Guest essay by Eric Worrall
As the flow of free government cash dries up, “Ship of Fools” University of New South Wales is urging businesses to invest billions creating jobs and building unreliable renewable electricity infrastructure, to replace the reliable dispatchable electricity infrastructure which already supplies what business needs.
The case for sustainable communities: three big ideas to future-proof Australia
FEATURE | 9 July 2020
So how can business contribute to sustainable communities? This question was posed to a panel of experts as part of the Future-Proofing Business Series recently hosted by UNSW Business School’s Responsible Business Program. Panelists discussed how businesses could take the lead in managing climate risk in the short and long term, what a sustainable community looks like, and the role of business in achieving this.
1. Support community-led initiatives
Kicking off the panel discussion, Dr Kent said businesses need to be looking at how we can flatten the ‘unsustainability curve’ – the acceleration of unsustainable practices around the world, and the existential challenges that we’re facing as a result.
She also said COVID-19 offered some examples of what is possible. “People went to some interesting partices such as bread making and [planting] vegetable gardens,” Dr Kent explained. “These localised practices are characteristic of sustainability movements around the world.”
2. Create employment by modernising infrastructure
So, job creation plays a vital role in sustainable communities, but to what extent should businesses take part? There is an opportunity for businesses to advance the discussion, creating sustainable communities and sustainable job creation, according to Prof. Peter Sheldon.
The shutting down of these power plants could be utilised as an opportunity for job creation and reskilling the current workforce. “Every time you decommission a coal-fired power station or a coal mine there is work for 10-15 years just in the remediation and potential rehabilitation of the site,” explained Prof. Sheldon.
3. Business must back a reduction in carbon emissions
In Australia, the major obstacles to building more sustainable communities are the policies of the Federal Government, Sheldon explained. However, to some extent, business is also responsible.
“There is a huge ecosystem of businesses desperate to get a level of support and consistent messaging because they are completely committed to becoming a part of the new wave,” he said.
…Read more: https://www.businessthink.unsw.edu.au/articles/sustainable-communities-future-proof-australia
I can’t help wondering whether there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between business and government at UNSW.
Government is where you have to go if you want someone to waste cash on your random feel good schemes. Businesses tend to expect a return on their investments.
If politicians are not returning your phone calls, it is probably time to move on.