Australian businesses moving forward on sustainability

Australian businesses can leap-frog to the front of the sustainability game according to international sustainable development expert Dr Jem Bendell.

Dr Bendell, who was recently appointed as an Adjunct Professor with the Griffith Business School (GBS), said although there had been some pioneering work done by Australian companies like Rockcote, the corporate responsibility agenda in Australia was generally less developed than in Northern Eurpoe.

“The positive side to this is that Australian businesses can learn from the successes and failures of companies elsewhere that have a decade of experience in adopting socially and environmentally responsible business practices,” Dr Bendell said.

“Corporate responsibility has become more urgent in Australia with threatening issues like drought, so there is a chance for Australia to leap-frog learning.

“Businesses need to work with other companies and non-government organisations (NGO) on a state, national and global level.”

Dr Bendell has worked in the field as a campaigner, management consultant and academic for more than ten years.

He is a consultant to the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, a senior strategic advisor to the World Wildlife Foundation’s UK division and has presented on organisational responsibility at a number of business and NGO conferences.

Dr Bendell said businesses need to promote social change, not just change within the company.

“Companies that have been engaged in corporate responsible practices for sustainability over the past ten years have learned there’s no sustainable business if there’s no sustainable planet,” Dr Bendell said.

“Businesses can’t save the planet on their own, so they’ve worked to change other businesses, communities, governments and even whole economies so they can continue to thrive.”

Dr Bendell will give a presentation on cross-sectoral partnerships for sustainability as part of the GBS Sustainability Series ’07.

The seminar will provide insight into what has worked, what hasn’t, and what the future may hold for cross-sector partnerships in Australia and internationally.

The seminar will be held on Thursday, May 24 from 5pm — 8pm in the Ship Inn Function Room (Level 2) at Griffith University’s South Bank campus, 226 Grey Street, South Bank.

A networking event will be held immediately following the seminar. Attendance is free but seats are limited and bookings are essential.

Bookings can be made by phone on 07 3735 4146 or email at [email protected]