The ‘Sustenance’ webinar series: lunch-time learning with Point Advisory

Over the coming weeks Point Advisory will be hosting a series of short, lunchtime webinars to share our insights and facilitate conversations on all things sustainability. If, like many of us, you’re working from home or otherwise isolated during the COVID-19 era, these webinars are an opportunity to stay connected and learn a bit along the way. So head to the kitchen, grab your lunch, and eat with us as we chew on a different sustainability topic every week.

We will be discussing everything from science-based targets and energy management through to modern slavery and the connection between COVID-19 and sustainability. Some webinars will be quite structured and others will be more informal, but the goal is the same: to stay connected and provide a forum for social interaction on sustainability.

Keen to join? Sign up by entering your details here and we will be in touch with details of our first webinar shortly.

We look forward to seeing you online soon!

$35,000 worth of energy coaching up for grabs for NSW businesses

A new NSW Government initiative, developed with support from Point Advisory, is giving NSW businesses access to up to $35,000 in funding for ‘energy coaching’ services. An energy coach is an expert who gives you a personalised assessment of your energy usage and energy management systems. This analysis can help you identify and triage problems and target your next strategic energy investments.

There’s something on offer for everyone, with the program divided into three tiers:

  • Small energy users (under $30,000 annual energy spend)
  • Medium energy users (over $30,000 annual energy spend)
  • High energy users, which are businesses with either:
    • over $500,000 annual energy spend in the mining sector, agriculture sector, or select manufacturing sub-sectors; OR
    • annual energy usage above 3,000 MWh in ANY manufacturing sub-sector.

For large energy users, the grant is delivered on an 80:20 basis, meaning if you put up $8,750 DPIE will contribute $35,000 (totaling $43,750 worth of work). Point Advisory has been appointed as one of only four approved energy coaches in this category and we are already seeing widespread interest from clients.

For more information about energy management and the program please attend our upcoming webinar on the 2nd of April at noon. Alternatively, please contact Ross Tunmer directly.

You can find more information about the energy coaching program here.

Point Advisory CEO appointed as board member and director of VCC as well as chair of IEEEFP committee

Neil Salisbury, our CEO has been appointed as an inaugural board member and director of the Victorian Cleantech Cluster. The Victorian Cleantech Cluster (VCC) is a not-for-profit member driven organisation with a vision for Victoria to be the Southern Hemisphere capital for innovation, uptake and commercialisation of clean technology. The VCC provides support to Victoria’s cleantech sectors through creating stronger connections between organisations, holding capacity building events, providing business advice and export readiness support.

Neil was also recently appointed as the inaugural Chair of the International Energy Efficiency Finance Protocol (IEEFP) committee. The objectives of IEEFP are to create a better understanding amongst financial institutions and investors by:

  • Developing a protocol to assist these institutions better understand how energy efficiency projects generate reliable savings in operating costs of end-use energy consuming facility owners
  • Articulating the benefits by demonstrating how such savings equate to new cash flow and increased credit capacity for facility owners to repay energy efficiency project loans and investments.
  • Providing training and capacity building to financial institutions.

Jessica Boekhoff joins Point Advisory in Melbourne

Jessica is a manager at Point Advisory’s Melbourne office, with a focus on climate change and carbon management.

Jessica has over five years’ experience as an environmental professional providing sustainability support for organisations, infrastructure projects, urban developments and government. Prior to joining Point Advisory, Jessica worked with AECOM in the UK as a sustainability consultant providing services focussing on sustainability frameworks, carbon management and climate change. She has a keen interest in supporting organisations to understand their impact on the environment and how to embed processes to manage and mitigate this.

Jessica is particularly interested in carbon management and has developed several quantitative tools and carbon management strategies to help organisations to understand and mitigate their impact on climate change. She’s conducted numerous climate change assessments on proposed infrastructure developments including airports, rail, roads and urban regeneration to evaluate their carbon footprint, resilience to projected climate change and in-combination climate change impact on surrounding environment and communities.

She has experience developing sustainability strategies for developers and government bodies to better integrate sustainability throughout their operations, governance and supply chain. She provided embedded sustainability support to a developer managing the regeneration of a central-London industrial site into a mixed-use development ensuring that sustainability was at the forefront of design, construction and operations to provide the right outcomes for the community and environment.

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science from Guelph University and a post-graduate certificate in Environmental Management from Niagara College in Canada. Outside of work, you can find Jessica exploring food markets, going on day hikes, or sewing her own clothes.

Sarah Beattie-Smith joins our Melbourne office

Point Advisory is pleased to welcome Sarah to our growing team in Melbourne! She has recently joined as a Manager in our Climate Change and Energy team.

Originally from Scotland, Sarah brings eight years’ experience in energy and climate policy and six years’ in social justice, community development and campaigning roles.

Sarah is passionate about securing a just transition, ensuring no one is left behind in the move to decarbonise the economy. She is particularly interested in how emerging models of community engagement, participation and ownership could build a more inclusive and more sustainable economy.

In Scotland, Sarah worked for ClimateXChange, the country’s centre of expertise on climate change, where she designed and managed research for the Scottish Government.

She also led policy, research and campaigns on energy efficiency and low carbon heat for WWF Scotland where she won support for new minimum standards, and she spent several years with Citizens Advice Scotland representing consumers in regulated markets like energy and water.

Fun facts: Sarah ran for election in 2016, just missing out on winning a place in the Scottish Parliament; and her first degree is in Sculpture which she still dabbles in occasionally.

Point Advisory welcomes Dean Thomson to our Melbourne team

Dean is a Senior Manager at the Point Advisory Melbourne office, with a focus on climate change and environment.

Dean has over fifteen years’ experience working on environmental and climate change issues across government, private and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining Point Advisory, Dean worked at World Vision Australia, developing community-based climate change programs. His work focused on certification and commercialisation of reforestation and energy efficiency carbon offset projects in Africa and Peru and development of their Environment Policy.

Dean was previously a consultant at GHD and Net Balance, where he advised organisations on the development of carbon footprints and mitigation strategies, conducted NGER audits and climate risk assessments.  He also worked in the Australian Governments National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Team where he supported the production of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory and development of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Measurement Determination.

Dean also volunteers for the Gold Standard Land Use Technical Advisory Committee where he provides advice on the development of new methodologies, projects and standards to measure climate and sustainable development impacts.

Dean holds a PhD in Applied Science from the University of Tasmania and a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University. Dean’s PhD thesis investigated the role Huon Estuary sediments play in regulating carbon and nitrogen cycles and the impact organic carbon pollution has on them.

Outside of work, Dean enjoys learning to play the guitar, listening to music, bush walking and cooking exotic cuisines.

Net Zero @ Xero (Carbon Neutrality)

Quick shout out to our amazing client (Xero) for taking a leadership role on Net Zero and Carbon Neutrality.

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Net Zero @ Xero: Supporting conservation, biodiversity and clean energy generation

Today Xero announced they have offset 100% of its carbon emission for the financial year ended 31 March 2019. They did this by purchasing carbon credits across three separate certified carbon projects and conversation schemes across the globe that are recognised under international standards.

The projects are in New Zealand, Borneo and India. They are designed to restore indigenous forests and protect endangered species, and soak up carbon dioxide directly from the air. They also generate clean energy with the aim of reducing future emissions.

For more information visit the original post at the Xero Blog.

For more information on achieving Net Zero and becoming Carbon Neutral contact us

Shelley Goldsmith joins our team in Melbourne

Shelley is the Office Manager at Point Advisory’s Melbourne Office, with a focus on productivity and efficiency.

Shelley has over 20 years’ experience in Office, Training and People Management, creating opportunities for positive change and transformation. Prior to joining Point Advisory, Shelley worked at the Holden Campus for General Motors as a Regional Lead for Training, Communications and End User Experience. Her work focused on managing, designing and delivering workplace training to increase the adoption rates of deployed IT products and services. Throughout her career she has lead teams and been an advocate for change and transformation. Shelley has skills in the assessment of End User Experience to hone Service Excellence and follow her passion for increasing productivity and decreasing waste. Experienced in Focus group facilitation, this enables her to respond to needs through the design, development and improvement of systems, processes and innovative solution development.

Shelley holds an Advanced Certificates in Human Resource Operations and Training and Assessment.

In her spare time, Shelley enjoys spending time photographing local birdlife, travelling and volunteering in the community.

Point Advisory welcomes Rachel Taylor to our Sydney team

Rachel is a consultant at the Point Advisory Sydney office, focusing on climate change adaptation, strategy and risk.

Rachel’s background is in Earth and climate sciences, with First-Class Honours from the Australian National University. She has previously worked in a research role modelling and assessing the future impact of heatwaves on vulnerable communities in the Sydney region. Her love of consulting stems from consulting projects she undertook as part of her university studies, one of which saw her working with a new 6-Star Green Star precinct in Canberra and resulted in a change to the energy supply legislation in the ACT. Rachel enjoys the challenge of employing her technical skills to provide innovative, sustainable solutions while building trust-based relationships and understanding the values of her client.

Rachel’s honours project involved creating a model for long-lead prediction of fire season severity and assessing how the meteorological drivers of fire season severity are changing with climate change. This project and her subsequent research work brought her experience in research, modelling, machine learning, and R programming language. She enjoys combining her technical skills, knowledge in climate science and sustainability and project management and communication skills to add value to clients and have a tangible impact on the global future.

Beyond her work, Rachel enjoys hiking, training in aerial circus, baking and creating typographic art.

Eat Up Australia – Volunteering

Every day, 1 in 8 children in Australia go to school hungry. Hunger greatly impacts a child’s academic performance and behaviour in school. Students struggle to concentrate, and feel tired or lethargic which compromises their learning.

The not-for-profit Eat Up Australia makes and delivers thousands of lunches a month to schools around Australia to support less privileged school children. The initiative started at Shepparton primary school and has expanded to other cities in Victoria. Since 2013, they have supplied schools with 750.000 lunches. In July this year, Point Advisory staff, alongside the VideoMyJob and Forefront Analytics teams from the Cluster, were involved in making around 1,150 sandwiches that were distributed to schools in Melbourne’s outer north.

For more information on this initiative, visit www.eatup.org.au, or email eatup@eatup.org.au to enquire about a volunteer sandwich making event at your workplace.

Since 2016, Point Advisory has proudly been a BCorp organisation. We are committed to going beyond ‘business as usual’ practice in social and environmental performance, and strive to use our work as a force for good. Regular volunteering with organisations that share our values and objectives is a key part of our BCorp commitments.