ESG Snapshot: A federal, state and territory news round-up

ESG Snapshot: A federal, state and territory news round-up

Highlights include a new Senate hearing into the Nature Repair Market bill, a consultation paper on community engagement for electricity infrastructure, and a new campaign to help businesses reduce their scope 3 emissions.

Events include an Emissions Reduction Summit in Sydney. Jobs include roles with Energetics, David Jones, Thomas Foods, Perth Mint, Ausgrid, and Sydney University.

ESG Snapshot is a concise weekly update 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 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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The We Mean Business Coalition has launched a Supplier Cascade initiative to accelerate the pace at which businesses reduce their Scope 3 emissions, by focusing on Tier 1 suppliers.

The initiative has been developed in partnership with groups including CDP, and in collaboration with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Climate Action 100+, the world’s largest investor engagement initiative on climate change, has released a Net Zero Standard for Diversified Mining, to help investors assess the progress of diversified mining companies towards net zero.

The global economic cost of invasive species exceeded US$423 billion annually in 2019, with costs having at least quadrupled every decade since 1970, according to a new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

New Zealand's Environment Commissioner, Simon Upton, has released a report containing recommendations for the government on preparing its second emissions reduction plan, which must be completed by December 2024.

The Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) has released a report on Nature-related Financial Risks: A Guide to Action by Central Banks and Supervisors.


A Senate inquiry into the Nature Repair Market Bill will hold its second hearing this evening, with the National Farmers Federation, the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute, and the Australian Climate and Biodiversity Foundation scheduled to give evidence.

Consultation opportunity. Andrew Dyer, the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner, has released a discussion on paper for his review of community engagement practices for electricity infrastructure. Responses are due by 1 October.

The Investor Group on Climate Change, CDP, and the UN PRI have jointly urged the federal government to ensure its proposed mandatory climate-related financial disclosures regime establish a framework for developing and disclosing  1.5 degree-aligned transition plans.

Statutory development. Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has introduced the Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Bill, which is designed to implement the revised plan for the Murray-Darling Basin.

Consultation opportunity. The Department of Industry, Science, and Resources has released draft national science and research priorities, with priority one being 'Ensuring a net zero future and protecting Australia’s biodiversity'. Comments are due by 29 September.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has committed up to $75 million to a new investment mandate targeting upgrades that  reduce the operational emissions of commercial offices, hotels and shopping centres by at least 30%. The CEFC's investment will be managed by commercial real estate investment manager, MaxCap Group.

A Senate committee inquiring into climate-related marine invasive species is due to release its report tomorrow.

A Senate select committee inquiring into Australia's disaster resilience will this month hold hearings in Townsville, Darwin and Brisbane.

ANU Professor Frank Jotzo has been appointed to advise DCCEEW as it investigates the merits of a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism or other measures to ensure large-emitting, trade-exposed businesses in Australia remain competitive as they decarbonise.

The federal government has appointed Professor Karen Hussey as full-time Chair of the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee (ERAC), the statutory body responsible for ensuring the integrity of Australia’s carbon crediting scheme.

A new Greens-instigated inquiry into the Middle Arm industrial precinct in the Northern Territory will examine its role, any climate, environmental, health or cultural heritage impacts that might result from the project, and the conduct of the proposed strategic environmental assessment.  

At the ASEAN leaders summit in Jakarta, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced $50 million in funding to help Indonesia de-risk private infrastructure projects to support its net-zero ambitions, and $100 million to support its sustainable finance and Just Energy Transition agenda.

The federal government has released a new South East Asia economic strategy that includes a section on the green energy transition.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has released an updated threat abatement plan for feral cats.

Grant opportunity. The Powering the Regions Fund will from 21 September accept applications for grants of between $1 million and $100 million to help cement, lime, alumina and aluminium facilities decarbonise. Applications must be submitted by 2 November.

Consultation opportunity. Comments are due by 3 October on DCCEEW's discussion paper on implementing recommendations of the Chubb review. The paper includes sections on possible changes to auction procedures and fixed contract exit arrangements. Workshops are also planned.

The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia has announced its 2023 award winners.

Consultation opportunity. Comments are due by 11 September on draft Recycling and Waste Reduction (Export - Waste Paper and Cardboard) Rules.

Grant opportunity. ARENA is inviting applications by 19 December under the Regional Microgrids Program, with $75 million to be allocated to First Nations communities, and $50 million to regional microgrid pilot projects.  

Consultation opportunity. DFAT is seeking submissions by 30 September on the implementation of the Singapore-Australia Green Economy Agreement (GEA).

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.

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

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

Spot ACCUs ended last week trading at $31.00 (up from $29.50 at the end of the previous week), with spot Human-Induced Regeneration ACCUs trading at $34.50 (unchanged from the end of the previous week), according to broker Jarden.


The state government has launched a Climate Smart Energy Savers program that provides rebates of up to $1,000 to households purchasing energy efficient appliances, heat pumps or solar hot water systems.

Statutory development. New restrictions on single-use plastics took effect on 1 September, with bans now extended to cotton buds with plastic stems, expanded polystyrene packaging beads, and plastic microbeads in personal care and cleaning products.

Further requirements for heavyweight plastic shopping bags now also apply. Non-woven plastic shopping bags of 35 microns or more must be capable of at least 125 uses, and non-compostable plastic shopping bags must contain at least 80% recycled content.

The release of lighter-than-air balloons is now also banned.

Grant opportunity. A total of $53.5 million is available under the latest round of funding offered through the Industry Partnership Program. The funding round aims to develop industries that will be in demand as the world decarbonises.

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.

New South Wales

Consultation opportunity. The state government has started consultations on a proposed critical minerals and high-tech metals strategy, with comments due by 17 November.

The state government will increase coal royalty rates by 2.6 percentage points from 1 July 2024, which will improve NSW's Budget position by more than $2.7 billion over four years.

The state government has released its response to the independent Electricity Supply and Reliability Check-up.

The EPA's litter report for FY22 has been tabled in Parliament.

Consultation opportunity. The EPA has launched a biosolids regulatory review, with comments due by 3 October, and webinars are planned.

Consultation opportunity. The ACT government has released a draft Canberra region local food strategy, with comments due by 28 February.


Minister for Industry and Innovation, Ben Carroll, has announced recipients of the latest round of the Low Carbon Manufacturing Grants Program, to help small and medium-sized manufacturers capitalise on renewable energy opportunities.

Consultation opportunity. The state government is consulting on a proposed new sustainability strategy for Tasmania, with submissions due by 6 October.

From 1 September, additional single-use plastic items are banned in the state - plastic stemmed cotton buds, plastic pizza savers, and single-use plastic plates and bowls.

Consultation opportunity. A parliamentary committee inquiring into the recycling of soft plastics and other recyclable material is inviting submissions by 8 September.

Western Australia

The EPA has recommended that the Conservation and Parks Commission's proposed Forest Management Plan for 2024-2033 be approved, subject to an independent scientific review of prescribed burning.

Following the state government’s decision to end the logging of native forests, the proposed Plan largely focuses on the management of forest ecosystems to address threats, reduce pressures, and protect intact ecosystems over the next 10 years.

Grant opportunity. Round 2 of the Carbon for Farmers Voucher Program, which provides up to $15,000 for farmers to access professional advice on carbon farming, is open for applications until 29 September.

Grant opportunity. The WA Waste Authority is offering grants of up to $250,000 for waste and recycling infrastructure, with applications closing on 2 October.

Northern Territory

Statutory development and consultation opportunity. The Territory government is seeking comments by 18 September on a draft Mining Bill.

September 13 and 14, NT resources industry environmental management and decarbonisation forum. ). A Darwin event, hosted by Informa.
September 14 and 15, Australasian emissions reduction summit. An event in Sydney, hosted by the Carbon Market Institute.
September 18 to 20, EcologiQ greener infrastructure conference. An event in Melbourne, hosted by Victoria's Big Build.
September 19 to 20, The hydrogen economy – a practical guide for market entrants. An online event hosted by Informa.
September 19 to 20, Goldfields-Esperance major projects. A conference in Perth, hosted by Informa.
September 20 to 21, Critical minerals and energy investment. An event in Perth, supported by the WA and SA governments.
October 5, Queensland waste and recovery forum. Hosted by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia.
Company news and resources
Arnotts has released its FY23 sustainability report. 
Mining company IGO has released its latest sustainability report.
South32 has released its latest sustainable development report, which advises that in FY23 it updated its 1.5°C scenario that is used to stress-test the resilience of its portfolio under a rapid global transition, and completed a targeted analysis of its upstream scope 3 emissions.

It also participated in a pilot study on implementing the Taskforce on Nature- related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) Framework in Australia.
Jobs Board
Ausgrid has a vacancy for a Sydney-based Climate Resilience Technical Manager
The Clean Energy Regulator is recruiting Assistant Managers for its Land, Forest and Agriculture Stream.
David Jones has a vacancy for a Melbourne-based Sustainability Manager, Environment.
Victoria's Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, is hiring a Manager, Programs, for its High Risk Waste Branch.
Victoria's Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, is also seeking a Project Director, for its Victorian Transmission Investment Framework Plan.
The federal Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) is hiring Senior Project Officers for its Environmental Permitting and Compliance Division.
Energetics has vacancies for Graduate Climate and Energy Consultants, based in Sydney, Perth, or Brisbane.
Origin Energy is recruiting a Sydney-based Carbon Integration Manager
The Perth Mint is hiring a Manager, Sustainability.
RSM has a vacancy for a Sydney-based Manager, Climate Change and Sustainability.
Sunwater is seeking a Brisbane-based Sustainability Manager.
TasNetworks has a vacancy for a Hobart-based Environment and Sustainability Specialist.
Thomas Foods, is recruiting for a new role of Group Sustainability Advisor, based in Adelaide. 
The University of Sydney is hiring a Sustainability Manager.

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