2014 is almost over, and here at SustainingPeople we’ve been absolutely humbled by a following of over 500 people in 59 countries around the world! Thank you all for your support – we truly appreciate your interest, and your comments throughout the year have enabled us to bring higher quality information for your digestion. And, given that 500 followers is somewhat of a milestone, we’ve decided to give our little corner of the internet a small facelift – more of nice spa treatment really – some touch ups here and there, with the most noticeable being a new logo and feature image. The photo was taken by a local artist, and friend of SustainingPeople, Tom Rodgers. It depicts the Stirling Ranges in Western Australia in all their glory, and you can see more of his fantastic work at the Tom Rodgers Photography website.
Additionally, our Videos & Podcasts Page is fully up and running, and showcases all the videos that have been featured in posts throughout the year. The Books page will soon be operational and you’ll be seeing more content and accessibility in the coming months.
We’ve seen a lot of things happen this year, for better and for worse. The divestment movement has picked up speed; the repeal of the Carbon Tax and RET has confounded the government; sustainable development technology is blooming around the country and internationally; and more and more companies are focusing on the benefits of community inclusiveness, closing the gap, philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.
The state of sustainability and corporate social responsibility in Australia is still 10 – 15 years behind much of western society in Europe and America, and potentially behind the policies and thinking of some developing nations too. India for example, is at a turning point in their growth evolution, where they are able to transition away from fossil fuels with minimal cost, as renewables can easily be built into new and permanent infrastructure – leapfrogging, if you will, the dangers of increased carbon pollution. Brazil is successfully combatting deforestation, and China has committed to mitigating its current pollution nightmare.
At home, We have seen recent change in the Federal Government’s focus, with Abbott’s Cabinet releasing funds for the UN’s Green Climate Fund, and with Julie Bishop attending the Lima Climate Conference; these are signs that public opinion is perhaps being heard, and that we might see some positive change and dialogue in the coming year.
New ASX and ASIC regulations in the last few years have created better transparency in listed companies’ treatment and documentation of economic, social and governance (ESG) risk, and we look to the next 12 months as companies release annual reports and sustainability reports, and get used to working to more robust national and international frameworks.
SustainingPeople is looking forward to (hopefully) stronger government support of the renewables industry, such that foreign investment in local energy alternatives is encouraged – thus creating a robust market for growth and technology development, and expanded labour demand. We are looking forward to profiling more companies that are doing the right thing, that are coming up with new campaigns to support the communities in which they operate. We are hopeful that large businesses take a bigger role in social investment, and act as role models in the corporate community, leading the market on how to best create a sustainable future for stakeholders and the public. Most of all, we are looking forward to celebrating Australian success in these fields: sharing the achievements of the few and the many, and alerting you to the events and news that have a negative impact on our society, environment and the future of our planet.
Thanks again for your support, and we would love to hear your comments, questions and suggestions on how we can better improve SustainingPeople, and we look forward to providing an expanded site in the new year.
Have a happy New Year and a wonderful 2015!