Tim Longhurst's Blog

Australian Conservation Foundation – Green Building (60L)

October 25th, 2006 · No Comments

acf-buildingThe Australian Conservation Foundation’s Melbourne Head Office is located in one of the greenest – and coolest buildings I’ve ever seen. I’d read about it a few years ago, but on Monday I was lucky enough to get a quick tour, and the building lived up to its reputation – I am impressed.

60L (the building’s name) collects and recycles its own water, is filled with natural light and is temperature controlled using internal and external sensors that automatically open and close louvres to control air flow. My tour guides, ACF employees Corey and Suzanne, pointed out potato-starch privacy screens, recycled-brick walls and 60% recycled-concrete pillars. The kitchen has recycled cork in the floor and recycled green ‘wheelie bins’ (domestic trash containers for the non-Aussies) had been turned into a tasteful green-marbled wall.

The building has its own (dated) website here, and the ACF has a page about the building (with hardly any photos) here. Whilst more photos of the building would be nice, ACF are probably too busy with campaigns to show-off their green building. You can read about ACF and its latest campaigns here.

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Category: Our living planet

Shove your “sustainability report” in your smoke stack

July 3rd, 2006 · No Comments

There’s a yet-to-be-released study from Scotland that looks set to add to my conviction that Corporate Social Responsibility is a dangerous farce.

Scotland’s Sunday Herald newspaper has run an article under the headline, “Study slams ‘trivial’ social responsibility reports”.

The report is authored by Jan Bebbington and Rob Gray and as soon as I find the full report, you’ll read about it here. In the meantime, here are some teaser lines from the Herald article:

Less than 4% of the world’s 50,000 major companies produce reports on
“corporate social responsibility”, she points out. And the quality of
the reports that are produced is “almost universally trivial”…

The study warns: “The danger is that the very concept on which the
future of the planet depends – sustainability – will be emasculated,
appropriated and destroyed by assertion in the interests of

“We believe we must treat the current crop of
‘sustainability reports’ with the profoundest mistrust as one of the
most dangerous trends working against any possibility of a sustainable

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Category: Corporate craziness

People driving less, buying fewer cars, moving away from SUV’s

May 22nd, 2006 · No Comments

Petrol prices hit car sales


RECORD petrol prices are forcing Sydney motorists to drive less,
buy fewer cars and switch away from four-wheel-drive vehicles.

New figures also show traffic volumes appear to have fallen,
raising questions about the profitability of privately owned


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Category: Our living planet

Thinking Climate Change? Think ExxonSecrets.org

May 16th, 2006 · No Comments

mobiloilEver wondered why some people aren’t convinced about climate change? Well over at ExxonMobil, they’ve invested millions in scientists and professional communicators with one objective in mind: buying time.

Next time you see a “climate skeptic” look up their name at this site: ExxonSecrets.org

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Category: Corporate craziness

OYbike – London’s getting cheap bikes everywhere…

May 11th, 2006 · No Comments

oybikeSince my last post was about cars, I’ve decided to make this one about bikes.

In London, a group called OYbike is placing bikes all over town. Special codes to unlock the bikes are accessed via text message. When you’re done, return the bike to a parking bay and lock it up.

It costs 30p ($US.55) per 15 minutes to hire a bike. The OYbike website has a table indicating that the bikes often work out even cheaper than catching the bus or train.

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Category: Our living planet