Case Studies on Environmental Sustainability in Australia: A Multi-level Review

By Alan R. Howgrave-Graham.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Three surveys were conducted to determine uptake and/or implementation of environmental sustainability in Australia. A questionnaire was distributed to all of Australia’s cooperative research centres (CRC’s), and two university-based centres with an environmental sustainability focus, to evaluate implementation of environmental sustainability practises across Australia, especially in industries involving biotechnology in its broadest sense. Seventeen of the CRC’s (a 35% response rate) and both ‘“sustainability” centres responded, with between eleven and fourteen CRC’s indicating, using examples, that they conducted sustainable practises according to one or more of the three versions of environmental sustainability published elsewhere, as did both university-based centres. A previously published sustainability model was tested regionally in Latrobe Valley, Victoria using an open-ended questionnaire to eleven senior representatives from local and state government, academia, the main local natural resource-based industries and NGO’s. These managers commented on the model’s suitability in its current form and on ways that it could be improved for practical application at regional, state and/or national levels. At the state level, a semi-quantitative telephone survey was used to determine cleaner production uptake by 140 small to medium enterprises (SME’s) in Western Australia. All the above instruments had a mixture of simple and open-ended questions and gave insight into the extent of environmental sustainability practises and attitudes in Australia while supplying suggestions on how they could be enhanced. These will be discussed in this paper as will a proposed new innovation model that incorporates stakeholder comments.

Keywords: Environmental Sustainability Initiatives, Cleaner Production Uptake, Australia, Innovation Model

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.91-106. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 922.097KB).

Dr. Alan R. Howgrave-Graham

Lecturer, School of Applied Sciences and Engineering, Monash University, Churchill, Victoria, Australia

Alan Howgrave-Graham spent four years working in hydrological research then pollution control in the Department of Water Affairs in South Africa, before spending twelve years teaching microbiology and doing environmental biotechnology research, mostly at the University of Natal where he completed his PhD. He migrated to Australia in 1999 and started a Doctorate in Business Administration specializing in commercialization of University intellectual property. In 2001 he worked at Curtin University at the Centre of Excellence in Cleaner Production before taking up his current position as microbiology lecturer at Monash University. He has published 17 scientific journal articles on anaerobic and aerobic treatment of wastewaters and the detection of protozoan pathogens in water. More recently he published three book chapters and five journal articles on biotechnology strategies, innovation, cleaner production and the Australian system of cooperative research centres. His research interests are in all the above topics as well as in methods for teaching to large classes and in multicultural settings.

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