Feature article in Startup Smart on NuGreen Solutions

Geoff Gourley was recently interviewed by Startup Smart on the development and growth of NuGreen Solutions, of which he is a Shareholder and Director.

In the interview Geoff shares a number of insights and learnings and provides the answers to NuGreens rapid development and why it’s ok to set Big Goals.

Read the article by following the link and please feel free to post your comments here.

If you are interested to see more about what NuGreen Solutions do and how we are assisting businesses save money and the environment please visit http://www.nugreen.com.au

To chat with Geoff directly please email geoff@nugreen.com.au

read the article here

National Camps Conference 2009

Conference Gala Dinner

Key note Topic- ‘Call to Arms’

Key note Title- Visions of Sustainable Prosperity for Planet Earth

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”       Margaret Mead

For years society has tried to get people in positions of power to care; now we’re going to get people who care into positions of influence. We need strong, venturous leadership, we need people who will lead, develop and influence our communities toward sustainable future prosperity.

Socially, economically, environmentally and culturally we determine what our environment and planet looks like, what the world sees, how we want to live and what future we leave for generation’s to come.

I care about developing future leaders and ensuring a sustainable environment and earth for our youth. It is our youth that are part of a global community and are 100% of our future.

We want future generations to ask ‘How did you find the moral courage to rise to the challenge’ not say ‘What were you thinking, didn’t you care’.

Concurrent workshop session 5

Topic- How to successfully implement a ‘Sustainability Leadership Program and Learning Centre’

Title- Sustainability Leadership – Our Future Demands It.

Sustainability leadership is about creating a collaborative learning environment to motivate, empower and educate the future leaders who, with these new skills and understanding, will lead business and community into a sustainable future.

We need innovative and immediate change in paradigms to unlock sustainability as a pathway for future generations.  A Camp’s vision, environment, staff and facilities can make this a reality, by developing and delivering sustainability leadership programs across a range of demographics we will ensure our circle of influence is great.

We are aware of the urgent need to address climate change, carbon emissions, water, energy, biodiversity and environmental challenges, through a range of programs it is possible for the camps sector to be leaders in creating a sustainable future and assist with the shaping of our future leaders.

By taking a ‘buildings that teach’ philosophy we are able to connect with people during their time spent at a camp, by engaging and connecting them to the natural environment we can have a lasting impact on their behavior, mind set and long term actions which can lead to more sustainable habits.

Camps can be at the leading edge of innovation in youth leadership, regional and community development, camps have the ability to quickly respond to community and market demands and through partnerships we understand we can cause a greater change to society and the environment.

Dinner with Al Gore

Dinner with Al Gore

Sunday 12 July 2009 – The Great Hall – NGV

Hosted by
– Australian Conservation Foundation
– The Climate Project

I was privileged to attend an intimate dinner with Al Gore which was held during his recent visit to Melbourne as part of the Asia Pacific Climate Summit.

Seated with Senator Christine Milne – Greens Tasmania, Danny Vadasz – ACF and a number of other fascinating guests we heard Al Gore talk about the Asia Pacific Summit and training he is delivering to 300 participants from across 19 countries including China, Singapore, New Zealand, Fiji and Indonesia.

This is the first time people from the Asia-Pacific region have been brought together to be trained by the Honourable Al Gore.

The summit enables them to communicate directly with their communities about generating a combined effort to insist, as a region, on the best possible outcomes at Copenhagen.

The trainees represent a diverse group including diplomats, doctors, chief executives, students, economists, school principals, a fruit grower, a fire-fighter, climate relief workers and an associate professor of philosophy.

One in 75 Australians have now seen a presentation delivered by the 250 Al Gore-trained Climate Project Presenters working throughout communities in Australia.

“This really is the time to build a groundswell of public support in favour of strong action at Copenhagen,” said Don Henry, Executive Director of the Australian Conservation Foundation, which is helping to organise the training sessions.

The evening was thoroughly enjoyable with roving performers greeting guests upon their arrival, before we moved into the great hall, with its illuminated coloured glass ceiling, to enjoy dinner and conversation.

A set of 3 songs was performed by Katie Noonan, accompanied by a string quartet and guitarist. Climate Project ambassadors, Merrick and Rosso, provided their own unique presentation on the event and climate change which included a short spin around the gallery on a fold up bike.

A number of items were donated and auctioned to raise funds for ACF Copenhagen campaign featuring an $8,000 Intrepid overseas travel voucher, Akubra hat signed by Al Gore and many other great gifts.

As the evening drew to a close we walked away with an inspired and motivated vision to keep promoting and communicating the outcomes we seek to achieve in Copenhagen during December 2009.

Recession Proof Leadership

5 Keys to Leading Through Challenging Times

There are 5 keys to leading effectively during challenging times. They aren’t necessarily difficult, but to ignore them will certainly make your life more difficult.

We know for certain that burying our head in the sand and pretending that nothing is going on is positively insane. It’s like a 2 year-old child closing their eyes and saying, “you can’t see me”. Of course there’s something different in “business land”. In fact, it’s that very difference – the current challenges we face – that we need to use as a call to action.

  1. Credibility is a mustIf ever leaders needed their credibility to lean on, it’s now. The simplest definition for leadership credibility is to simply “do what you say you’re going to do”. Your employees – now more than ever – need to look to you for guidance, leadership, and appropriate behaviour.The bigger statement, of course, includes making sure you take a definitive stand on those things that bring comfort during turbulent times – and then following up (doing what you say you’ll do) on those strong statements.In other words, take the tougher route. Make difficult calls, step up when no one else will, and take command of an otherwise un-led situation. Be in charge! Your employees need it, and the organisation could stand the leadership.

  2. See and be seenVisibility is a big deal. Now’s not the time to hide out in your office, pining away the days or lamenting for better times. Get out, be seen, be available, and most importantly, be heard. High visibility, coupled with credibility, is a near-guarantee of success in uncertain times.These times are challenging; challenging for the business, for employees, and for you. But there’s opportunity in challenge … you’ve just got to be there when it happens. And “there” is out in the open, in front of the troops.Back when we had real warrior generals, “Brigadier” Generals led a brigade of men … from the front of the brigade. Not back at some remote headquarters location, sitting in air conditioned comfort while others went to battle. No, they were visible, and literally out front. 

    Those leaders led. You can to. “Management by walking around” is a good concept for current times. Get out there.


  3. Remember – you were young once

    Put yourself in employees’ shoes; this is uncomfortable, and there are plenty of unknowns. Lots of things are changing around them, and they are neither fully aware of the rationale – nor in control of – those things changing.Even in times of more positive change, the first to buy in are those who either:

    1. Control / direct the change, or
    2. Are experiencing change that is positive to them personally

Cut them a break – you’re not always easy to live with either, remember? Your employees – at least those sticking with it, trying to perform, succeed, and persevere – deserve our respect.

Those who aren’t? Well, now’s a good time for a change – dead wood never has a place in a successful organisation; it has even lesser status during challenging economic times. We all need to pull our weight – who wants to lug around someone else’s gear?

  1. Want cheese with that whine? No open complaining, commiserating, or whining. Not now (assuming it was ever ok – which you know, of course, that it isn’t) especially. Your staff don’t need to know that you feel as out of control as they do. It doesn’t help them, or you, to believe that things are hurtling out of everyone’s control.Better to convince them that hard work, strong performance, and effective leadership will prevail. Because, of course, it will. You must know – and believe – that. Or bail out.Face it – if you believe your organisation has one foot in the grave, leave and go somewhere else. Otherwise, you believe it will emerge from these times, and in a better place.

    Either / or – but make a call one way or another. If you’re sticking around, never forget to “work for whom you work for”. And as a leader, that means “no whining”.

  2. Sit down and focusFocus is paramount, especially when there’s an unseen drag on earnings called “the economy”. Help people understand as best you can, explain why things are happening (when you know), and why we’re taking this specific action.But in the end, they’ve got to do what’s necessary to help your organisation weather this storm, so just do it can become the fall-back phrase of choice. Don’t allow so much discourse that we forget why we’re here.They want to vent? Ok, we’ll allow that. Employees want to complain a bit, because petrol prices are high and milk has doubled. Ok, fine. Now, get back to work.

* Authored Kevin Berchelmann,
   Human Capital Expert .

0434 185 933

RMIT Global Sustainability Dialogue

I attended the RMIT Global Sustainability Dialogue last night in Melbourne. What an amazing opportunity the event was to hear so many likeminded sustainability leaders sharing their thoughts, knowledge, wisdom and experiences.


Hosted by Caroline Bayliss, Larissa Brown facilitated by Jason Clarke and others the event was attended by some of Victorias leading sustainability thinkers, we were also lucky enough to be host to 20 visiting alumni form the Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden, accopmanied by Professor Goran Broman.


I personally, was in awe of the diverse skills, intellect and passion that was displayed by all that participated.


There were a great number of connections made during the dialogue and more after a few beers, frantic card swapping and the exchanging of email and phone numbers, all steps toward connecting globally the leading green thinkers.


Keep an eye out for further updates about the progress of social dialogues within networks.

Visions for Sustainable Agriculture – Economics

Article: Sustainable Agriculture

Date: February 2009

Author: Geoffrey Gourley
Green Star Accredited Professional
Sustainability Leader

The agriculture sector operates in a dynamic and complex environment.

Australia’s agriculture sector has a proud history, with a record of contributing significantly to the performance of the economy since European settlement.

It is one of the mainstays of rural and regional economies and provides direct and indirect employment to hundreds of thousands of people around the country.

Australia’s agriculture sector has been through significant adjustment over the years, marked by consolidation of farm enterprises.

Producers will need to continue to demonstrate capacity to reallocate resources to maximize benefits from emerging market opportunities while at the same time continue to achieve impressive productivity growth that would offset adverse movements in their terms of trade.

> My Economic Vision

1. Improved Agricultural Model

Australian farmers will remain internationally competitive and sustain their businesses and incomes largely through productivity growth.

Total factor productivity on Australian farms (essentially the value of output relative to the value of inputs used) will rise strongly for the grains and cropping industry.

Commercial interactions along the supply chain are central to competitiveness, as are the innovative capacity of technology, impact of skills and expertise and management of the natural resource base.

Direct government payments to agriculture (including market price support) will account for a large proportion of farm incomes

2. Improved International Trade Environment

Future growth in Australian agriculture is likely to depend more on export markets than on the comparatively small domestic market.

Prices received for agricultural outputs will increase due to the quality of our goods.

Australian farmers will see increase in global demand as well as multilateral and bilateral trade arrangements being put in place.

Australia’s agriculture sectors will benefit with reforms to world agricultural trade through consolidation and enforced through the current Development Rounds of WTO negotiations.

3. Improved Resource Management

There will be gains to the cropping sector from increased mechanisation, improved herbicides and pesticides, better rotations, higher yielding varieties, and better farm management and marketing strategies.

An increase in capacity of Australia’s infrastructure to handle future volume growth will include sustainable upgrades to transport, ports, telecommunications, energy and irrigation facilities.

National Water Initiatives to take forward a comprehensive range of water reforms, including

o Defining access rights and fostering water trade,

o Providing water for environmental outcomes,

o Clearer accounting for the sourcing and allocation of water and the establishment of a Water Commission to assess progress with the initiative and to administer programs to assist with its implementation.

4. Increased Investment in Innovation and R&D

Substantial investment in research and development — through both the private sector and organisations

Funding from grower levies are equally matched by government grants – uncapped which would see investment for research well over $200 million p/a

A key driver in improving farm performance is the provision and adoption of new technologies.

There will be systems in place to develop innovative new technologies and for the undertaking of research and development.

5. Up skilling for Management & Labour force

Substantial Investment in human capital to ensure a skilled pool of personnel in the future.

Farmers of the future will…

o Have better business planning and enhanced market awareness

o Use modern technology such as computers and global positioning systems and better agronomic management,

o Need to become increasingly skilled as business managers

o Will need appropriate modern business and technical skills, higher levels of formal education

> Other Visions

Growth in niche markets catering to tastes and preferences outside the mainstream will continue to provide important opportunities for some farmers and manufacturers.

o For example, ‘organically certified’ food grown and prepared under specified conditions currently represents a relatively small segment of the market but will be developed and grown in response to expanding consumer demand for ‘natural’ foods.

Reduction in barriers to trade (such as tariffs and import quotas), quarantine and technical barriers (such as labeling requirements), maintenance of global competitiveness and market image

The future agricultural sector will service existing markets and exploit new market opportunities.

It will be important that roads, railways and ports have efficient facilities that are well linked and that investments occur where the potential economic benefits to the community are greatest.

A more consistent national strategic agenda for agricultural research and development

More active involvement of research investors in collaboration with research providers developing programs

Greater coordination of research activities across industries, research organisations and issues.

Effective dissemination of research and development outcomes to facilitate adoption of innovations by industry is important in maintaining productivity.

Biotechnology will offer significant benefits for productivity improvements in agriculture and natural resource management.

Sustainable management of Resources will be the norm

There are 56 natural resource management regions across Australia,

o These are owned by regional communities and therefore have a greater chance of achieving good natural resource management outcomes than a ‘top down’ approach that attempts to impose external solutions.

Strategies will be available for managing the risks of climate change.

Work will be needed on developing appropriate planning and strategies for the future.

A partnership of industry, government and research specialists to come up with good outcomes for the agriculture sector and for the community at large will be a success.

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