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
web:
theswitchreport.com.au
assemblo.com 
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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

WED World Environment Day 5th June 2012

 

 

 

 

 

The 2012 theme for World Environment Day is Green  Economy: Does it include you? Evidently, there are two parts to this theme and the first tackles the  subject of the Green Economy. This is where some people shut off their minds  because they find the concept of the Green Economy a little too complex to  understand.

On the contrary, the Green Economy is really something that is applicable  all around you and it is easy to imagine how you fit in it. Visit the ‘What is the Green Economy?’ page to read a layman’s narrative of this concept.

The UN Environment Programme defines the Green Economy  as one that results in improved  human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental  risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a  green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially  inclusive.

Practically speaking, a Green Economy is one whose  growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments  that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource  efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. These  investments need to be catalyzed and supported by targeted public expenditure,  policy reforms and regulation changes.

But what does all this mean for you? Well, this  essentially what the second part of the theme is all about. If the Green  Economy is about social equity and inclusiveness then technically it is all  about you! The question therefore asks you to find out more about the Green  Economy and assess whether, in your country, you are being included in it.

To learn more about the Green Economy bookmark the World  Environment Day website, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and we shall be  unraveling the concept of what the Green Economy really is and what it means to  you ahead of World Environment Day.

http://www.unep.org/wed/theme/

Sydney follows Melbourne’s lead and gets green upgrade loans

Sydney follows Melbourne’s lead and gets green upgrade loans

Sydney office landlords will be encouraged to undertake more environmentally friendly office refits under a new “green loans” program.

The program is a joint initiative between the City of Sydney and independent government-backed consultants Low Carbon Australia Ltd (LCAL).

The ‘Environmental Upgrade Loan Scheme’ was actually first developed by City of Melbourne in September 2010 and now has live projects under-way.

http://www.propertyobserver.com.au/office/green-loans-on-offer-for-sydney-office-refurbishments/2012031553874

http://www.thefifthestate.com.au/archives/16137

Greenhouse by Joost pops up as part of MFWF

Greenhouse by Joost

To celebrate the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s 20th year, Greenhouse by Joost has popped-up on the banks of the Yarra River for 20 days from the 2nd March to the 21st March

The greenhouse is open daily from 8am for breakfast, and throughout the day for lunch, snacks and dinner – or drinks on the rooftop bar.

I attended last weekend and enjoyed, spiced chicken, quinoa, yoghurt and smokey eggplant dip, flat bread and grilled zucchini, pickled lemon, dil. The food and service was fantastic.

Greenhouse uses organic, biodynamic and local produce where possible. Herbs and weeds are grown on the rooftop and foraged locally. The beef comes from Hopkins River where all the cows live happy lives, as do the corn fed chooks they get from Glenloth Game. Joost has sourced the freshest local fruit and veg from select providers and uses green eggs. All the flour they use is stone milled in house from Powlett Hill wheat.

The design and architecture is eco-friendly and has been designed for disassembly, enabling the greenhouse to pop up at another location. With a number of shipping containers acting as structure, the toilets, kitchen and back of house areas are housed within these containers whilst the dining area is an open, airy and light filled space.

I love the façade which is made up of rusted f82 steel mesh (normally used in concreting) welded together which is then filled with potted strawberries to create a green wall against a ply backing.

FSC Ply is used extensively on the interior and recycled tube steel forms the chair and table legs, LED spot light fittings provide evening light, not required during the day due to large clear window panels.

For further insights and information please check out…

http://byjoost.com/greenhouse/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Greenhouse-by-Joost/105493049526332

Inaugural Green Build Asia 2012 – Kuala Lumpur

Inaugural Green Build Asia 2012

On February 14 2012 Geoff Gourley attended the Inaugural Green Build Asia conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as part of his 2012 Malaysian eco educational tour.

Held in conjunction with International Construction Week at KLCC, opposite the famous Petronas Towers, Green Build Asia was one of South East Asia’s largest green building conferences; well attend by more than 10,000 various corporations, governments and individuals from across the Asia pacific region it was the place to catch up on green building, innovation, new products and services.

Opened by YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, a focus of this year’s event was on technology, systems, materials and suppliers and strongly featured low carbon cities and sustainable and green buildings, with over 250 exhibitors covering more than 6,000sqm.

I was lucky enough to spend some time chatting to a representative from Malaysia Ministry of Works (JKR) and Ahmad Zaki Resources, one of KL’s largest builders, who are currently undertaking the KKR2 tower, targeting a LEED Platinum environmental rating, KKR2 (RM309 Million) will house Malaysia Ministry of Works and be one of Malaysia’s greenest buildings setting an exmplar for other future buildings.

KKR2 is strategically located along Jalan Sultan Salahuddin, KL and is a 37-storey office tower standing 210mt tall and is the first phase of a complex development.

I was also privileged to see the building site up close; construction is approximately 90% complete and well on target for its scheduled May 2012 completion date.

The remainder of the conference presented a large exhibition of various green building products and suppliers, renewable energy, water and waste solutions and a number of guest speakers presented their views on the sector.

Putrajaya – a Low Carbon Green City was a unique initiative of the Malaysian government and had a huge stand, complete with extensive models, toward the front of the main conference hall.

All in all it was a good opportunity to see what another country, less developed in green building, was undertaking and it was very encouraging to hear about a number of carbon neutral residential and commercial developments are in planning and a couple actually under construction.

For further information see links below and for images see flickr link on home page.

www.ppj.gov.my

www.pjh.com.my

www.gdparchitects.com/projects/current/kkr-tower

http://www.greenbuildasia.org/

From Emerald Green to Murky Brown

 

 

From Emerald Green to Murky Brown

Ensuring green data centres stay green after completion…

Technology advancements in Green Data centres are now becoming the industry standard across the globe, ensuring that data centres maintain green credentials and ongoing green performance ‘Service Management’ solutions provide post completion processes needed to remain green.

Once you open the doors to the emerald green data centre and allow people access, it can quickly become murky brown again.

Organisations make substantial investments in establishing green data centres. You may not be the size of Google, who invested $890 million in its data centre infrastructure in the first three months of 2011, but I would suggest you could be looking a multi-million dollar investment over a period of time. You don’t want to be held responsible for that investment going to waste.

 

The current position

The below outlines where you may currently be…

You have consolidated and automated and virtualised and de- duplicated and contained and coupled.

You have obtained an above average PUE, DCiE. WUE, ERE, CUE and DCcE.1

You are compliant with EPEAT and RoHS and WEEE2 directives. You are rapidly moving up the Data Centre Maturity Model.3

You have reduced costs and carbon emissions significantly.

The CEO, CFO, CIO and CMO all love you. Your data centre is a bright and shiny emerald green.

Whether this reflects your reality or it is a state to which you are aspiring, the questions green data centre owners and operators need to ask are:

  • When I reach the ideal state, how am I going to keep it that way?
  • How am I going to ensure that the organisation recognises the return on all that investment and hard work?
  • How am I going to stop my emerald green hue turning into one that is murky brown?

Why should you ask those questions? Because – your challenge is people!

 

Processes and procedures for people

The key is to have good processes and procedures for people to follow that will support all the technology solutions that you have adopted. The solution lies in Service Management. It has all the processes you need to protect your investment and enable your continual journey towards improved sustainability.

The Service Management lifecycle from Service Strategy through Service Design through Service Transition and Service Operation through to retirement of services contains all the processes you need to keep your green data centre bright and shiny.

The following are just some examples…

Service Strategy includes the process of Service Portfolio Management. Service Portfolio Management through the activities of “define, assess, approve and charter” should ensure that there is no duplication of services and associated applications. The introduction of new services that could have been supported by a change to existing application(s) rather than creation of new ones will only serve to unnecessarily increase the carbon footprint of the data centre.

Back in 2009, Intel announced that over the preceding 2 years they had reduced their applications by 37% towards their goal of 50%. They expected that retiring applications would result in a net present value of more than USD $50 million. Consider the associated reduction in carbon emissions through the release of infrastructure that was required to support the unnecessary 50%.

When designing services within Service Design every consideration should be given to reducing the environmental impact of the service. This should include developing software in a way that can be used for long periods of time without becoming outdated; developing applications that will run in the most effective and efficient manner; developing services with the lowest possible hardware requirements. Poorly designed services will increase the carbon footprint of your data centre unnecessarily.

As well as the obvious candidate in support of sustainability – Capacity Management, Availability Management, IT Service Continuity Management and Service Level Management are key processes. These processes should ensure that the availability requirements of the business for their services are appropriate to the value and priority of that service to the business. There is an environmental (as well as financial cost) in the provision of high levels of resilience, storage and contingency. If it is not required, don’t provide it in your data centre.

Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM) within Service

Transition is a key player in keeping your data centre green. If you haven’t already done so, a first step towards your green data centre is to do a complete inventory of servers, software and applications, including the interdependencies between them all via SACM. You need to firstly understand how each physical and virtual server is used, what software is running on it, which business applications it supports and what its actual value is to the business. Then you can work out what to remove, refresh or virtualise unused, unnecessary and inefficient assets.

Once you have done this you need to keep a track of what is in your data centre and how it is being used, so regular audits through SACM are crucial. Comatosed equipment will start to pop up as developers decommission applications without the associated removal of redundant hardware. SACM will ensure that this is detected and remedial action can be taken.

Back in 2009, Sun Microsystems undertook a clean-up of data centre facilities at four of their major campuses and pulled out over 440 pallets of equipment. There were 6,199 devices in total with 4,100 of them being servers. 64% of those servers were still powered on and consuming energy around the clock. Sun equated the environmental impact of this to puling 6000 cars off the road.

You don’t want to have to do this to your emerald green data centre a few years down the track just because of a lack of a good SACM process!

Change Management of course is key in ensuring that every change is considered for its environmental impact and that redundant equipment resulting from the change is identified (in conjunction with SACM and Release and Deployment Management) so that it can be removed in a timely manner.

Change Management should ensure that Requests for Change (RFCs) are accepted or rejected using a rationale that includes the environmental impact of that change as well as the financial, business and technology impacts.

The rationale can include environmental requirements such as:

  • the use of suppliers of products and services with environmental and sustainability management systems and ISO 140001 accreditation;
  • the utilisation of devices that conform to a specified energy rating;
  • the use of devices that have a lifetime energy footprint within specified parameters;
  • the identification and removal of redundant components – infrastructure and applications – and their reuse, recycling or environmentally responsible disposal;
  • sustainable release and deployment methods including remote access and local distribution;
  • the inclusion of environmental targets within SLAs, OLAs and UCs; and
  • adherence to the organisation’s sustainability policy, objectives and targets.

All of this will contribute to keeping the data centre green.

In Service Operation, Event Management should be used to detect deviation from the expected environmental performance of the data centre and ensure that Incidents are created and directed to the most appropriate resource to undertaken investigation and diagnosis as soon as possible. Corrective action can then be taken to get the data centre back to its emerald green status.

Where Incidents related to deviation from expected environmental data centre performance is repeatedly occurring, Problem Management should be used to determine root cause and eliminate it.

Continual Service Improvement contains the processes that enable the data centre and facilities team to look at ways in which the sustainability of the data centre can be continual improved and become an even brighter green. Service Measurement and Service Reporting will be imperatives in keeping a handle on current performance against targets and determining where improvements can be made.

Service Management is the data centre or facilities manager’s friend. The effective implementation of the aforementioned processes and the others within Service Management will result in the protection of the data centre from undesirable activity that starts the journey from emerald green to murky brown.

I have only mentioned a few of the Service Management processes in this article but for more information see below link.

Macanta has developed the eco-ITSM service, which uncovers the sustainability aspect of every process, function and activity within service management. More information is available from www.eco-itsm.com or www.macanta.com.au

Thanks and acknowledgement to Karen Ferris – Director, Macanta Consulting

1  PUE    =    Power        Usage    Effectiveness,    DCiE   =   Data   Centre   Infrastructure    Efficiency,    WUE    =   Water  Usage  Effectiveness,    ERE   =   Energy  Reuse  Effectiveness,    CUE    =  Carbon    Usage  Effectiveness,  DCcE  =  Data  Centre  Compute  Efficiency  

2  EPEAT  =  Electronic  Product  Environmental  Assessment  Tool,  RoHS  =  Reduction    in    hazardous    Substances,    WEEE   =   Waste   Electrical    and   Electronic    Equipment  

3

http://www.thegreengrid.org/Global/Content/Tools/DataCenterMaturityModel.aspx

Christmas Polo with Shape Our Future

Preparations for the 2011 Christmas Polo are well under way and attendance at this year’s event is shaping up to an absolute necessity!

Again Shape our Future has reserved three exclusive ‘Field side’ marquees that will have a decidedly ‘green’ theme.

BOOKINGS are now being taken so reserve Saturday 26th November from noon till 6pm and join many of our friends and colleagues for a great day at the polo at Werribee Park.

This 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.

Please email enquiries@shapeourfuture.org.au or contact Geoff on 0428 317 387 for ticket bookings or further information.

Future Green Leaders Event

Future Green Leaders screening of The Greening of Southie.

Join us for a night at the movies as we showcase the The Greening of Southie

Set on the rugged streets of South Boston The Greening of Southie is the story of the  ups and downs faced by a development team associated with building a LEED certified (the US’s Green Star rating tools) Multi-Unit Residential building.

From the wheatboard cabinetry to recycled steel, bamboo flooring to dual-flush toilets, The Macallen Building is something different- a leader in the emerging field of environmentally friendly design.  But building green has its challenges- untested materials, skeptical contractors and concerned citizens.

The Greening of Southie is funny and poignant and is must see for anyone who is or wants to be part of green building.

Watch the trailer here. 

 Date:           

Melbourne Thursday 13 August 2009

Time:          

5.30pm-8.00pm   

Tickets    

$25.00 members,$35.00 non members – Includes movie and drinks

Book now or visit http://www.futuregreenleaders.org.au

Sustaina-what ?

A number of common principles are embedded in most definitions of sustainability:

conservation of biodiversity and ecological integrity

constant natural capital and sustainable income

ensuring intragenerational (within generations) and intergenerational (across generations) equity

recognising and responding to global circumstances

dealing cautiously with risk, uncertainty and irreversibility

ensuring appropriate valuation of environmental assets

integration of environmental, social and economic goals in policies and activities

social equity and community participation.