriculture industries which get the most political attention and government funding.

While the science of climate change is reasonably clear and the economics of ways to combat it are almost as clear, the political process is unable to deal with the situation effectively. I grew up on science fiction movies where some catastrophe threatened the earth and the scientists tried to warn governments, only to be thwarted by narrow, short sighted political self interest. That scenario is now playing out in reality, on a global scale.

A more detailed IPCC report with more science and economics is not the answer. Instead the analytical skills which have been applied to the science and economics of the issue should be applied to politics. We need to have an analysis of the political effect of climate change, perhaps showing loss of votes by electorate as a result.

Science is not without ethics. Like all professionals, scientists have an overriding obligation to act in the public interest. It is not sufficient to sit back and say "we warned them in a scientific report, it is not our fault they did not understand it". Climate change reports need to be translated into the language of politics so that political decisions can be made.

In the early drafts of the Green ICT course, I emphasised the environmental benefits of reducing energy and materials use. But I found this did not motivate students to undertake the course, let alone make the changes in the workplace to help the environment. Therefore I changed the course, and its promotion, to emphasise that reduction in energy and material use can result in reduction in cost for an organisation. Being able to work out such savings can also help the individual get promoted in their organisation. It may seem distasteful to committed environmentalists to reduce saving the planet to an incidental benefit of increased profits, but it works.

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Australian Target Increased for Carbon Reduction

On 4 May 2009 the Australian Government announced an increase in its proposed carbon reduction target to 25% by 2020. At the same time the start of the scheme has been delayed by a year and some concessions for highly polluting industries increased. The maximum end of the government's target now matches the minimum reduction recommended by scientists and so is an improvement, but not a large one. The policy seems to have been released in some haste, as an example the announcement document on the Climate Change Department web site is labelled as being in Microsoft Word format, but is actually in PDF.

The Government has committed to reduce Australia’s carbon pollution to 25 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020 if the world agrees to an ambitious global deal to stabilise levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at 450 parts per million CO2-equivalent or lower by mid century.

This will maximise Australia’s contribution to an ambitious outcome in international negotiations at Copenhagen this December.

The Government will adopt such a reduction only as part of an ambitious international agreement involving comprehensive global action capable of stabilising atmospheric greenhouse gases at 450 parts per million or lower by mid century.

2020 target range

The Government has already set challenging targets for reducing Australia’s national emissions. The ambitious target range of 5–15 per cent on 2000 levels, which was announced in the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme White Paper in December 2008, involves reducing the carbon emissions of every Australian by at least a third over the next decade.

The Government’s assessment in the White Paper was that achieving global commitment to achieve emissions reductions sufficient to stabilise at 450 ppm CO2-e appeared challenging in the near term and that the most prospective pathway to this goal would be to embark on global action that reduces the risks of dangerous climate change and builds confidence that deep cuts in emissions are compatible with continuing economic growth and improved living standards.

The Government’s new commitment of 25 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020 follows extensive consultation with environment advocates on the best way to maximise Australia’s contribution to an ambitious global outcome. It also reflects that international developments since December 2008 have improved prospects for such an agreement.

Nevertheless, achieving this will still be very tough. It will require a significant further shift in negotiating dynamics and all advanced and major developing economies to take serious action to restrain and then reduce emissions. Australia’s conditions for adopting a 25 per cent target are set out below.

The following chart illustrates the strengthened target range.

2020 target range: 5-15 and 25 per cent reductions on 2000 levels

[graph omitted]

When projected population growth is taken into account, a 25 per cent cut in Australia’s emissions by 2020 will almost halve every Australian’s carbon emissions as illustrated below.

[graph omitted]

Conditions for a 25 per cent target
The Government will adopt a 25 per cent target only as part of an ambitious international agreement involving comprehensive global action capable of stabilising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at 450 ppm CO2-e or lower. Such a comprehensive and ambitious agreement must meet following conditions:
  1. comprehensive coverage of gases, sources and sectors, with inclusion of forests (e.g. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation - REDD) and the land sector (including soil carbon initiatives (e.g. bio char) if scientifically demonstrated) in the agreement;
  2. a clear global trajectory, where the sum of all economies’ commitments is consistent with 450 ppm CO2-e or lower, and with a nominated early deadline year for peak global emissions no later than 2020;
  3. advanced economy reductions, in aggregate, of at least 25 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020;
  4. major developing economy commitments to slow growth and then reduce their absolute level of emissions over time, with a collective reduction of at least 20 per cent below business-as-usual by 2020 and a nominated peak year for individual major developing economies;
  5. global action which mobilises greater financial resources, including from major developing economies, and results in fully functional global carbon markets.
Meeting the 25 per cent target

Rapid and comprehensive global action is a better value proposition for Australia, and the world.

Australia’s commitment to a 25 per cent target is based on an ambitious global agreement in which the sum of all economies’ commitments is consistent with stabilisation at 450ppm or lower by mid century. We know from Treasury modelling that early global mitigation reduces long-term costs and many of Australia’s industries will maintain or improve their competitiveness under an international agreement to combat climate change.

In the context of ambitious global action involving all major emitters, Treasury modelling suggests that average incomes would rise from $50,400 per person in 2008 to around $54,700 per person in 2020 with a 25 per cent reduction target, rather than around $54,900 per person with a 15 per cent reduction target.

The additional minor short-term costs of deeper cuts in emissions are far outweighed by the benefits of ambitious global action to reduce the risks of climate change.

From: Fact Sheet: Strengthening Australia’s 2020 carbon pollution target , Department of Climate Change, Australian Government, 4 May 2009
Also available are:

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Australian PC Recycling Service

I was standing at a Tram stop in Adelaide yesterday on waiting to try the new Glenelg Tram when I had a call from Brenda Aynsley from the ACS PC Recycling SIG, inviting me to see how they refurbish old computers for community use. The Sig is based at Glandore, about 81 metres (according to Google maps) from the South Road tram stop. So I went along to have a look at the operations.

The PC Recycling Sig is a special interest group of the South Australian Branch of the Australian Computer Society. They take donations of old computers from companies and individuals, refurbish them and then sell them to individuals and non-profit community groups for a nominal amount. Those eligible include pensioners and TAFE students.

This is a sophisticated operation, with volunteers taking the equipment through a carefully documented and controlled process process. The computers are assessed, the hard disks erased using a special program, components checked and where necessary replaced. The Sig is licenced by Microsoft to install the Windows operating system and other software (with careful records kept about which machines the software is installed on). Linux is also available as an option. The computers typically have a floppy disk drive (still used by many people) and a CD-ROM drive (DVD burners are harder to come by). Laptops are also provided, but these seem to be in short supply.

The Sig also provides a computer club to help community memebrs learn about computers and provide each other with support.

Apart from providing low cost computers to the community the Sig also has an environmental role in keeping computers running longer and thus reducing the amount of materials going to landfill. At my talk on Green ICT last night there was a representative from the SA Government's Zero Waste initiative. I suggested they look at helping the ACS replicate their PC recycling scheme accross South Australia.

The ACS would be happy to help set up similar groups in other locations. They can provide the procedure and forms to use to manage the process of wiping hard disks on computers, providing a standard configuration, providing help to users. The ACS can provide a package of materials and procedures and also can provide the licence registration for groups.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Senate Submissions on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

The Australian Senate Economics Committee has published the 40 submissions received so far for the Inquiry into the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. Here is a copy of my submission (which was Number 7) followed by a list of the other submissions:

Submission to Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Inquiry

Tom Worthington FACS HLM

18 March 2009

This is in response to the invitation for submissions to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Inquiry [1]. It is inadequate to aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to between 5% and 15% below 2000 levels by 2020, as detailed in the Draft Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill [2]. The bill should be changed to aim for a 25% to 50% per cent reduction, as advised by IPCC scientists [3].

A reduction of 15% can be delivered just by the use of more effective use of computers and telecommunications (ICT) [4]. Better ICT can reduce energy use, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time lowering costs. As an example, the Australian Government is planning to replace interstate travel for some meetings with high-definition video teleconferencing [5].

As well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from air travel, the use of teleconferences will reduce the cost of airfares. This process of "dematerialisation" is a technique covered in a course I have been teaching to postgraduate ICT students [6].

The Green ICT course was commissioned by the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and is conducted online via the web [7]. A Masters level version of the course is planned to commence at the Australian National University in mid 2009.


Tom Worthington is the Chair of the ACS Green ICT Special Interest Group and is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer, for the Australian National University Masters course in Green ICT. However, this submission is made in a person capacity and does not necessarily represent the views of the ACS or ANU.


1: Senate Standing Committee on Economics, Inquiry into the exposure drafts of the legislation to implement the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, 2009,

2: Australian Government, Draft Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill, 2009,

3: ABC News, Scientists call for stronger emissions targets, 2008,

4: The Climate Group , SMART 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age, 2008,

5: Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Australian Government signs teleconferencing deal with Telstra and Cisco, 2009,

6: Tom Worthington, Enabling ICT to reduce energy and materials use, 2009,

7: Australian Computer Society, Green ICT Strategies Course Outline, 2008,

Submissions received by the Committee as at 26 March 2009

  • 1 Professor Joshua Gans (PDF 456KB)
  • 2 The committee received correspondence to its inquiry in the form of standard letters. An example of the letter is attached (PDF 44KB). These were recieved from: Mr Ray Gomerski; Mr Ian Addison; Mr William Shumack; Mr Peter Micenko; Ms Dora Ulgade; Sinclair Knight Merz; Ms Chloe Mason
  • 3 Olivier La Mer Adair (PDF 35KB)
  • 4 Alix Turner (PDF 116KB)
  • 5 Dr Gideon Polya (PDF 351KB)
  • 6 Australian Pipeline Industry Association (APIA) (PDF 196KB)
  • 7 Mr Tom Worthington (PDF 26KB)
  • 8 CRC for Rail Innovation (PDF 45KB)
  • 9 Association of Tourist Railways Queensland (ATRQ) (PDF 46KB)
  • 11 Griffin Energy (PDF 67KB)
  • 12 Mr Simon Corbell MLA, ACT Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water (PDF 168KB)
  • 13 CITIC Pacific Mining Management Pty Ltd (PDF 165KB)
  • 14 Cement Industry Federation (PDF 77KB)
  • 15 Ian McGregor, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) (PDF 121KB)
  • 16 Dr Chloe Mason (PDF 63KB)
  • 17 Mr Des Moore (PDF 741KB)
  • 18 Dr Klaus Weber (PDF 12KB)
  • 19 Dr David Tranter OAM (PDF 17KB)
  • 20 Mr Andrew Farran (PDF 15KB)
  • 21 Energy Supply Association of Australia (PDF 1731KB)
  • 22 Mr David Kault (PDF 9KB)
  • 23 Quintessence (PDF 98KB)
  • 24 Dr Judith Ajani, Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University (PDF 92KB)
  • 25 Dr Geoffrey Davies, Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University (PDF 117KB)
  • 26 Climate Action Canberra (PDF 22KB)
  • 27 Australian Workers' Union (PDF 132KB)
  • 28 Carbon Sense Coalition (PDF 215KB)
  • 29 Mr Gerard De Ruyter (PDF 12KB)
  • 30 Australian Geothermal Energy Association (PDF 155KB); Attachment A (PDF 97KB); Attachment B (PDF 755KB)
  • 31 Mr David Bath (PDF 71KB)
  • 32 Mr Ian Dunlop (PDF 100KB)
  • 33 Mr Barry Brook and Mr Tim Kelly (PDF 175KB)
  • 34 Dr Andrew Glikson, Research School of Earth Science and School of Archaeology and Anthropology, The
    Australian National University (PDF 648KB)
  • 35 Locals Into Victoria's Environment (PDF 288KB)
  • 36 Australian Plantation Products and Paper Industry Council (PDF 51KB)
  • 37 Housing Industry Association (PDF 47KB)
  • 38 Australian Ethical Investment (PDF 115KB)
  • 39 Energy Networks Association (PDF 96KB)
  • 40 Chevron Australia (PDF 54KB)

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dematerialising the Australian Government to reduce hot air

My talk on "Green ICT Strategies" for the ACS Canberra conference is now available. In this I argue the Draft Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill should aim for a 25% to 50% per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, up from the current 5% to 15%. A reduction of 15% can be delivered just by the use of ICT. One example of this is the Australian Government replacing interstate travel for some meetings with high-definition video teleconferencing. The technical term of this is "dematerialisation" so this is a case of dematerialising the Australian Government to reduce hot air. ;-)

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Submission to Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Inquiry

The Australian Senate invited submissions on a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. In my submission I plan to say the aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to between 5% and 15% below 2000 levels by 2020 is inadequate. The legislation's aim should be changed to 25% to 50% per cent, as advised by IPCC scientists. A reduction of 15% can be delivered just by the use of more effective ICT. Better use of computers and telecommunications can reduced use of energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time lowering costs. An example the Australian Government is planning to replace interstate travel for some meetings with high-definition video teleconferencing. As well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from air travel, the use of teleconference will reduce the cost of airfares. This process of "dematerialisation" is one technique I teach to Green ICT students.

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Inquiry into Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

Monday, March 02, 2009

Lowering Canberra's Carbon emissions using ICT

At the ACS Canberra Branch 2009 Conference I will be talking about "Green IT Strategies: Lowering Cost and Carbon Emissions with ICT". This is in the Tomorrow's World stream. As this is in Canberra, I will be focussing on what the Australian Public Service and the companies supporting it, can do directly to lower carbon emmissions. Contrary to popular opinion, this is not about switching off your computer monitor or spending money on expensive new equipment.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Australian Conference on Life Cycle Assessment

The Sixth Australian Conference on Life Cycle Assessment is in Melbourne from 16 to 19 February 2009. Life cycle assessment (LCA), assesses the environmental impacts of products and services. Unfortunately many people will not find out about this worthwhile event, due to the poor web site, so I have extracted some details below to make them more accessible. Also PE Australia are offering a free "Practitioner-Workshop: Using GaBi 4 software and databases for LCA and carbon foot-printing", February 16th, 2 - 5 pm, just accross from the conference.

From the Conference program:
One aim of the conference is to build bridges between different environmental assessment methods that have a sustainability focus. This includes:
  • Life cycle assessment • Life cycle costing • Ecological footprints • Materials flow analysis
  • Triple bottom line accounting approaches • Energy and greenhouse life cycle studies
  • Input Output analysis • Uncertainty analysis in environmental assessment
The conference also aims to provide a forum for sharing LCA experience in different sectors such as:
  • Building applications
  • Waste Management
  • Water issues
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Energy and fuel production system
  • Products and packaging manufacture
Keynote Speakers

Andreas Ciroth studied Environmental Engineering in Berlin, Germany; his dissertation (Dr.-Ing.) in 2001 was on error propagation in LCA. Since
then, he has worked as a consultant and software developer, mostly in scientific projects. ...

Stefanie Hellweg is Associate Professor for ecological systems design at the Institute of Environmental Engineering of ETH Zurich (Switzerland). ...

Hongtao Wang College of Architecture and Environment, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China ...

Bo Weidema has more than 30 years of experience in environmental issues, since joining the emerging environmental grassroots movements in 1972. ...

Optional Workshops

9.00am - 5.15pm: Workshop 1: Introduction to LCA
This introductory Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) course is designed for participants with little or no experience in LCA. The course will provide participants with an understanding of the concepts of LCA including what LCA is, the historical development of LCA, where LCA can be used, and the application of LCAs including steps to undertake a LCA, and how to interpret findings from a LCA analysis.
Presenters: Sean Shiels (EPA Victoria)

9.00am - 5.15pm: Workshop 2: Advanced LCA Techniques
This advanced LCA course is aimed at participants who have experience in LCA. The course will provide participants with a further understanding of market based system delineation, analysis of input output, different environmental valuation methods, toxicology indicators, uncertainty analysis, and new fields for LCA.
Presenters: Tim Grant (Life Cycle Strategies)

9.00am - 12.45pm: Workshop 3: Life Cycle Management
Life Cycle Management is all about how you can make an organisation more sustainable. It is a unique framework of concepts, techniques and procedures promoted by the UNEP SETAC Life Cycle Initiative and various institutions. LCM combines a variety of tools and approaches to look at environmental, social and economic factors that influence the life cycle of products and processes.

This workshop is aimed at business people interested in sustainability and LCA experts interested in broadening the application of their skills. The structure will be:

• Introduction to LCM
• LCM case studies
• Communication of LCM Results
• LCM & Stakeholder Expectations

Presenters: Michael Faltenbacher (PE Australia) and Greg Peters (UNSW)

9.00am - 12.45pm: Workshop 4: Industrial Ecology
Industrial Ecology (IE) is emerging as an effective framework to achieving a zero waste goal within industrial systems. IE promotes enhanced sustainability by stimulating innovations in the reuse of waste materials. The wastes or by-products of one industry are used as inputs in another industry, thereby closing the material loop of industrial systems, while optimising material and energy flows.

If you and your organisation are interested in finding out more about how you can achieve simultaneous environmental and triple bottom line goals, then come and join us for the “Industrial Ecology Workshop”. We will cover:

• What this rapidly evolving concept is all about;
• What initiatives are already in place internationally and nationally;
• How LCA can play a vital role in IE systems;
• How an LCA coupled IE system can help companies turn regulatory compliance into innovation;
• Case study examples drawn from an emerging IE network in Australia.
Convenors: Viviane Clément and Tom Davies (Edge Environment)

1.30pm - 5.15pm: Workshop 5: Greenhouse Gas Accounting
This workshop is aimed at participants who are interested in making their products or the service they provide greenhouse neutral.

Each step of the process will be discussed and will include:

• The LCA process - the system boundary, time period, what activities need to be included, what data is required, greenhouse gas emission factors and the quantification of emissions.
• The verification process and what this involves.
• How to go about offsetting your emissions.
• Gaining and maintaining certification for your greenhouse neutral products/services.

Examples will be given and there will be plenty of opportunity for participants to ask questions.

Presenters: Jean Wiegard and Lisa Opray (JTP Australia)

Tuesday, 17 February 2009
8.00am Registration
9.00am - 12.30pm Opening Plenary: Challenges for LCA
9.00am Welcome
9.20am Australian Challenges, Industry Perspective
Glenn Simpkin
9.40am Making LCA More Relevant
Stefanie Hellweg
10.00am China’s Progress and Plans for LCA and LCI
Hongtao Wang
10.20am Session Discussion
10.30am Morning tea
11.00am Globalisation of LCA Data. Why LCI? Benefits to Business Tim Grant
11.20am Ecoinvent, Future Developments Bo Weidema
11.40am Open Source LCA: Earthster and Other Developments Andreas Ciroth
12.00pm AusLCI - Summary of Progress to Date Alastair Woodard and Greg Foliante
12.30pm Lunch
1.30pm - 3.00pm : Parallel Sessions 1A and 1B

1.30pm Australia Post Adam Tennant
1.50pm The State We’re in: Global Corporate Response to Climate Change and the Implications for Investors Duncan Paterson
2.10pm What Role will Greenhouse Gas LCAs Play in an Australian Emissions Trading Scheme? Jean Wiegard and Tim Grant
2.30pm The Internal Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Scheme at EPA Victoria Krista Milne and Louisa Perrin
2.50pm Session Discussion

1.30pm Convergence of LCC and LCA Andreas Ciroth
1.50pm Total Cost Assessment - Using TCAce to Support Decision Making in Water Industry. Tim Grant
2.10pm Cost as an Independent Variable in Whole of Life Engineering Mingwei Zhou and Yong Bing Khoo
2.30pm Life Cycle Costing Analysis to Improve Operations and Supply Chain Management of Green Electronic Products Hui-Ming Wee, Ming-Chang Lee, Jonas Yu and C. Edward Wang
2.50pm Session Discussion
3.00pm Afternoon tea
3.30pm - 5.00pm : Parallel Sessions 2A & 2B

3.30pm LCA and Carbon Neutrality Assessments: Monetary Implications of Information Unavailability and Uncertainty Mary Stewart and Rob Rouwette
3.50pm Life Cycle Assessment. The Basis of an Innovative Partnership in the Tourism Industry Simon Whitehouse, Andrew Moore, Nicci Whitehouse, Michael Faltenbacher, Alexander Stoffregen
4.10pm Quantification of Life-cycle Carbon Emissions for Australian Retail Property - A Comparison of Methods and Results Caroline Noller and Colin Reay
4.30pm The Driving Factors Behind the Increasing Interest of LCA in Packaging Design Karli Verghese and Ralph Horne
4.50pm Session Discussion

3.30pm Sustainability Tools for the Chemical Industry Juin Majumdar, Vandit Bhasin and Margaret Jollands
3.50pm The Importance of a Life Cycle Approach in Designing for Sustainability Krista Imberger
4.10pm Industrial Ecology in NSW Vivienne Clement
4.30pm Social impact Assessment in LCA Bo Weidema
4.50pm Session Discussion
5.00pm Welcome Reception

Wednesday, 18 February 2009
8.30am Registration
9.00am - 10.30am : Sessions 3A & 3B

9.00am BPIC ICIP Construction LCA Database Nigel Howard
9.20am Life Cycle Energy and Greenhouse Emissions of Building Construction Assemblies: Developing a Decision Support Tool for Building Designers Robert Crawford
9.40am Application of Ecological Foot-printing to Australian Retail Property - A Case Study of Outcomes from Rouse Hill Town Centre Caroline Noller and Colin Reay
10.00am Whole of Life Impacts of a Building: The Effect of Incorporating Thermal Mass in LCA Mary Stewart and Rob Rouwette
10.20am Session Discussion

9.00am AusLCI progress in Agriculture Marguerite Renouf
9.20am Use of LCA Methodology for Greenhouse Gas Footprinting of New Zealand Dairy Farm Systems from Cradle-to-farm-gate Stewart Ledgard and M Boyes
9.40am Life Cycle Assessment in Plant Breeding: An Example Using Porridge Oats from the UK James McDevitt
10.00am Life Cycle Global Warming Potential of Sub-clover, Ryegrass, and Wheat Production in Three Adjacent Plots in Victoria Wahidul K. Biswas, Michele B. John
and John Graham
10.20am Session Discussion
10.30am Morning tea
11.00am - 12.30pm : Sessions 4A & 4B

11.00am The Greenhouse Implications of Using Wood Products and Alternative Building Materials in the Construction of Two Popular House Designs in Sydney Fabiano A. Ximenes
11.20am Product Sustainability Ratings: The Future is Here David Baggs and Delwyn Jones
11.40am Sustainability Aspects of Constructions Based on Clay Roof Tiles and Bricks: The Environmental Pillar Theo Geerken, Carolin Spirinckx and An Vercalsteren
12.00pm Sustainable Building: The Search for an Integrated Method to Evaluate the Sustainability of Different Dwelling Types Theo Geerken, Carolin Spirinckx and An Vercalsteren
12.20pm Session Discussion

11.00am Greenhouse Gas Sequestration by Algae - Energy and Greenhouse Gas Life Cycle Studies Tom Beer, Peter Campbell, and David Batten
11.20am Life Cycle Assessment of Biodiesel Production from Moringa Oleifera Oilseeds Wahidul K. Biswas and Michele B. John
11.40am The Econo-Enviro-Energy Return (3‘‘E’’s R) Mourad Ben Amor and Réjean Samson
12.00pm Modeling What Happens - Biofuels Case Study in Consequential Aalysis Tim Grant, Tom Beer and Peter Campbell
12.20pm Session Discussion
12.30pm Lunch
1.30pm - 3.00pm : Parallel Sessions 5A & 5B

1.30pm Green Purchasing for Organisations: Development of an LCA Based Tool to Enable Quantification of the Benefits of Greener Purchasing Scott McAlister and Ralph Horne
1.50pm Supporting Statutory & Strategic Decision-making with Life Cycle Management: A Regulator’s Perspective Sean Shiels and Sally Jungwirth
2.10pm Earthster, Purchasing Decision Tool Andreas Ciroth
2.30pm LCA - Looking Beyond the Project Report Vanessa Lenihan
2.50pm Session Discussion

1.30pm Comparative Analysis of Two Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Technologies Using LCA Amanda Binks, Jeff Foley and Paul Lant
1.50pm Greenhouse Gas and Nutrients for the South East Queensland Water Strategy Murray Hall
2.10pm LCA’s Evolution and Integration into Sustainable Business Decisions: A Water Company’s Perspective Francis Pamminger and Rita Narangala
2.30pm Tool for Rapid Cost and Environmental Assessment of Water Servicing Strategies Matthias Schulz, Greg Peters and Hazel Rowley
2.50pm Session Discussion
3.00pm Afternoon tea
3.30pm - 5.00pm : Parallel Sessions 6A & 6B

3.30pm Hybrid IO Model for National LCI Bo Weidema
3.50pm Using Life Cycle Assessment to Inform Infrastructure Decisions: the Case of Railway Sleepers Robert Crawford
4.10pm LCA of Australian Diets Peter Osman
4.50pm Session Discussion

3.30pm Product Water Footprinting: How Transferable Are the Concepts From Carbon Footprinting B. Ridoutt, S. Eady, J. Sellahewa, L. Simons and R. Bektash
3.50pm The Challenges of Using Life Cycle Assessment to Compare Centralised and Decentralised Water Cycle Approaches Joe Lane
4.10pm Water Footprint: the Business Case Peter Holt, Mary Stewart and Rob Rouwette
4.30pm Water Neutrality at EPA Victoria Beth McLachlan
4.50pm Session Discussion
7.00 for 7.30pm Conference Dinner The Observatory Café

Thursday, 19 February 2009
8.30am Registration
9.00am - 10.30am Plenary: Special Session on AusLCI Methods
9.00am Design and Development of a Web-based Life Cycle Inventory Database Yong Bing Khoo, Mingwei Zhou, Julia Anticev, and Rajah Tharumarajah
9.20am Australian Sawmill Life Cycle Inventory Murray Hall
9.40am Setting System Boundaries, Allocation Methods and Functional Units for Australian Agricultural Life Cycle Assessment S.J. Eady and B. Ridoutt
10.00am Data Guidelines for AusLCI Tim Grant
10.20am How to Get Involved in AusLCI Sean Shiels
10.30am Morning tea
11.00am - 12.30pm : Parallel Sessions 7A & 7B

11.00am Development of EPD Programme in China Hongtao Wang
11.20am ISO 14 024 Based Ecolabelling - Making the Principles of LCA Accessible to Everyday Life Sven Paufler
11.40am Online vs Paper Billing Vanessa Lenihan
12.00pm The Life Cycle Paradigm as an Intrinsic Component of Value Chain Analysis - Case Study, The Yalumba Wine Company Cecil Camilleri
12.20pm Session Discussion

11.00am Assessing the Sustainability of Aluminum and Steel Production Using Exergetic Life Cycle Assessment Terence Norgate
11.20am Carbon Balance in Wood Products P. Koltun
11.40am How to Obtain a Precise and Representative Estimate for Parameters in LCA Andreas Ciroth
12.00pm Impact Pathways of Water Use Stefanie Hellweg
12.20pm Session Discussion
12.30pm Lunch
1.30pm - 3.00pm : Parallel Sessions 8A & 8B

1.30pm Life Cycle Assessment: Reusable and Disposable Nappies in Australia O’Brien, K.R., Olive, R., Hsu, Y.-C., Bell, R., Morris, L., Kendall, N
1.50pm LCA Comparison of an ‘Atmospheric Water Generator’ with a Bottled Water Cooler Naomi Blackburn and Greg Peters
2.10pm Application of the Simplified Life Cycle Inventory for a Product Life Cycle Suphunnika Manmek and Sami Kara
2.30pm An Integrated Production Inventory Deteriorating Model for Short Life-cycle Green Product Remanufacturing Hui-Ming Wee
2.50pm Session Discussion

1.30pm LCA and Multi-criteria Analysis Vanessa Lenihan
1.50pm Multi-criteria Methods for the Aggregation of Life Cycle Impacts Hazel Rowley and Greg Peters
2.10pm Biodiversity Metrics for LCIA AusLCI Working Group
2.30pm Introduction to Recommended Practice Guide for LCA in Australia Greg Peters
2.50pm Session Discussion
3.00pm Afternoon tea
3.30pm - 4.15pm Closing Plenary

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Interactive Presentation on Carbon Footprint

A "flowgram" interactive "Presentation on Carbon Footprint Project-Basic Understanding" is available. This uses the
Adobe Flash Player to provide audio synchronised with web based content in the web browser.

Unlike some video based tools, Flowgram shows the actual web page in a frame in the web browser, not just an image captured of the page. In this case the narrator describes carbon footprint while pages from the US EPA are displayed. Text from the web page is highlighted as the narration continues. You can pause the presentation, rewinf and fast forward like a video.

You can also click on links in the displayed web page to break out of the confines of the prepared presentation. However, if you click to go elsewhere it is difficult to find your way back to the presentation. When you do get back to the presentation, it starts from the beginning, not where you left off.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Carbon Accounting course

Swinburne University of Technology has announced a Carbon Accounting Course for reporting greenhouse gas and energy reporting. This is from their National Centre for Sustainability:
Learn how to:
  • Identify and categorise greenhouse gas emissions
  • Prepare and interpret a carbon inventory
  • Interpret greenhouse reports to assist in strategic business planning
  • Prepare for anticipated carbon management legislation
  • Evaluate business risks in a carbon constrained economy
  • Review the organisation’s carbon management options
  • Develop a carbon report for the organisation
  • Review carbon reporting procedures

The course runs over 6 weeks in 3 x 6 hour sessions. Assessment included in course fee. Lunch and refreshments provided.


Course overview

VPAU324 : Develop a carbon inventory for the workplace

This unit describes the outcomes required to identify and categorise the carbon emissions of an organisation, determine the correct methods for estimating those emissions and produce a carbon inventory for that organisation.

  • Understand the context of carbon accounting
  • Learn carbon accounting methodologies
  • Apply carbon accounting methodologies and develop a carbon inventory
  • Analyse an organisation’s carbon inventory

VPAU325 : Develop a carbon report for the workplace

This unit applies to the business environment of any organisation, including commercial operations, community organisation’s such as not-for-profit NGOs and government agencies that wish to provide a report on that organisation’s carbon emissions and their response to it.

  • Review the organisation’s carbon management options
  • Develop a carbon report for the organisation
  • Review carbon reporting procedures

A total of 60 nominal hours for both units ...

From: Carbon Accounting Course, Swinburne University of Technolog, 2008

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Friday, November 28, 2008

No energy measures e-Tax tender

The Australian Taxation Office has issued a Request for Tender for "Maintenance and Development of the e-tax System" (id:08.079 27-Nov-2008). There is a detailed 28 page Statement of Requirement. However, there is no requirement to measure or minimise the energy and Co2 emissions from the system in the "Measures of success" for the project. There should be a requirement for the total carbon emissions to be predicted and reported and for options for reduction to be included.
The Contractor will be required to:
  • maintain the Client Application and Server Infrastructure Software
  • design, build and fully test any changes required to the Client Application and Server Infrastructure Software
  • ensure that the Client Application functions correctly according to functional specifications and User requirements prepared by the Tax Office
  • provide an architectural blueprint in respect of the design of the e-tax System, as well as other technical documentation required by the Tax Office
  • develop and deliver to timeframes specified by the Tax Office, e-tax System documentation outlined in section 13 of this Part Two;
  • deliver the e-tax System prior to the go-live date of 1 July each year, allowing the Tax Office time to conduct necessary testing to ensure a quality product
  • support the e-tax System during production
  • project manage the design, build, testing and delivery of the e-tax System
  • provide regular status reports during all phases of the project
  • evaluate the e-tax System provided according to agreed Tax Office criteria, including the measures of success outlined in section 5 of this Part Two.
From: Statement of Requirement, Part 2, Request for Tender for Maintenance and Development of the e-tax System, ATO, id:08.079 27-Nov-2008

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Business travel reduction projects for Carbon Neutral Public Service

The New Zealand Ministry for the Environment has issued a Request for Proposal for "Business travel reduction projects for Carbon Neutral Public Service and Govt3 Agencies". There are two document for the RFP: Travel management framework,
Business travel reduction projects for CNPS and Govt3 Agencies.

A target in the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation strategy (NZEECS) requires Government departments to prepare workplace travel plans that reduce business travel. Reducing kilometres travelled for business travel will also lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Ministry for the Environment (MFE) coordinates the Carbon Neutral Public Service (CNPS) and Govt3 programmes. These programmes are working together to assist government organisations to reduce their carbon footprint and take actions to become more sustainable.

MFE has developed a package of projects to accelerate improvements in government organisation transport sustainability and reduce kilometres, CO2 emissions, and costs. To implement this package, the Ministry for the Environment (MFE) seeks a contractor to:

  • undertake travel audits of central government organisations with high air travel

  • prepare guidelines outlining practical methods for achieving reductions in business travel, and

  • provide expert travel planning advice to selected central government organisations


The NZEECS has set a target for public service departments to have a workplace travel plan in place, and achieve a 15 per cent reduction in kilometres travelled, by the end of 2010.

The CNPS programme aim is for the six lead public service departments1 to be retrospectively carbon neutral by 2012. The other 28 core public service departments2 will be on the path towards carbon neutrality by 2012.

The carbon neutrality process has three parts:

Measure – agencies will firstly measure their greenhouse gas emissions

Reduce – agencies will implement emission reduction activities

Offset – any unavoidable emissions will be offset through New Zealand based offset projects.

There are currently 57 Govt3 members (which include the 34 core public service departments). The Govt3 programme provides tools and guidance to assist government organisations to take practical action to become more sustainable across a range of different areas, including transport, buildings, waste, office consumables and equipment, and procurement. The delivery of the Govt3 programme helps achieve carbon emissions reductions under the CNPS programme.

In 2007, as part of the transport Govt3 programme, fleet audits were undertaken of 21 government departments with fleets larger than 50. As a result, the sustainability and fuel efficiency of government agency vehicle fleets have been improving as their fleets are reviewed and replaced.

The transport Govt3 programme is now focusing on travel planning. The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), in partnership with MFE, have developed a travel planning process that Govt3 organisations follow to fulfil the requirements of the CNPS and Govt3 programmes, whilst helping to achieve the NZEECS target.

MFE have run six training workshops on the travel planning process aiming to build capacity of government organisation representatives to prepare travel plans. All Govt3 organisations have also been provided with templates, tools, case studies and guidance. See for an example of some of this material.

Each government organisations travel, and therefore transport footprint, is different depending on its respective role and operational requirements. Business travel is typically split between the use of fleet vehicles (leased and owned), rental cars, taxis and air travel. While some government organisations have large fleets, air travel comprises the largest proportion of business travel.

This request for proposal focuses on reducing government agency business travel (air travel in particular), and is to assist individual organisations to prepare their travel plans by providing targeted assistance on specific tasks as part of the wider workplace travel planning process.

Workplace travel planning

Workplace travel plans take a holistic approach to organisational travel to develop a package of initiatives to improve travel choices, and reduce travel and its associated environmental impacts. Travel planning follows a five step process (see Figure 1) and covers both commuting and business travel. For the purposes of these projects, the key focus is on reducing business travel (It does not include the employee commute). ...

Agencies are at various stages in the travel planning process, but many have not yet commenced their travel plans. Some government organisations have implemented sustainable transport initiatives outside the travel planning process, such as installing video conferencing equipment.


There are three projects in this request for proposal. You are welcome to submit a proposal for all three projects or for one or two of the projects. MFE reserves the right to select one or more consultants for the projects to ensure best value for money and outcomes:

Project 1 – Travel audit of selected government departments with high air travel

Project 2 – Guidelines for business travel reductions

Project 3 – Expert travel planning advice for selected government departments

These projects will link into, and build on, the wider travel planning programme to:

  • provide targeted expert advice to organisations with the highest travel footprint

  • help accelerate progress of organisations towards the travel planning target and CO2 emission reduction

  • fill gaps in the current travel planning resources

  • build capacity within organisations on how to manage business travel

  • meet the goals of both the Govt3 and CNPS programmes.

The key outcome of this work is to reduce government organisations kilometres travelled and CO2 emissions. This will also likely lead to a reduction in government travel costs, improvements in the supply chain and make available guidance to the private sector.

Project 1 – Travel audits of selected agencies with high air travel

A travel audit is part of step two of the travel planning process: data collection (see Figure 1). A travel audit is a stocktake of:

  • the extent and reasons for an organisation’s business travel, and

  • the effectiveness of organisational travel policies, procedures, and procurement practices from a sustainability point of view.

The quality and objectives of an organisation’s travel policies, procedures, and travel related decision making are a key factor determining the efficiency and extent of business travel, particularly air travel. Therefore, focusing on how to improve these policies and procedures has the potential to deliver considerable kilometre, carbon and cost reductions.

An in depth travel audit would contribute valuable information and analysis to the data collection stage, and provide a sound base to develop a workplace travel plan. By involving a consultant with specialist skills and experience in travel management3 and sustainable travel (including travel reduction), the outcomes of the travel planning process will be improved.

Project 2 – Guidelines document on reducing business travel

The Govt3 travel planning programme has largely drawn on the resources developed by Land Transport New Zealand (LTNZ) (now New Zealand Transport Agency). These resources have a strong focus on commuting. There is a gap in the travel planning toolkit in terms of practical guidance on how to reduce business travel.

The CNPS and Govt3 programmes focus on business travel, and the NZEECS has set an ambitious target for reducing business travel, so MFE is seeking to take the lead in this area. The guidelines would be relevant to all government organisations (and other sectors) and would provide practical advice and guidance to government organisations with their travel plan development.

These guidelines would be owned by the Ministry for the Environment.

While there are a number of international resources that provide good reference material on business travel reduction, guidance tailored to the New Zealand situation is needed because of our unique travel profile (i.e. higher air travel, geography, distances between cities), and also to consolidate the most relevant and useful information into one document.

The document should be a ‘how to guide’ so should contain less description and more practical advice, tools, and techniques. The document should be concise and easy to read.

Project 3 – Expert travel planning advice to selected government organisations

The time and cost of travel audits for medium sized government organisations is not cost effective given the relative size of their transport emissions. However, all government organisations are required to prepare travel plans and work towards the NZEECS target. Therefore MFE wishes to fund up to 10 hours expert travel planning advice to eight organisations, to assist them to progress their travel planning.

The aim is to give government organisations a kick start by providing expert advice that can be used to inform the travel planning process, as opposed to completing it for them.

The selected government organisations will have the option to choose the best use of this time for their organisation within certain parameters.

Selected organisations would be required to formally commit to the travel planning process.

1 The lead six agencies include the Ministry for the Environment, Inland Revenue Department, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economic Development, Treasury and the Department of Conservation.

2 For a list of the 34 public service departments, see

3 Travel management is the practice of approaching corporate travel strategically. Managed travel programmes balance employee needs with corporate goals, maximize the value of every travel dollar, ensure cost tracking and control, facilitate travel policy adherence, create savings through negotiated discounts, and mitigate risk by centralising all employee travel information. ...

From: Request for Proposals For Business travel reduction projects for Carbon Neutral Public Service and Govt3 Agencies, New Zealand Ministry for the Environment , 5 November 2008

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Auditing of Carbon Emissions, Canberra, 13th August 2008

Rod Gillan, Principal of Ethan Group will talk on "Auditing of Carbon Emissions" at the ACS Green ICT Special Interest Group Meeting in Canberra, 13th August 2008 (Register online):

Green ICT Special Interest Group Meeting
Auditing of Carbon Emissions

Rod Gillan, Principal, Ethan Group

In August 2007, Ethan Group conducted an Audit of the carbon emissions contribution by ICT in Australia Business for the Australian Computer Society (ACS). The Audit provided the foundation for the ACS to develop their Policy around Carbon Neutrality and begin lobbying the government for change.

It is not contended that all business should immediately become carbon neutral but rather that a rational coherent process should be undertaken to reduce emissions on a realistic and cost-effective basis. We recommend a commitment to a process which over time dramatically cuts emissions through the careful implementation of technology and an observance of emission reducing upgrade paths at various points along an infrastructure lifecycle.

About this Event

Venue: Executive Dining Room, Canberra Club, 45 West Row, Civic Date: Wednesday 13th August 2008
Time: 6:00PM

Additional Information

Event Type: Special Interest Group
PCP Hours:

Event Prices (Inc GST)
Regular Fee:
Members: $0.00 Non Members: $0.00
Contact Details
Meryl Morgan
PO Box 779
Mawson ACT 2607
(02) 6290 0711
(02) 6290 0722

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Queensland Green IT Industry Special Interest Group and Taskforce

ACS  Green IT Operating ModelThe Queensland ICT Industry launched a National Green IT Industry Special Interest Group and Taskforce with the ACS in Queensland on 23rd July 2008. The ACS also has a Green ICT Group.

The ACS on behalf of the Queensland ICT Industry invites you to the launch of the National Green IT Industry Special Interest Group and Taskforce.

The Green IT Industry SIG aims to provide industry and consumers with reliable information on current strategies and practices for achieving environmentally sustainable IT.

Speakers from Industry and Government will explain how the IT Industry and major users can understand and respond effectively to the changing business landscape created by climate change and carbon accounting.


Alison O’Flynn - Guest keynote speaker
Alison heads the Sustainability Consulting practice for Fujitsu Australia, assisting organisations in understanding the risks and identifying opportunities in response to climate change, developing the ‘Green Business Case’ and implementing strategic initiatives.

Dr Paul Campbell, Green IT Industry Taskforce Chair
How Queensland is leading the national Green IT agenda

Phillip Nyssen, Green IT Special Interest Group Chair
How you and your organisation can adopt Green IT practices.

This event is kindly sponsored by:

Brisbane City Council and Fujitsu

About this Event
Venue: Brisbane City Hall King George Square
Date: Wednesday 23rd July 2008
Time: 1:30PM
23rd July, 2008

The ACS Green IT Special Interest Group (SIG), chaired by Phillip Nyssen, ACS Qld Board Member, started in Brisbane this year. Its role is to drive IT industry awareness, knowledge and adoption in response to climate change and carbon accounting.

The objectives of the Green IT SIG and opportunities for you include:

Objectives Opportunities
 Lobby industry \ government policy
 Accessible, real information
 Industry collaboration
 Focus groups
 Up to date information
 Champion empowerment
 Best practices
 Innovative solutions
 Professional collateral
 Focus groups
 Access to company experts
 Peer reviewers for knowledge base
 Case studies
 Industry insights
 Lobby government

The work will be supported by the Green IT Taskforce, chaired by Dr Paul Campbell Executive Officer, ICT Industry Workgroup. Its members are comprised of senior managers from the Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council and the IT industry.

The Green IT SIG and Taskforce will work together as described below:
Please register you interest and access information at:

Please keep this paper. Pass it on or pin to your workplace noticeboard !!

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