ESG Snapshot: Issue 5

ESG Snapshot: Issue 5

Highlights include a new CEFC investment mandate, a federal government paper on recycled content traceability, and proposed new standards for PFAS chemicals.

Events include an online seminar on disclosing nature impacts and dependencies. Jobs include roles with Holcim, Iluka, South32, and Woolworths.

ESG Snapshot is a concise weekly update for C-suite executives and sustainability and climate professionals in Australia.

ESG Snapshot is produced by the Business Council of Sustainable Development Australia (BCSDA), which is the local network partner of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

News items are listed by jurisdiction. However, they can also be searched by relevant Sustainable Development Goal category. To do this, go to the SDG key at the end of this issue and click on the icon for the SDG that interests you.

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Key International Developments

A meeting in India of G20 energy transition ministers, including Australia's Chris Bowen, concluded on Saturday, with the meeting's outcomes document supplemented by annexes on hydrogen, critical minerals, energy efficiency, renewable energy and financing energy transitions. Press briefing below.

Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and the Singapore Exchange are consulting on proposals to require listed companies to report against the ISSB climate disclosure standard from FY25, with large non-listed companies following in FY27. This would expand on current requirements for listed companies in five industries to report against the TCFD framework.

NZ Climate Change Minister James Shaw has given a speech to the Australia-New Zealand Leadership Forum on the future of the Closer Economic Relationship (CER) Trade Agreement between the two countries, proposing that it focus more strongly on cooperative action to achieve net-zero.

Ahead of the COP28 climate conference, the first Pacific Loss and Damage Dialogue was held in Samoa last week, featuring remarks by the Pacific's new Ministerial Champion for Loss and Damage, Ralph Regenvanu, who is Tuvalu's Climate Change Minister.


Consultation opportunity. The federal government has released a discussion paper on developing a national framework for recycled content traceability. Submissions are due by 31 August.

Grant opportunity. The federal government is offering grants of between $1 million and $20 million for projects that deliver solutions for hard-to-recycle plastics. Applications must be submitted by 13 November.

The federal government will develop sectoral decarbonisation plans for electricity and energy, industry, the built environment, agriculture and land, transport, and resources, Minister Chris Bowen said in a speech to the Clean Energy Council. The waste sector will be included in the industry plan, and the circular economy will be a cross-cutting issue for all sectors.

Minister Bowen has  written to the Climate Change Authority for advice on sector pathways. He has also asked the Authority to provide its advice on a 2035 national target, which he expects to receive in late 2024.  

Consultation opportunity. DCCEEW is inviting submissions by 11 August on proposed international best practice benchmarks and guidelines for use under the Safeguard Mechanism.

Consultation opportunity. The federal government is seeking comments by 1 September on proposed scheduling decisions for managing three groups of PFAS chemicals that have been widely used in firefighting foams - PFOA, PFOS and PFHxS .

Minister Chris Bowen has gazetted a new Investment Mandate for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which differs in significant respects from the 2020 version.

ARENA has released a white paper on the  potential of Ultra Low-Cost Solar (ULCS) for Australia and the world. ARENA's "30-30-30 vision" is 30% solar module efficiency, and an installed cost of solar of 30 cents per watt by 2030.

In addition, ARENA will provide a $3.7 million grant to Enel X for a pilot virtual power plant (VPP) project involving 440 supermarkets and 13 refrigerated warehouses, which will aggregate 20.9MW of flexible demand across the National Electricity Market.

ARENA will also provide a $541,000 grant to the Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI), for its $1.12 million Silicon to Solar study, which is examining ways to reduce dependence on imported solar panels.

The federal government has also made a new appointment to the ARENA Board. New Board member Marianna O'Gorman is currently on the Board of Stanwell Corporation and has previously worked at the World Bank.

Tender opportunity. The Clean Energy Regulator has invited audit companies with suitably qualified auditors to tender to be part of its Greenhouse and Energy Audit Services panel. Tenders must be submitted by 15 August.

Grant opportunity. The federal government has invited applications by 16 August for a share of $8.5 million in grants for research into reducing methane emissions in the resources sector. Grants of between $1 million and $5 million are available.

Australia has signed a statement on Accelerating Methane Mitigation from the LNG Value Chain, on the sidelines of an LNG conference in Tokyo. Other signatories are the US, Japan, Korea and the EU.

Federal Court Justice Natalie Charlesworth has set aside former Resources Minister Keith Pitt's declaration of a site at Kimba on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula as the location of a proposed National Radioactive Waste Management facility. The decision was affected by "apprehended bias", the judge found.

The federal government has released an interactive case studies map, showcasing 42 clean hydrogen projects around the world.

Consultation opportunity. The ACCC has published draft guidance on environmental and sustainability claims, with comments due by 15 September.

The federal government will provide $50 million to support the development of secure and diversified clean energy supply chains in the Indo-Pacific - a project taking place under the auspices of the Quad Clean Energy Supply Chain Diversification Program.

Consultation opportunity. Submissions are due by 29 September to a Senate Economics Standing Committee inquiry into residential electrification.

Consultation opportunity. The federal government is seeking views by 3 August on its planned $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart program, which aims to support the deployment of up to 1GW of electrolyser capacity by 2030.

Grant opportunity. ARENA has invited expressions by 1 November for grants under a $30 million funding initiative to reduce emissions in the aviation sector.

Consultation opportunity. The federal government is seeking views by 18 August on a proposed revamp of the national hydrogen strategy.

Consultation opportunity. The Independent Expert Scientific Committee (IESC) on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mines has released draft updated guidelines on the information that proponents should provide to the Committee. Submissions close on 18 August.

Consultation opportunity. DCCEEW is consulting on regulating waste from small electrical items and PV infrastructure, with submissions due by 23 July.  

ACCUs last traded on the spot market at $28.50, with spot Human-Induced Regeneration ACCUs trading at $33.00, according to broker Jarden.

Consultation opportunity. The Australian Bureau of Statistics and DCCEEW invite comments by 31 July on a prototype dashboard to support environmental-economic accounting in Australia.


Grant opportunity. Farmers and other landholders can now apply for the next round of funding under the state's Carbon Farming Advice Scheme, which provides grants of up to $10,000 to obtain carbon farming advice from approved advisors.

Eight councils are among the 13 beneficiaries of a total of $13.3 million in federal and state government funding provided for recycling projects.

Frucor Suntory, the company behind brands including Pepsi, Gatorade, and V Energy, has signed an agreement with state government-owned CleanCo for hte supply of electricity and large-scale generation certificates matching 100% of the power needs of its new $400 million factory at Swanbank, which will open in 2024.

Consultation opportunity. The state government is seeking views on options to better protect the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin, with comments due by 25 August.

New South Wales

Nine companies are the beneficiaries of $11 million in federal and state government funding for recycling projects, with the largest grant of $3 million going to TrendPac Plastics for a recycled HDPE flaking, washing and pelletising plant.

Consultation opportunity. The Department of Planning and Environment is seeking submissions by 11 August to its five-yearly review of the Biodiversity Assessment Method.

Consultation opportunity. Submissions are due by 4 August on an IPART issues paper on NSW's biodiversity credit market.

The state government has approved two new energy storage batteries - one in the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ), and the other in the Hunter Central Coast REZ).

Award opportunity. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2023 NSW Sustainability Awards. Entries close 8 September.


Consultation opportunity. The Essential Services Commission is seeking submissions by 27 July on a proposed enforceable code of practice for electricity transmission companies accessing private land.

Statutory development and consultation opportunity. A draft Water Miscellaneous Amendments (Delegation and Industrial Water Supply) Bill will enable Tasmanian Irrigation to enter into contracts for the supply of water for hydrogen production at sites such as the Bell Bay Green Hydrogen Hub. Submissions are due by 8 August.

Award opportunity. Nominations close 1 August for the EPA Sustainability Awards.  

The state government, Hallett Group and Korean companies Elecseed and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power have signed a statement of cooperation for a Hallett Group plan to produce green cement using fly ash from the former Playford B and Northern Power Stations in Port Augusta, and slag from Nyrstar’s Port Pirie operation.

Korean-Australian green hydrogen specialist Elecseed and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, one of Korea’s biggest energy companies, will build a 6 MW hydrogen electrolyser at the site of the former power stations, to use in processing the cement. Hallett Group expects to start construction early in the second half of 2024.

Consultation opportunity. Comments are due by 13 August on the state government's green paper on the energy transition.

Seven local councils across metropolitan Adelaide will share in $1.19 million for innovative environmental projects through Green Adelaide’s new Cooler, Greener, Wilder Grants Program.

Western Australia

Consultation opportunity. Submissions are due by 11 August to  Parliament's Public Accounts committee inquiry into how the state government's progress in achieving ESG outcomes is assisting international investment. The committee will report in August next year.

Northern Territory

Consultation opportunity. The EPA is inviting submissions on whether to assess the proposed clearing of 4,517 hectares of land on Mathison Station, with comments due by 26 July.

Consultation opportunity. The Territory government is inviting submissions by 4 August on a proposed new mineral royalty scheme.

July 25, Making the business case for TNFD. An online event, hosted by the Responsible Investment Association of Australia.
July 25 and 26, Connecting green hydrogen APAC. A conference and exhibition in Melbourne, co-located with 'Accelerating onshore and offshore wind power'.
July 25 and 26, Accelerating onshore and offshore wind power development. A conference and exhibition, co-located with 'Connecting green hydrogen'.
July 26 and 27, Decarbonising the resources sector summit. A conference in Perth, hosted by Informa.
July 26 and 27, Australasian waste and recycling expo. An event in Sydney.
August 8, Wastewater system design and management workshop. An ASBG-hosted event in Sydney.
August 21, IGCC 2023 Climate Change and Investment Summit. A Sydney event, hosted by the Investor Group on Climate Change.
August 21 and 22, Kwinana major projects conference. An Informa event in Fremantle.
August 24, Mid-year environmental compliance update. A webinar hosted by the Australian Environment Business Network.
August 28 and 29, South Australian energy developments. An Adelaide event hosted by Informa.
September 5, Smart energy Queensland. A Brisbane event, hosted by the Smart Energy Council.
Company news and resources
High-purity alumina producer AlphaHPA has released to the ASX an ESG briefing.
BHP has issue an updated summary of its direct advocacy on climate policy.
Dairy company Fonterra will halve its NZ manufacturing emissions by 2030, after receiving up to the NZ$90 million from the NZ government to help phase-out coal at six manufacturing sites.
Jobs Board
CSIRO is recruiting for a Melbourne-based coordinator, net zero emissions
SA's Department for Environment and Water is hiring a policy officer, climate change.
Victoria's Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action is seeking Expressions of Interest from individuals with developed skills and experience in environmentally focused policy analysis, policy development and policy advice
NSW's Department of Planning has four vacancies for mid-level hydrogen and green power project and policy officers.
Energetics is hiring a Brisbane-based climate and energy consultant.
Holcim is seeking a Sydney-based sustainable manager – climate and energy.
Iluka is seeking a Perth-based principal, environmental policy and strategy.
South32 has a vacancy for a Perth-based principal, decarbonisation technology
Woolworths Food Group is recruiting a Sydney-based sustainable products partner, and Big W also has a vacancy for a sustainable products partner

ANU is offering a climate essentials professional short course on 15 August.

The Monash Sustainable Development Institute is running a two-day course on climate change and business risk, on July 19 and 20 ($2,970).

LRQA is offering training courses on the ISO50001 standard on energy management.

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