Equator Alliance helps resource sector manage climate change

Brisbane-based Equator Alliance is taking the lead in resource sector environmental assessment by bringing a world-leading climate change researcher from The University of Queensland face-to-face with industry innovators.

A Commonwealth government Researcher in Business grant (RiB) has enabled Equator Alliance member, AustralAsian Resource Consultants (AARC) to develop a program for helping clients meet Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) requirements, which now include greenhouse gas abatement plans and climate change adaptation plans.

Through fellow Equator Alliance member, UniQuest, AARC engaged the expertise of UQ’s Dr Paul Dargusch to gain a better understanding how climate change scenarios and emission control strategies can be integrated into EIS processes.

With the wider scope of services AARC can now offer to clients, resulting from the new product development, knowledge integration, and skill transfer outcomes of the prog ram, the Equator Alliance is breaking new ground in climate change management in the resources sector.

AARC General Manager of Mine Planning & Development, Rodger Bonney, said the RiB grant enabled them to combine the resources of each of the Equator Alliance members.

“We have applied their expertise to develop a template for assessment of impacts of climate change adaptation requirements and greenhouse gas abatement on project development in the resources sector,” Mr Bonney said.

“The risk-based approach, on which the template was developed whilst working on a real world project, has since been adopted on a number of other resource sector projects as a benchmark for such assessments,” Mr Bonney said.

Dr Paul Dargusch, from UQ’s School of Integrative Systems is one of the first researchers in the world to investigate how organisations can make the change to more sustainable practices and to a low carbon economy.

“AARC’s commitment to fully researching the implications of including greenhouse gas abatement plans as part of their EIS is good business practice,” said Dr Dargusch.

“The strength of the Equator Alliance is that clients have access to a complementary range of skill sets, which effectively mentor clients through the decision-making process to identify the most suitable emissions reduction strategies required to suit their business, and prepare them for implementing new systems and reporting.”

UQ’s research commercialisation company, UniQuest, along with AARC, Herbert Geer, and BDO formed the Equator Alliance to offer this coordinated client service.

UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson said various industry sectors now have greater access to UQ’s climate change specialists, through the Equator Alliance.

“Queensland businesses are fortunate to have easy a ccess to the breadth of evidence-based expertise available via the Equator Alliance to help them manage the impacts the changes will have on their growth and development,” Mr Henderson said.