Not for profit: WASEA growing a green brand

16/07/2008 - 22:00

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The rapid increase in membership at the not-for-profit WA Sustainable Energy Association is evidence of the growing acceptance by industry of a carbon-restrained future, according to chief executive Ray Wills.

The rapid increase in membership at the not-for-profit WA Sustainable Energy Association is evidence of the growing acceptance by industry of a carbon-restrained future, according to chief executive Ray Wills.

Commenting on the release of the draft report by the federal government's chief climate change adviser, Professor Ross Garnaut, Mr Wills said membership was growing by 10 per cent every month.

WASEA claims to be the fastest growing brand in the state.

"We have more than tripled in size in the past 15 months and now have 175 industry members from a diversity of businesses and organisations, whereas back in 2006 we only had 50 members," Mr Wills said.

"I think this reflects the fact that carbon management and the effects we are having on the environment are now more widely accepted than say 18 months ago."

Dr Wills said the Garnaut report highlighted that an ETS (emissions trading scheme) was going to happen and that industry had to be prepared for its implementation.

"Business, I think, has accepted that and that's evident in the influx of members we are getting."

WASEA, based in West Perth, is the business peak body for the sustainability energy industry in the state.

As an advocacy group working much in the same way as a business chamber, WASEA offers commentary on a broad range of issues around energy efficiency and sustainability.

WASEA members represent various sectors ranging from the building and infrastructure industries, to transport, industrial and machinery, architecture and mining.

To date, a vast range of large and smaller organisations are involved with the association including Alinta, BP Australia, Carnegie Corporation, Horizon Power and Rio Tinto.

Mr Wills said WASEA welcomed Professor Garnaut's climate change report, which called for the implementation of an ETS by 2010 to cap greenhouse gas emissions.

He said the challenge for the association moving forward was keeping abreast of current information and relaying that to its growing membership, particularly the smaller businesses prone to lag behind.

Carnegie Corporation, a West Perth-based innovative energy company listed on the ASX, recently joined the expanding WASEA membership base.

The company's managing director Michael Ottaviano called for more organisations to follow suit and be a part of the zero emissions technology movement.

"Professor Garnaut highlights that Australia is fortunate in having so many renewable energy options and that funding support should be targeting those new technologies that seek to exploit Australia's resource comparative advantage," he said.

Carnegie is currently sizing up various locations for what could be the world's first commercial wave energy farm.

Carnegie, Landfill Gas & Power, Perth Energy and Solar Sales are some of the most recent additions to the association's major supporters list.

"As small but fast-growing companies from across the renew-able stationary energy market, they are existing WASEA members who have stepped up their membership level to provide support to WASEA," Mr Wills said.

"WASEA is keenly interested in building relationships with businesses that aspire to be more sustainable in their own energy use and are providing the commercial solution to climate change through their products and services."

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