Retrofit : Retrofit Volume 1 Issue 2 2012
30 • RETROFIT AUSTRALIA • VOLUME 1 NUMBER 2 2012 | Consulting generation, water/paper consumption and air travel. These accounting measures make tracking possible and provide the foundation for reporting. Sustainability reporting has become more commonplace over recent years, either because of growing stakeholder pressure or the realisation that the business is being adversely affected as a result of the lack of attention to sustainability issues. It is vital that reporting considers transparency, genuine integration and the suitability and relevance to firms, and that it encourages and facilitates reflection and change. In terms of governance, many have emphasised the need for sustainability-specific roles and responsibilities, yet stress the need for genuine action stemming from the creation of such positions, and warn against 'titles for titles' sake'. Similarly, there is a need for a governance structure that considers sustainability a genuine point of focus, and for governance structures not to be siloed. From organisational leaders and dedicated teams to individuals, a move towards governance structures that embed sustainability into the firm is proliferating across Australian businesses. Collaboration, engagement and CSR In reviewing the activities currently undertaken both in Australia and internally, there is a range of initiatives that encourage best practice across professional services firms, and indeed encourage sustainable practice community- wide. Activities identified within this area come in two forms: collaboration across sectors to further the sustainability agenda, and support for community through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. For Consult Australia, many of the world's leaders in sustainable practice sit within our industry. A number of our own member firms are collaborating across sectors to ensure that the conversations around sustainability continue to develop and mature, and are shared across the community. Best practice standards, tools and guidelines Sustainability is inherently an innovative concept that relies on the development of new ideas and initiatives that increase or enhance the sustainability of an organisation, industry or sector in its entirety. Whilst this innovation is key, there is a plethora of tools, standards and guidelines that provide calculated and quantifiable sustainability targets. Across the range of professional services firms studied, a multitude of Australian and international standards, tools and guidelines are employed, including: One Planet Living; the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI); ISO 14001; WWF -- Living Planet Report; Business in the Community (BITC); UN Global Compact; and green building rating tools such as LEED, BREEAM, NABERS, and CEEQUAL. In recognition of the diversity of professional firms operating in the Australian business environment, Consult Australia's leadership aims to support better decision- making in relation to sustainability within professional services firms. There is no prescribed formula here, but firms must at least start a conversation about what the business case for change might be. Consult Australia is well placed to support that conversation. Stay tuned in the months ahead as we progress this work and support not just our industry, but professional services firms more broadly in understanding the business of sustainability.
Retrofit Volume 1 2012
Retrofit Volume 2 Issue 1 2013