The Switch Report chats with Geoff Gourley

April 30th, 2013

Geoff Gourley’s “day job” is Director – Sustainability Integration at NuGreen Solutions.  He is also the Founder and Executive Director of the not-for-profit company Shape Our Future, and a board member of the United Nations Association of Australia – Victorian Division. Somehow, Geoff managed to find the time to talk to The Switch Report.

To start at the beginning, where does your green streak come from?

I grew up in country Victoria, in Traralgon, and spent a lot of time out in the country or down at our beach house. I was also into Scouts so I’ve always had a natural affinity for the environment. I also remember a school trip to the Hazelwood and Yallourn power stations, and seeing a diorama that showed whole towns like Traralgon being moved so they could get at the brown coal underneath them. To me it was a horrifying prospect.

More recently, doing the Centre for Sustainability Leadership Fellowship program in 2008 was a transformative experience. This brought me into contact with sustainability advocates from outside of the built environment sector that I’m most familiar with, people from the law, the arts and social sectors, and that had a lot to do with me starting Shape Our Future.

In amongst your non-profit activities, you’ve also held senior positions with large companies for many years. How do these two areas relate to your personal goals?

Everything I do is linked to a mission to influence either business or the community to becoming more sustainable – to produce a more positive outcome. It involves visioning, funding and supporting dreamers and doers and thought leaders. There’s a business side to it, and a community side, with different drivers and different conversations. I like the diversity of friends I’ve made through these different activities, and on the business side I get to influence the big decision makers who hold the purse strings.

You talk about sustainability leadership, and how it will lead business and the community into a sustainable future. If someone with the profile of Al Gore has had difficulty in motivating the world into action, is it possible to lead people to sustainability?

With leadership it’s important to take a position, but then you need to show the benefits. This works with business where you can show that becoming more sustainable improves the bottom line and adds to future business value. We can make a change within a business and then use that as a case study to show others businesses that they can improve staff retention, make more profit and gain other benefits. Then we’ve created a new norm. Sustainability leadership is about both business and the community, but it’s my personal belief that it will be business that leads us down the sustainability path.

In 2009 you said “We face a global climate crisis, more than ever before. We need innovative and immediate change in paradigms to unlock sustainability as a pathway for future generations.” Has progress been made in this area or are we becoming less sustainable?

Sustainability as a term has been done to death. That said, there has been a significant improvement in sustainability, especially overseas. A lot of leaders are stepping up, making commitments and undertaking ethical investments. Climate skeptics are getting less exposure, and there is more public recognition of the problems we face and the need to do something. We’re on the right pathway, although things are not happening as quickly as we would hope.

As a not-for-profit, how does Shape Our Future get on for funding?

Shape Our Future relies on the voluntary efforts of 12 to 14 people. Any paid roles are outsourced, but money is hard to get and we don’t traditionally apply for grants. We have run fundraising events, we do seek donations, and I have also provided financial support.

It’s no different with the United Nations Association of Australia. Even with the UN brand behind it, it’s hard to attract financial support.

It was announced this month that Shape Our Future had acquired Sustainability Drinks. Tell us about your plans.

Sustainability Drinks never had a formal structure. It was simply a group of people who made it happen, although it remained fairly dependent on Dan Atkins’ involvement. Bringing it under the Shape Our Future umbrella will give it more structure, and while I will be putting in some of my own money to help things along, it will remain not-for-profit.

Our first priority is to ensure that the current events program rolls on. We want to quickly expand the Sustainability Drinks events in Sydney and Brisbane, then around the other state and territory capitals. The 2014 calendar will be put together early in the piece, and we will be looking for international speakers, too. Our aim is to simply make it THE sustainability networking event across Australia. I think we’ll also need to attract some sponsorship to put Sustainability Drinks itself onto a more sustainable footing.

Other plans are to run events in addition to the monthly meetings, including forums that bring sustainability professionals together. And although it’s early days, I’m hoping we can organise the world’s biggest Green Drinks event to coincide with the next Sustainable Living Festival.

When do you sleep?

Oh, I’m pretty organised. I’m good at being in the moment and focusing all my attention on whatever I’m doing at the time. I’m not a nine to five person, and I’ve used my most recent holidays to look at eco-resorts. And nothing feels like work.

nugreen.com.au

studio-green.org

Original article A Chat With Geoff Gourley written by
Alistair McCaskill – Editor - The Switch Report
By Assemblo
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theswitchreport.com.au
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Geoff Gourley elected to Board of United Nations Association of Australia

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Geoff Gourley elected to Board of United Nations Association of Australia

On Wednesday 21st November 2012 at the Victorian Division Annual General Meeting for United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA), Founder and Executive Director of Shape Our Future, Geoffrey Gourley was elected to the UNAA Board.

Mr Gourley said “I am privileged and honoured to have been elected to one of the vacant positions and look forward to making a lasting contribution to the fantastic work the UNAA is undertaking in Australia”.

In addition to Mr Gourley’s appointment, Magdalena Roal Batchelor, Andrew Stevens and Bruce Coyne were also elected by the members to the vacant positions, and Mark Pizzacalla was elected as Treasurer and Murray McInnis was elected as President.

The new board now consists of the following…

  • President: Murray McInnis
  • Immediate Past President: Graham Hunter
  • Vice President: Graeme Worner
  • Treasurer: Mark Pizzacalla
  • Secretary: Patricia Collett

Board Members:                 

  • Kevin Childs
  • Bruce Coyne
  • Geoff Gourley
  • Ian Howie
  • Magdalena Roal Batchelor
  • Andrew Stevens

At the AGM outgoing president Graham Hunter thanked all the members for their support for the activities of the Association throughout the year.

Please find attached below the Annual Report outlining all of the programs and events for the past financial year.

UNAA Victoria_Annual Report_2011-2012

Please feel free to forward this report on to your contacts and networks. Any assistance in promoting our work would be greatly appreciated.

About the UNAA

The United Nations is an international organisation founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

The UNAA Victoria is a non-profit, non-government, membership-based, community organisation working to promote the aims and ideals of the United Nations and seek support for the UN and its programs and agencies.

http://www.unaavictoria.org.au/

The UNAA is committed to building a strong, credible and effective UN. We advocate support for the UN in the Australian community and seek to demonstrate why the UN matters to people everywhere.

Our primary purpose is to raise awareness about the UN and its work and engage the Australian community on key issues on the UN agenda.

We play a critical role in connecting Australians with the United Nations and educating the community on key international and local environmental, human rights and social justice issues.

United Nations Associations represent a vital link between the United Nations and citizens of its member states. In Australia, the Association is represented in every state and territory through its divisions and national body.

The divisions work together to campaign in support of the UN and its current priorities such as the Millennium Development Goals, human rights, gender equality, the environment, global health, sustainable development, peace and security.

5th Annual Shape Our Future Charity Polo Event

5th Annual Shape Our Future Charity Polo Event

Founder & Executive Director of Shape Our Future; Geoffrey Gourley is pleased to invite you and your friends to the Exclusive Paspaley Polo in the City 2012.

Saturday, 1st December 2012 – Albert Park Lake – Melbourne from 11am – 6pm

Paspaley Polo in the City is established as one of the largest polo events in Australia with over 4,000 people expected in 2012 and it’s always a sell out.

The event offers the perfect transition from the excitement of the Spring Racing Carnival to the buzz of the summer social season, and as always the atmosphere will be charged and the focus will be on entertainment, fashion and celebrations with friends.

Two limited corporate branding packages are also available for each marquee for the day. Please contact Geoff for further details and cost.

What’s included in the ticket fee?

You and your friends will spend the afternoon relaxing in our exclusive corporate VIP marquees, full food and beverage service, by Blakes Feast Catering, throughout the day with prime viewing position right beside the Polo field. Multiple polo matches, entertainment, divot stomp and mens and ladies dash.

Tickets are $270 ea (inc GST) Fully Inclusive

Please confirm ticket quantity and guests names via RSVP email and pay early to avoid disappointment. EFT details on are on the invitation.

Only tickets ‘paid for in full’ at least 14 days prior to event will be allocated and issued. First in – First secured basis, Limited tickets available.

Westpac Bank
Account: Shape Our Future – Public Fund
BSB: 033 100
Account No: 287345
Ref: Surname/ No Tickets

Dress code and Access

We suggest sophisticated and tailored daywear for all guests. Ladies should avoid wearing high-heeled shoes, as these are not suited to the Polo Ground.  No jackets or ties for the blokes

Access to the polo field will be from Armstrong St Middle Park or Taxi drop off from Aughtie Drive (Pit Lane)

Donations

If you are unable to make the event and wish to make a donation please refer to the deposit method at the bottom of the invitation and use the ref code ‘Donor’ or visit the website www.shapeourfuture.org.au

Westpac Bank
Account: Shape Our Future – Public Fund
BSB: 033 100
Account No: 287345
Ref: Donor / Surname

Enquiries can be directed to Geoffrey Gourley 0428 317 387 or geoffgourley@bigpond.com

Download your Exclusive 2012 Polo Invitation

Studio Green founder presenting at 2012 Government Sustainability Conference

Our Founder; Geoff Gourley will be presenting on ‘What can technology do to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions?’ at the 2012 Government Sustainability Conference he last presented at this conference in 2009.

The 2012 Government Sustainability Conference will again provide local, state and federal government professionals and representatives of other public sector agencies with comprehensive analysis and advice about how to ingrain environmentally sustainable policies and practices within their organisations and the communities they serve.

This conference will follow on from the highly successful 2011 Government Sustainability Conference, which attracted more than 200 attendees. By focusing on the issues and needs that are faced by governments and their authorities, this conference has become the peak annual environmental conference for Australia’s public sector.

This national conference will provide attendees with the means to network and discuss environmental best practice with officials from the nation’s public sector sustainability leaders.

High-quality information and case studies will assist attendees to address crucial environmental issues facing all levels of government, including:

  • How to embed a culture of environmental sustainability within a government organisation.
  • Implementation of leading-edge climate change strategies that encourage reduced emissions and prepare a government organisation. for the risks posed by climate change.
  • Community engagement in environmental initiatives.
  • Encouraging sustainability in public sector infrastructure and the built environment.
  • Efficient water management practices and waste minimisation.
  • Green purchasing and procurement.
  • Policy and regulation adherence.

Attendees will also be able to participate in high-quality WORKSHOPS that will enhance their ability to respond to environmental issues and generate sustainable outcomes for their organisation.

The Government Sustainability Conference has evolved from the Local Government Sustainable Development Conference, held annually for six years. The conference is staged by Hallmark Conferences + Events, publisher of EnviroInfo and Council Manager magazine.

See more here

Sponsored by NuGreen Solutions

Social Entrepreneur Geoff Gourley invests in Australian ‘sustainability integration’ company NuGreen Solutions

Social Entrepreneur, Geoff Gourley invests in Australian ‘sustainability integration’ company NuGreen Solutions.

 NuGreen Solutions (NGS), is an innovative national company that finances and manages sustainable projects from concept to completion, NGS is pleased to confirm the appointment of Mr Geoffrey Gourley as a shareholder and to the position of Director – Sustainability Integration.

In confirming the appointment, NuGreen Solutions’ Founder, Paul McMurtrie, highlighted the importance that Mr Gourley’s business and sustainability experience will bring to NuGreen Solutions. “I am delighted to confirm that Geoff Gourley has agreed to invest in NuGreen: his role as Director – Sustainability Integration will provide leadership and collaboration delivering sustainability orientated services to commercial business,” Mr McMurtrie says.

 “From 2nd July 2012 Geoff will commence the development of a comprehensive strategy- this will build on the excellent work that has already commenced and will enable NGS to assist our clients adapt to the carbon pricing mechanism and associated cost and regulatory impacts.”

As well as being founding Director of Not-for-Profit – Shape Our Future, Geoff also sits on Property Council of Australia Committees, is a member of Green Building Council of Australia, he is also a former member of the PCA Sustainable Development Committee. Most recently, Geoff was the Commercial Manager Bid & Strategy with ISIS Group Australia.

Over the past decade Geoff has been active in delivering asset repositioning, retro fitting and energy efficiency upgrades of commercial assets, advocating innovative green building initiatives that reduce greenhouse emissions and deliver economic benefits. In 2008, Geoff was one of 25 people selected across Australia to undertake a Fellowship in Sustainability Leadership and in 2009; was invited to speak in New York on Sustainability and greening the built environment and was selected as one of Al Gore’s Climate Project connectors. In 2011, Geoff travelled to London to attend EcoBuild, the world’s largest Green Building conference and in 2012 attended Malaysia’s inaugural Green Build Asia. Geoff continues to play a key role in greening the built environment and integrating sustainable solutions into businesses and assets.

According to Mr Gourley, “the opportunity to be part of an innovative organisation which leads and influences business and community to a sustainable future attracted him to invest in NuGreen Solutions”. “The timing is right for business to adapt to a low carbon economy and NGS can assist owner’s upgrade their assets and helps businesses of all sizes become more energy efficient and saves them money, adapting makes economic and environmental sense.”

“In the past being ‘green’ cost money , but by installing the latest lighting and power generation technology we are saving clients money” Mr Gourley added.
 


About Geoff Gourley

Geoff brings extensive knowledge and a deep passion for sustainability; integrating a variety of tailored solutions, he successfully delivers exceptional economic, environmental and social outcomes. His entrepreneurial thinking is a critical factor in successfully transitioning businesses into sustainable and profitable assets. Commercial knowledge enables him to understand client’s needs and develop a range of financed sustainable solutions.

He is a Fellow in Sustainability Leadership, GSAP with a BA (interior design) and Dip.BA. Geoff has 20+ Yrs experience working in director, commercial and business development roles with top tier property companies including; ISIS, Hansen Yuncken and Johns Lyng Group.

Geoff leads NuGreen’s sustainability, business development and marketing teams and contributes to strategic focus and is Director – Sustainability Integration.

About NuGreen

NuGreen is a unique Australian company formed in late 2011 by the Directors of Nuvo Electrical Services & Urban Maintenance Systems to finance and manage environmental upgrades to commercial properties. Backed by leading financial institutions they offer a fully funded solution allowing clients to lease back the equipment and NGS can take full responsibility of the maintenance for up to 10 years.

Built to address the new and emerging energy related issues facing Australian organisations they have sourced the world’s best and latest technology from a range of leading suppliers.  With the ‘whole of life’ mindset entrenched in their thinking NuGreen not only manage the design & installation of retrofit projects, they will navigate clients through the complex aspects of Energy efficiency, carbon tax management, grants, government programs, carbon trading schemes and certificate generation and certification.

NuGreen’s unique sustainability integration approach enables them to act as your trusted advisor, assessing how your asset and business can become more energy efficient through the best value for money approach and enable your business to meet mandatory obligations with least impact.

Media:

Geoff Gourley – Director, Sustainability Integration

geoff@nugreen.com.au   @geoffgourley

www.nugreen.com.au     @nugreensolution

Portsea Polo 2012 had a touch of ‘Green’

Cool Australia Green Room at the Portsea Polo

A warm Saturday in early January 2012 saw the annual Portsea Polo get a ‘touch of green’ through the addition of Cool Australias ‘Green Room’ marquee thanks to Jason Kimberley, Deb Hallmark and the team at coolaustralia.org

With more than 4000 at the polo, just 180 guests were able to enjoy the eco friendly, sustainable marquee where we drank champagne from recycled jars, through biodegradable straws, whilst sitting on hay bales surrounded by walls of potted strawberries and wooden crates filled with  herbs, fruits and vegatables.

Contributions made by Joost design and  food by Damm Fine Foods and with the best field side position we enjoyed the polo matches whilst making a worthy contribution to the Cool Australia Not-for-Profit organisation.

As the day drew to a close guests grabbed their potted strawberry plant, said goodbyes to new friends and headed off. A great day was had by all and I am sure future polo events will also get a ‘touch of green’.

Geoff Gourley Founder Shape Our Future and Jason Kimberley Founder Cool Australia

 
 

The Green Room

About Cool Australia

Cool Australia is your one-stop info-shop for all things environmental, inspirational, practical and sustainable. Full of facts, they are the eco-link between science and our community, businesses and schools.

Cool Australia explains global warming and environmental issues in plain English. They promote the great green stories happening in Australia and help you to find out the challenges we face and what people are doing to get us back on track.

Australian’s are embracing a low-impact lifestyle because it is the smart, cool and healthy way to live. It makes us feel connected to our neighbours, family and friends. If we work together we can build a city that is cleaner, fairer, safer and happier.

Shape Our Future – An Introduction

What is Shape Our Future?

In 2008 our founder, Geoffrey Gourley, Social Entrepreneur and Environmentalist from a young age, was selected to undertake a fellowship in sustainability leadership. Realising long ago the planet is not an infinite natural resource; Geoff understands the urgency needed to address climate change, environmental and ecological issues if we are to sustain humanity.

Shape Our Future was conceptualised and launched in 2008 with a vision to lead, develop and influence business and community to a sustainable future.

 “we invite you, to join with us, in shaping our future, making a contribution to preserving our beautiful planet and create a pathway for all future generations to live sustainably”. Geoffrey Gourley – Founder.

Our Vision

Lead, develop and influence business and community to a sustainable future through visioning, fostering and funding ecological, environmental and sustainable initiatives.

Our Objectives

• Develop ecological, environmental and sustainability projects in general with an emphasis on climate change and offsetting the deleterious effects of burning fossil fuels and global warming.

• Advise on, fund and influence business and the wider community to develop ecological, environmental and sustainability projects.

• Respond to the climate change crisis and its impact including developing a vision for a sustainable future that is feasible and able to be implemented by business and the community.

• Address and re-evaluate traditional thinking by looking differently at social, economic and environmental issues.

• Foster the creation of regions for the growth and protection of flora and fauna by the community in general or various sub-sets of the community where people can contribute, learn and assist with restoring our ecology and biodiversity.

• Foster effective management of land and reserves including the control of pests and the minimisation of damage caused by climate change.

• Offer services to business, community, government and other organisations including future and visionary thinking, consultancy, assessment, leadership, innovation, marketing, planning and strategy in relation to the objects set out above and related issues.

Our Values

Respect – Integrity – Courtesy – Honesty – Ethics – Support

Our Green Credo

As a social organisation we lead by example, it is not enough to simply undertake a few good sustainable practices and call yourself ‘Green’. We here at Shape Our Future take our reputation and our environment seriously.

You won’t see us partaking in unsustainable activities. We walk the talk and have the evidence to back it up. Below you will find details on our actual ‘Green Credo’ and Environmental policy. We have put in place a voluntary reporting and monitoring process along with a set of guiding principles to ensure everything we do is as sustainable as it can be.

Environmental Principles and Aspirations

Shape Our Future accepts that it has a moral obligation to ensure that its current and future projects, developments and operations work towards the goal of restoring balance to the ecosystems and global community’s sustainability – rather than just sustaining a degraded world.

We will respond to the climate change crisis and its impact including developing a vision for a sustainable future that is feasible and able to be implemented by business and the community.

“Restoration is a more productive, imaginative, and innovative path forward.” Paul Hawken

As Shape Our Future Executive Director, Geoffrey Gourley, said in
July 2009:

“We face a global climate crisis, more than ever before, we need innovative and immediate change in paradigms to unlock sustainability as a pathway for future generations. Global and local communities need leaders to outline and vision a future, we need to consider and value our environment as an integral part of any sustainable society”.
Under the Sustainability Policy ratified by the Board in July 2009, Shape Our Future has set principles and aspirations including:

  • Our aim to lead, develop and influence environmental and social management through sustainable business principles and practices to minimise our impact on the environment and increase contributions we make to the community.
  • Shape Our Future encourages the use of environmentally-friendly transport options, and limits the amount of interstate and overseas travel our management, staff and volunteers make in fulfilling their work duties.
  • Shape Our Future has committed to improving energy efficiency across all our projects and developments, eliminating the use of unsustainable forms of energy, ensuring energy is purchased through green power accredited sources and that energy use is CO2 neutral or off set where required.
  • Our aim to achieve a zero-waste target by reducing, reusing and recycling materials, minimising the purchase and use of consumables, and when purchasing goods we choose environmentally friendly options that produce the least amount of waste and are efficient in their consumption of energy and resources.
  • Shape Our Future aims to exceed the minimum requirements, for Commonwealth, State and Local environmental regulations, policies, legislation and voluntary initiatives.
  • We encourage and support our employees in volunteering activities for other organisations, acknowledging the contribution volunteering makes to the community.
  • We support our employees in balancing personal and work commitments in recognition this contributes to employee health, satisfaction and well being. All Shape Our Future management, employees and volunteers are encouraged to allow sufficient time for each aspect.
  • We choose our partners, service providers, consultants and stakeholders which are aligned to our vision, values, principles, aspirations and objectives and demonstrate environmental leadership in their sector.
  • All our company tenancies are carbon neutral (greenhouse gas emissions which have been reduced through efficiencies are offset via carbon trading).
  • Environmental considerations inform all our investment decisions.
  • All business operations are zero net carbon, water & waste as a minimum.
  • All projects we develop and/or operate are independently rated as achieving good environmental status.

Policy

Summary

Through our commitment to the principles of ecologically sustainable development we will contribute to creating a sustainable future and lead, develop and influence improvements in environmental performance. This undertaking is an obligation of the board and management team and the responsibility of every staff member and volunteer.

Detail

Shape Our Future is committed to providing a high quality environment in the Not-for-Profit Environmental and Sustainability sector, which meet the requirements and expectations of Clients, Statutory Authorities, Employees and Community Groups.

Shape Our Future affirms its commitment to applying sustainable business and development principles to all facets of our organisations processes and to continually improve our performance in minimising the impact on, and pollution of, the environment.

In achieving this Shape Our Future is committed to the implementation, maintenance and improvement of a Management System meeting the requirements of Australian and International Standard AS/NZS ISO 14001.

The Board of Directors will review environmental objectives and set performance targets each year. Managers through their line management structure are accountable for ensuring all employees and volunteers achieve these objectives and targets.

The Company’s Environmental performance will be monitored against established performance targets and the results reported to the Board of Directors on a regular basis.

Shape Our Future affirm that they have a legal obligation to comply with relevant environmental legislation, standards and codes of practice as the minimum level of performance and a professional obligation to acknowledge the views of Environmental and Community Groups.

Shape Our Future acknowledge that environmental excellence can only be achieved and maintained by a clear unequivocal direction of all levels of management, stimulating a participative atmosphere and sense of pride in our environmental achievements by all employees and volunteers, and through recognition by concerned groups in obtaining this.

Why we do it.

Seeing firsthand the earth’s changing climate, humanities impact on the natural environment and depleting resources this generation is at or past a tipping point which could affect all future generations’ ability to inhabit the earth as we know it.

The environment is central to developed and developing countries and a communities continuance, without a balanced and sustainable environment we, as a race, will not be able to survive the future.

Our generation will be judged on the decisions we make at this time, as Al Gore once said to me ‘this is a time of turning, we don’t want future generations to say, ‘what were you thinking, didn’t you care enough to change’, we want them to ask, ‘how did you find the moral courage to rise to the challenge’.

Shape Our Future was formed as an organisation that leads, develops and influences others to make changes, we encourage, educate, and support people from all walks of life to find that moral courage needed to ensure sustainable prosperity for all.

We do it because we care, we are a group of passionate people with a common goal, and a desire to make a real and lasting difference, the greatest legacy we can leave is a healthy planet and a sustainable pathway for future generations.

Geoff Gourley selected to the Property Council of Australia’s Sustainable Development Committee

Property Council of Australia’s Sustainable Development Committee

Having completed a two year tenure on the Property Council of Australia’s Future Directions Committee Geoff has been selected to the PCA Sustainable Development Committee due to his extensive experience in property sector, passion for sustainability and knowledge of ‘greening’ the built environment.

This is a great opportunity for ISIS to build on their reputation as an industry and sustainability leader through Geoff’s involvement, which is in line with ISIS goal to improve financial performance through sustainable growth.

Read the article about the New Victorian Sustainable Development Committee.