The Natural Edge Project The Natural Advantage of Nations Whole System Design Factor 5 Cents and Sustainability Higher Education and Sustainable Development

"(Hunter's) presentation effectively showed what is possible, why we need to change, and how we may achieve a radical shift in our society, economy, and production systems while rapidly reducing our environmental impact."
Simon Divecha, Chief Executive Oficer Conservation Council of South Australia


TNEP Partners and Supporters

The Natural Edge Project (TNEP) is an independent Sustainability Think-Tank based in Australia. TNEP operates as a partnership for education, research and policy development on innovation for sustainable development. All support and revenue raised is invested directly into existing project work and the development of future initiatives.



Developing Publications and Text Books


The Natural Advantage of Nations: Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century (Earthscan 2006) was developed through a number of grants and donations. The Foundation Partners included The Institution of Engineers, Australia, The Commonwealth Science and Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO), Global Sustainability Institute at RMIT University, Environment Business Australia, The Barton Group and Izilla Pty Ltd. (See full details for sponsors and supporters).


Cents and Sustainability - A response from the next generation to the 1987 Brundtland Commission Report (Earthscan 2009) The development of this the next TNEP book, has been made possible by a grant from the Purves Environmental Fund. The book will open with a letter from Robert Purves to compliment the forewords from Dr Gro Brundtland and Dr Kenneth Ruffing and the Introduction from Jim MacNeill.


Factor 5: Stimulating the Global Economy through 80 per cent Resource Productivity Improvements (Earthscan 2009)

The development of this book has been made possible by grants from Griffith University, CSIRO, Conics Ltd, and the Aachen Foundation.



Developing Free Access, Peer Reviewed Education Material



TNEP Critical Literacies Portfolio

TNEP received grants from UNESCO (Natural Science Sector) and The Institution of Engineers Australia (College of Environmental Engineering and Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering) to develop 'Introduction to Sustainable Development for Engineering and Built Environment Professionals' and 'Principles and Practices in Sustainable Development for the Engineering and Built Environment Professions'.


TNEP Whole Systems Design Suite

Funding for the development of the Whole System Design Suite of the Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program has been provided by the Australian Federal Department of the Environment and Water Resources (DEWR) under the Education for Sustainable Development Grants Programme.

TNEP Sustainable Energy Solutions Portfolio

In 2006/07 TNEP is partnering with CSIRO and the National Framework for Energy Efficiency to develop industry training material as part of the CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship. The 'Sustainable Energy Solutions Portfolio' seeks to deliver an effective toolkit for capacity-building engineers, designers and other key technical professions, in the skill of finding cost-effective low-carbon energy approaches and energy efficiency options.


E-Waste Curriculum Development Project

TNEP worked in collaboration with Griffith University to develop the E-Waste Curriculum Development Project with funding from DELL. The team from TNEP worked with Malcolm Wolski, Associate Director, Research Computing Services Information and Communication Technology Services at Griffith University.



Assisting Education for Sustainable Development


University of South Australia - Louis Laybourne Smith School of Architecture and Design

In 2006/07 TNEP is working with UniSA on the development of two coursework units for the Master of Sustainable Design The first two courses proposed are 'Sustainable Design Theory - Sustainability and Society' and 'Sustainable Design Theory - Sustainable Design Principles'.


KBR Government & Infrastructure

"Selected KBR staff attended workshops, courses and seminars by The Natural Edge Project (TNEP). These resulted in the development of an in-house sustainability program through which we will educate and support our wider staff in the Asia Pacific region as the field of sustainable engineering continues to develop. This program has set the benchmark for our global counterparts in KBR and has provided a robust framework upon which we can build a sustainable future. We will continue to collaborate with TNEP as we progress towards sustainability."

Bridget Kelly, Sustainability Technical Sector Leader
KBR Government & Infrastructure.

RMIT Master of Sustainable Practice

In 2006 TNEP worked with RMIT to deliver courses as part of the Master of Sustainable Practice. Currently two units from the Critical Literacies Portfolio have been approved under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Roger Hadgraft, School of Civil and Chemical Engineering. TNEP will be both offering these units in partnership with RMIT to private clients and groups and also to Students of RMIT as shortcourses. The first course was also delivered twice in late 2006 in partnership with Griffith University.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

In 2006 TNEP undertook a collaboration with the Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering at QUT to develop a Faculty-wide ‘Introducing Sustainability’ unit. TNEP assisted by facilitating preparatory workshops, delivering base lecture material and assisting in tutor training and support. The base unit material for the unit is a hybrid of the TNEP 'Role of Engineering in Sustainable Development - A' course and the textbook for the unit is ‘The Natural Advantage of Nations'.


In 2005/06 TNEP worked with Hatch to assist in the development of training material focused on sustainability critical literacy skills, relevant to the minerals processing industry. The training materials strongly align with the leading sustainability tools within Hatch.

Queensland Government Environment Protection Agency - Sustainable Industries Division - ecoBiz Program
In 2005/06 TNEP worked with the Sustainable Industries Division of the Queensland EPA to assist the division to further develop their capacity building programs and assist the division to embed sustainability thinking, methodologies and tools into the organisations behavior and practice.


Policy and Strategy Development Partners


Townsville City Council

TNEP has an ongoing partnership with the Environmental Management Services team, lead by Greg Bruce, including delivering training sessions, facilitating workshops and organising keynote speakers. In 2007 TNEP began a partnership with TCC around the Solar Cities program, a five year program supported by the Federal Government in partnership with Ergon Energy.


HP White Paper: ‘Sustainable IT’ through ‘Sustainable Product Service Systems’

In 2006/07 TNEP worked closely with HP to develop a white paper on sustinable product service systems, researching the benefits of shifting to a product service model for the provision of IT services and the impacts on environmental performance of suppliers and customers.

"At HP, we embraced responsibility for our role in caring for the environment as far back at 1950. The cumulative result is that technology design and operational experiences have come together to create a portfolio of solutions our customers can benefit from. In TNEP we found a neutral Australian partner to validate the offerings and the 'Sustainale Product Service System' for Australia. TNEP delivered a thorough review of many factors associated with the development and implementation of Sustainable IT in a timely fashion. We worked together to develop a publication, a two-hour presentation and material for lectures. We look forward to further collaboration with TNEP

Chenobu Thong, Marketing Manager
HP Services & Solutions Marketing


CSR Limited

In 2007 TNEP worked with CSR limited to assist in the development of a position paper to the Board.

"A big part of the challenge of sustainability is knowing where to start, faced with the task of communicating to the Board the risk and benefits of adopting a sustainability strategy, we asked around to see who could quickly help us come up to speed. As a conglomerate we had a variety of issues to deal with. Before long we were referred to The Natural Edge Project and I am glad we were. Working with the team from TNEP was a pleasure and their professional expertise and operational understanding was evident right from the first meeting. TNEP have added a great deal to our understanding of sustainability and how it can relate to the industry segments with which we are involved. I would highly recommend them to others."

Martin Jones, General Manager
Government Relations, CSR Ltd.


Santos (Oil and Gas)

TNEP supported our consulting associate, Dan Atkins of Sustainable Business Practices, to provide a range of services to Santos in 2006 including; sustainability indicators selection, prioritisation and data collection; development of the 2005 Santos Sustainability Report and research to enhance the sustainability content of the Santos website.


Natural Sequence Farming

The Natural Edge Project is a partner in the Land Hydration Alliance in 2007 as part of a significant WaterSmart Australia proposal led by Natural Sequence Farming, Best Results (Aust) Pty Ltd and Southern Cross University. Other partners on this proposal include Greening Australia, LandCare Australia, Catchment Management Authorities, ANU, Newcastle University, Advancing Food Safety Ltd, NSW Department of Natural Resources, Applied Horticultural Research. The proposal is seeking funding to help rural communities and farmers address Australia 's pressing water and land degradation issues through the application of the principles of Natural Sequence Farming as showcased on ABC's Australian Story "Of Drought & Flooding Plains" in June 2005. (More...)


Developing Databases of Leading Practice


VicUrban (Urban Development)

In 2006 TNEP worked with VicUrban to assist in the development of a suite of Environmental and Urban Design Performance Measures and Indicators for Industrial and Business Park Developments. This project was developed in partnership with mentors Professor Alan Pears (Advice), Professor Janis Birkeland (research) and consulting firm Hatch (review) to develop the Indicators.

Environs Australia

Environs Australia was formed in 1989 and is a network of members interested in promoting sustainable development through local action, primarily in the local government sector. TNEP worked with Environs for over 2 years to assist them to develop a database of best practice in local government sustainability.

Sudanese Virtual Engineering Library (SudVEL)

In early 2005 TNEP assisted in the development of SudVEL. The objective of this project was to prepare and establish a website on 'Virtual Library on Engineering for Sustainable Development' as a pilot project. SudVEL now contains 1000 records in full text and 700 records in bibliographic databases. It provides access to engineering information in the industrial field, students, researchers and academic staff in all the Sudanese universities.


In-Kind Supporters

Organisation that provide a range of in-kind contributions to TNEP from CO2 offsets, personal counseling to free advertising and marketing.


Working On It - Candia Bruce Pty Ltd

Candia has worked with our team on many occasions to assist both personal and professional performance coaching and has been an invaluable support for our team. Candia has a background in relationships counseling, nursing and organisational management. She has recently completed her Masters of Business Administration (2006) majoring in human resource and conflict resolution. She was an Accredited Relationships Counsellor with Relationships Australia for ten years and is currently a Clinical Member of the Australian Counselling Association.

Izilla - Web Design and Development

After developing this website for TNEP as an in-kind contribution to the project Izilla continue to deliver expert services to TNEP to enhance and manage the site. Izilla is one of Australia's fastest growing technology companies based in Sydney, Australia providing internet based solutions to industries such as health, government, wine production, mining, petroleum, financial services, retail and education.

Ergon Energy

Ergon Energy is providing TNEP with enough green energy to offset the team’s projected greenhouse gas emissions from air travel during 2006. To find out how your organisation can also offset its emissions, email Ergon Energy. (More...)


CSIRO Publishing

CSIRO PUBLISHING operates as an independent science and technology publisher recognised for publishing programme covering a wide range of scientific disciplines, including agriculture, the plant and animal sciences, and environmental management. TNEP is a regular contributor to CSIRO ECOS.


Westwick-Farrow Publishing (established in 1981) have a range of eleven titles covering a variety of industrial and technology sectors, providing decision makers with up-to-the-minute new product and technology information. Westwick-Farrow provided a number of free advertisements for The Natural Advantage of Nations across a number of their magazines.

EA Books

EA Books web shop stocks a wide range of professional references, standards and guidelines for the practicing engineer. As well as printed books, EA Books have a range of electronic publications, in PDF. EA Books is the TNEP Distributor.


In 2006 Wired Sky provided the TNEP team with access to two iBurst™ wireless broadband adaptors for a trial period. The iBurst™ service provides continuous, high-speed internet connectivity and were very useful.


Network of Alliances

TNEP is focused on a whole of society approach and has developed relationships over the last 4 years to build a network of alliances.

Asia-Pacific Forum for Environment and Development (APFED)

Australian Association of Environmental Education (AAEE)

Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF)

Australian Green Development Forum (AGDF)

Australian National Sustainability Initiative (ANSI)

Australian Virtual Engineering Library (AVEL)

Biomimicry Guild

Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE)

Centre for Green Chemistry, Monash University

Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX)

Chicago Manufacturing Centre (CMC)

Close the Loop

Crane Environmental (UK)

Desert Knowledge CRC

E - Square (Japan)


Engineers without Borders (Australia)

Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ)

Environmental Engineering College of Engineers Australia

Environs Australia

European Climate Exchange (ECX)

Five Winds International

Forum for the Future (UK)

Friends of the Earth, Hong Kong

Green Innovations

Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)

Interface Asia Pacific

International Association of Universities (IAU)

International Council for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI)

International Young Professionals Foundation (IYPF)

Japan for Sustainability (JfS)

Landmatters Currumbin Valley Pty Ltd

Murdoch University, Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy

Nature and Society Forum (N&SF)

Natural Capitalism Solutions (NCS)

New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD)

OzGreen - Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (Australia)

Professions Australia (See 'The Young Professions Australia Roundtable')

Ritsumeikan University, Institute of International Relations and Area Studies

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)


Society of Sustainability and Environmental Engineering (SSEE)

Sudan Virtual Engineering Library (SudVEL)

Sustainable Living Challenge


UN International Environment Technology Centre (IETC)

UNESCO Natural Sciences Sector

University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF)

University of Khartoum, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture

Waalitj Environment Technology Centre, Murdoch University

World Federation of Engineering Organisations - ComTech (WFEO)

Young Engineers Australia (YEA)