Knowledge@Australian School of Business

articles 1 to 10 of 28 more articles

thumbnail Fracking: Do the Economics Justify the Risks?
Using hydraulic fracturing to release natural gas and oil has obvious economic advantages, but critics point out that it’s a short-term fix likely to crowd out investment in more expensive sustainable energy sources and delay their adoption. Scientists still do not have a grip on all of the potential negative effects on environmental health and safety, say Wharton seminar participants. 
From: February 10, 2014 thumbnail Powering the Future: The Business Case for Switching to Renewables
Plans by the new Coalition Government to abolish Australia's carbon tax put it on a collision course with its Labor predecessor, which opposes the move unless it leads to an emissions trading scheme. Into the fray comes new research from centres at the University of New South Wales. This modelling of investment and operating cost scenarios demonstrates how, by 2030, power generated from renewable energy sources would be a cheaper option than even “clean” gas and coal. The researchers aim to inform a process of decarbonising the electricity industries, but financial market analysts are sceptical that an entrenched reliance on fossil fuels will change without a series of ultra-extreme events.
From: November 11, 2013 thumbnail The Future of Green Building May Be Closer than You Think
Buildings that consume no outside energy are being developed today – with existing technology. So much innovative work has been done in green building that a growing number of people are now shifting their focus from means to ends. Their goal: Create buildings that generate as much energy as they need to operate, called net-zero energy buildings (NZEB). Efforts to achieve NZEB are under way in all sectors – government, academia, the military, not-for-profits and business – and at all scales:  residential, community and commercial. While it is still early days, the results have been impressive.
From: May 21, 2013 thumbnail Pollution Audit: Unravelling Choice in Greenhouse Gas Assurance
Australia's federal Opposition intends to repeal carbon pricing laws if it wins this year's election. Yet, when it last held power in 2007, it introduced legislation requiring sizeable polluters to disclose the level of their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Affected organisations have increasingly sought to verify their emissions figures and energy data, creating a niche market in GHG assurance. It's a field that's growing globally. So how is a quality provider selected? Researchers from the Australian School of Business have found that competence, ethics and integrity are key factors, but that specialisation does not, at this stage, command a higher price.
From: May 07, 2013 thumbnail Cognitive Dissonance: John Sterman on Understanding Climate Change
Climate change is a complex problem. Even bright minds become confused when simultaneously presented with consequences that are potentially catastrophic and the feeling that there’s nothing they can do about it. But there are ways of reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and it's how we think about global warming that seems to be impeding action. John Sterman, a professor of management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Michael J. Crouch Visiting Professor at the Australian School of Business, has been studying why people have difficulty understanding the dynamics of climate. He sees a way to reframe the issue and has devised simulation tools to assist in forming opinions and policies consistent with people's values. Sterman spoke with Knowledge@Australian School of Business.
From: March 19, 2013 thumbnail Captured By Carbon: Why An Emissions Trading Scheme Needs a Floor Price
The Australian government plans to link its fixed-priced system for tackling climate change to the emissions trading scheme (ETS) of the European Union (EU). Meanwhile, the Europeans are wondering whether a straight and predictable carbon tax such as Australia's would not have been more efficient for them in the first place. The EU's floating carbon price has fallen to levels where it's more profitable for some businesses to keep polluting than to invest in green technology and it's apparent that too many emissions rights have been issued. Regina Betz, joint director at the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets at the Australian School of Business, says an effective ETS needs to include a floor price for carbon to limit intervention from politicians and thereby provide certainty for business.
From: February 19, 2013 thumbnail Intergenerational Equity: Can We Lighten the Load on the Young?
Intergenerational solidarity is vital for building a fairer future. Mutual support across the generations makes the world a better place for everyone – old, young and in-between – but demographic trends are throwing the balance out of whack. As populations age, fewer babies and longer lives look set to place onerous financial and societal stress on the young. So, will older generations be considered a burden on society? At a meeting of OECD social policy ministers, John Piggott, a professor of economics at the Australian School of Business, outlined three key areas where policymakers can be proactive in redressing the imbalance.
From: August 21, 2012 thumbnail Sustainability: New Perspectives and Opportunities
After five decades of sustainability debates and policymaking, the world still lacks a comprehensive strategy that recognises the complexity of the issues. This report, produced by the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, analyses the main aspects of sustainability - from the environmental challenges facing cultures around the globe to the quest for a sustainable supply of water and food. Green business practices are seen through the lens of the tradeoffs involved and consumers' attitudes towards the environment. The report also looks at what kinds of governance structures are needed to encourage sustainability worldwide and to improve collaboration among government officials, companies and nonprofit organisations.
From: August 12, 2012 thumbnail Greening the Supply Chain: Best Practices and Future Trends
The more corporations around the globe focus on sustainability, the more they realize that their greatest challenges and opportunities often lie outside their own offices and manufacturing plants. To make a truly significant lifecycle leap, large companies have to work on greening their supply chains.
From: June 20, 2012 thumbnail Alternative Fuel Cars: Has a Chicken-and-Egg Dilemma Stalled the Mass Market?
Electric and biofuel-powered cars offer solutions for a carbon-constrained world, but has early excitement about alternative fuel vehicles fizzled prior to the July 1 start date for Australia's carbon tax? Before the rubber really hits the road and hybrids and "plug-in" cars become mainstream, there’s still a myriad of issues to be addressed. Infrastructure is one, while research shows some biofuels may generate more problems than they solve. The shift to alternative fuel cars must come, says John Sterman, the Michael J Crouch Visiting Professor at the Australian School of Business, along with many other alternative modes of transport.
From: June 11, 2012

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Knowledge@Australian School of Business