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Project Update 15 - 2006 Wrap Up
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The Australian Industry Group: Environmental Management Handbook 2006

How Does Australian business reconcile environmental obligations with competitive advantage?

This Handbook provides practical information on approaches to environmental management as well as discussion of the key environmental issues facing business today. TNEP's Mike Smith and Karlson Hargroves' contribution to this publication was titled ‘How Does Australian business reconcile environmental obligations with competitive advantage?

In 2006 Australia’s manufacturers face increasingly tough global competition. Since the fall of the iron and bamboo curtains, hundreds of millions of low‑paid workers have been added to the world’s workforce. Hence, competing on low wages is a race that no Australian company can win. This together with a growing number of directives and regulations associated with minimising environmental impact are becoming leading proponents to drive industry to innovate creative solutions.’

The 2006 Environmental Management Handbook is distributed to more than 5,000 Australian Industry Group member companies and TAFE college libraries across Australia.

Engineering Education and Sustainable Development

Inagraual International Workshop - Beijing November 2006

EESD Beijing Group Shot

In November 2006 the first ‘International Workshop on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development’ was held in Beijing, China. On behalf of the team, Charlie Hargroves delivered a plenary keynote presentation at the workshop, on invitation from UNESCO. The event was a closed session by invitation and brought together international delegates from 48 Universities and 10 engineering institutions and academies to focus on the ‘new requirements to engineering education brought by sustainable development’. Organised by UNESCO, the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, and Tsinghua University, the event showcased a range of leading efforts to incorporate sustainable development in to engineering curriculum, student project work and academic research. Inspired by the keynotes, including Professor Ernst von Weizsacker an internationally renowned expert in sustainable development and Dean of the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, the workshop allowed engineering educators from around the world to share their experiences and build relationships.

‘Intensive Program on Sustainability’ (IPoS)

Nissan Workshop, University of Tokyo, December 2006

IPoS Logo

Following our exposure at the workshop in Beijing in November the TNEP team received an invitation from the University of Tokyo to attend the ‘IPoS Nissan Workshop’ as a guest of Professor Mino Takashi, Department of Socio-Cultural Environmental Studies. Cheryl Paten, TNEP Education Director represented the team and attended the workshop, even thought it meant returning home at 7am on Christmas day! The workshop was delivered in partnership with the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok and involved 25 students in the intensive program. Following the workshop Cheryl attended a small meeting among the staff/teachers/facilitators/guests to discuss how to organize sustainability education in a multi disciplinary and cross-cultural group.

Young South Australian of the Year 2006

Nick Palousis selected as a leading young South Australian

SA Young South Australian of the Year  - Nick Palousis

In receiving his award from Her Excellency Marjorie Jackson-Nelson, Nick pointed out that the award was extremely important for three reasons:

1. It recognizes this exciting field that we know as sustainability. It’s the biggest challenge that we face as a civilization, and its encouraging that SA Great recognise this as a key issue for South Australia, and that our state is now taking a leadership position on sustainability. This field of work is also very exciting, because it’s not just about altruism; its also about the next wave of innovation and opportunity.

2. It recognizes that when you see that a change in the world is needed, then you commit your heart and soul to achieving it. Because when you’re committed, like The Natural Edge Project, amazing things start to happen. TNEP often refers to a quote by famous adventurer William H. Murray, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.” This quote is significant because TNEP began with the support of an amazing network of experts in this field who recognised that as a team we are 110% committed to sustainability.

3. Though this award recognizes an individual’s achievement, more importantly it recognizes the achievements of my mentors, The Natural Edge Project. Charlie Hargroves, Michael Smith, and Cheryl Paten are truly exceptional people who are all doing world-leading work; it has been an honour to sit at their feet and learn about this emerging field during my time with the team. I am truely grateful for their time and effort to help me develop as a human being and as a professional.

Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program - Design Principles Portfolio

Whole Systems Design Suite

DEH Logo

Whole Systems Design approaches for buildings, cars, cities, industry plants, motors, farming and agriculture, lighting systems, are increasingly being seen as the key to achieving the most cost effective ways to reduce negative environmental impacts. This was also one of the conclusions of the 5 year Australian Federal Government's ’Energy Efficiency Best Practice Program’ run by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources. Take for instance motor systems that are used in almost every industry. The program found that a whole-of-system approach to optimising industrial motor driven applications, when coupled with best practice motor management, can deliver energy savings of between 30-60 percent.

As the first of four design suites to be developed as part of the TNEP Design Principles Portfolio the Whole Systems Design Suite has been supported by the Federal Department of Environment and Heritage (DEH) as part of the Environmental Education Grants Program. The design suite focuses on the theme of ‘Achieving Energy and Materials Efficiency’. The purpose of the suite is to provide introductory technical design based teaching material to demonstrate how advances in energy and materials efficiency can be achieved through applying the concept of Whole System Design. The additional design suites that make up the Design Principles Portfolio include ‘Biomimetic Design Suite’, ‘Green Chemistry Design Suite’, and the ‘Efficiency Design Suite’, and are yet to be funded.

Each of the four design suites consist of three units to cover in detail the design aspects to then be followed by six units to provide calculation based case studies across a range of sectors.

Unit 1 - Setting the Context
Unit 1 introduces the main concepts of whole system design and how it builds on from and complements design for environment and design for sustainability strategies.
Download Unit

Unit 2 – WSD for Factor 10
Unit 2 introduces core theory on systems thinking, analysis and dynamics, and briefly describe the use of ‘Causal Loop Modelling' as a visual systems mapping tool to model problems and determine solutions.
Download Unit

Unit 3: Enhancing the Systems Engineering process with the latest insights from Whole System Design (Due for release in July 2007)

Unit 4: Applying the 10 Key Steps of Whole System Design – details and an overview of real world applications (Due for release in July 2007)

Case Study 1 - Industrial Pumping Systems
By shifting the design parameters to account for the whole system, a WSD solution of short, fat, straight pipes can reduce the pumping power required by over 90%, while halving the equipment cost and making the system easier to install and maintain.
Download Case Study
Appendix A | Appendix B | Appendix C | Appendix D

Case Study 2 - Vehicle design
By making the vehicle ultra-light, with ultra-low drag, and by using a hybrid-electric propulsion system cars can weigh half as much, are almost fully recyclable, generate zero emissions and have 95% better fuel- mass-consumption per kilometre than conventional vehicles.
Download Case Study

Case Study 3 - Computer Systems Design
The Hypersever design is a whole systems approach based around a super-efficient processor and power converter, which removes the need for fans and makes the server 84% more energy efficient, 60% lighter, and 85% cheaper to run.
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Case Study 4 - Buildings Temperature Control
Using a whole systems approach green buildings can be created to be so energy efficient that indoor comfort can be maintained with little or no active heating or cooling, using passive cooling techniques that remove the need for air conditioning equipment.
Download Case Study

Case Study 5 – Domestic Water Systems (Due for release in July 2007)


Charlie, Mike, and Cheryl, the Secretariat
The Natural Edge Project

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