Resources and Assistance
This section provides a range of resources to help you and your workforce get the green skills you need to work smarter; reducing your business costs and lowering your environmental impact in the process.
You can also use the Green Course Finder to get an idea of some of the training courses available specific to your industry and location.
On this page:
- Training Support and Assistance
- Licensing and Regulation
- General Tools and Guides
- Industry Specific Guides and Information
- Government Programs
Training Support and Assistance
The general business environment over NSW and the wider world is changing, particularly in areas such as customer expectations, operating costs and risk. The changes are largely being driven by rising demand for diminishing resources and responses to the risk of climate change.
The NSW Government is committed to supporting NSW businesses to take up the opportunities created by the drive towards a green, low carbon economy.
There a number of Programs which can help your business to adapt and thrive in this changing environment, reducing costs and reducing wastage.
Financial Assistance for Training
The NSW Green Skills and Energy Efficiency Strategy aims to increase the sustainability skills and expertise of your staff through accredited training.
Contact your local State Training Services (STS) Centre on 13 28 11 to discuss training options and access to assistance, as a part of the Strategic Skills Program.
Find out more about the Strategy in the Overview section of this website.
In addition STS have a range of Programs and resources aimed at helping NSW businesses and building the capacity of the workforce. Take a look the section of our website for businesses for more information.
Green Collar Apprentices
Some Group Training Organisations have initiated environmental training programs. An example is the WPC Group's Apprenticeships and Traineeships in Environmental Industries, known as 'Green Skills'.
The NSW Government has in place a $150-million Energy Efficiency Strategy. This Strategy and other Programs have a number of initiatives aimed at helping families and businesses save money and help the environment.
The Energy Efficiency Strategy package of programs is specifically focused on reducing the growth in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions within the State. Reducing everyone's exposure to rising costs and improving energy security for the future.
Licensing and Regulation
Being educated about environmental regulations helps you to manage risk in your business. Prosecution, penalties and a damaged reputation are unfavourable consequences resulting from breaching your environmental obligations.
With staff training, your workers will understand their professional responsibilities to protect your business from infringing environmental laws.
NSW businesses have a range of laws, regulations and requirements they must follow which aim to protect the environment.
A summary of NSW environmental legislation and compliance that affects all NSW businesses is available on the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH)website.
OEH also has a specific section of their website dedicated to providing information to NSW businesses on important environmental and sustainability issues.
Federal Government legislation to implement a carbon price commenced from 1 July 2012. The Government's Clean Energy Future and the Treasury Department's websites provide more information on Carbon Pricing and the mechanism through which it will be imposed.
Resources to help with regulatory compliance
The links below provide a couple of useful tools that have been developed to help you start to manage your environmental impact and regulatory compliance.
Tool to get you started on developing an environmental management plan.
Self help tool for cleaner production and efficient resource use for small to medium enterprises.
Licensing and Accreditation
Both the NSW and Commonwealth Government require tradespeople and other workers to have a license or accreditation to use or install particular equipment. The qualifications required to obtain a licence are differ from State to State. Licensing can be complex.
An installer of stand alone or grid connected solar photovoltaic systems must have completed the necessary training and be accredited by the Clean Energy Council, for the installation to be eligible to access any of the State or Federal solar PV programs.
Environmental Protection License
The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) administers the Protection of the Environment Operations Act which consolidates most licensing requirements for air, water and noise pollution, and waste management. Some activities require an Environment Protection License.
You can use the Business License Information Service tool on the NSW Department of Fair Trading website to search for licences relevant to your business
- A golf course was fined and ordered to pay EPA legal costs and the costs of two councils' clean up, as well as ordered to build a wash bay and publish a notice about the offence after illegally discharging chemicals. The total costs were $490,500. Environmental training for your staff can save your money and your reputation.
- A NSW council was fined $80,500 and ordered to pay legal costs of $194,000 for constructing a road through a sensitive wetland. An executive within the Council was fined $57,000 and required to pay the prosecutor's costs of $167,500. This prosecution of a government agency shows the risk of prosecution for breaches of environmental legislation applies to both the public and private sector.
- A toxic overflow from a liquid waste pit cost one Sydney copper manufacturer $28,000 in penalties and other costs. Environmental offences are bad for your bottom line and your reputation.
Misleading and Deceptive Conduct
Australian Consumer Law states that businesses must not mislead or deceive customers in any way in relation to the marketing and selling of their products. Firms must be very careful that any environmental or 'green' claims they make about their products, services or business operations are scientifically sound and in no way misleading.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) takes very seriously any breaches of these provisions and has vigorously pursued a number of prosecutions in this area. A valuable guide on Green Marketing and the Australian Consumer Law can be found on the ACCC website.
General Tools and Guides
The resources below can help you get started in working smarter, reducing waste, cutting costs and making your business more sustainable.
More useful Resources can be found on the Training Provider webpages here.
A range of Case Studies highlighting the business benefits of improving the sustainability expertise of the workforce through training, can be found here.
To assist with the responsible recycling and reuse of used oil, the Australian Government has developed a Used Oil Recycling website.
To help your business make a more sustainable vehicle choice the Commonwealth Government has developed the Green Vehicle Guide allowing you to compare fuel consumption across various makes and models
You can find the nearest location to you for recycle all kinds of products by using this Planet Ark website: Recycle Near You
The AusLCI portal is the one-stop-shop for Australian life cycle inventory (LCI) and life cycle assessment (LCA) information. Sign up is free and allows access to methodologies, guidelines and protocols developed by AusLCI, along with specific sector product LCI datasets.
Workplace Environmental Calculators
- Measure the environmental impact of your building, based on key data such as energy and water bills, through National Australian Built Environment Rating Scheme (NABERS)
- The National Greenhouse Energy Reporting System Calculator can help you to identify the energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions of your business.
- Carbon Footprint provides a comprehensive business carbon calculator.
- The Ecological Footprint Calculators of EPA Victoria can help measure your business’ environmental impact
Greening Your Office
GreenPower is a government accreditation program for renewable energy. It is bought by your energy provider on your behalf.
The Green Lease Guide provides commercial office tenants with information around what to consider when choosing a building and designing an office fit out.
The Green Office Guide has been developed to help you buy and use environmentally friendly office equipment.
Energy Star Rating Guide offers information and advice on the National Energy Star Program and energy efficient electrical equipment.
Reducing Paper Waste offers practical advice on reducing paper use and wastage in your office.
Reducing Office Waste provides information and practical advice on reducing waste office equipment and supplies.
Save water at work. Taps, urinals, cooling towers, steam traps, leakages, cleaning, and water reuse - it's all covered in this great guide from Sydney Water.
Industry Specific Guides and Information
Building & Construction
The Trade Secrets website provides informational videos on applying sustainability skills in building and construction. You can hear from businesses that have become leaders in sustainable practice, and watch instructional videos on specific green skills for tradies.
The Environmental Best Management Practice - Guidelines for Concreting Contractors, is designed to help stakeholders involved in the concreting industry reduce their impact on the environment.
Guide for Painters. This site helps painters and contractors develop and implement an environmental management plan
Handbook for Landscapers. Information to help landscapers understand the environmental issues associated with their industry and to help them improve the environmental management of their operations.
Green Plumbers is a training, environmental product and marketing initiative of the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia.
EcoSmart Electricians is an initiative of the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) has developed to train licensed electricians in energy efficient and environmentally friendly electrical products, technology and installations.
GreenSmart an initiative of the Housing Industry Association is a practical approach to building that focuses on educating builders, designers, product manufacturers and consumers about the benefits of environmentally responsible housing.
The Master Builders Association website has a specific environment area providing a range of tools, including directories for Construction and Demolition Recycling in the Sydney and Illawarra areas.
- The NSW Department of Primary Industries provide guides on how to develop an Environmental Management System for your business
Tourism & Hospitality
Improving the Environmental Management of Golf Courses. This comprehensive manual is designed to provide golf course superintendents with valuable information on how to improve the environmental performance of golf courses.
10 Ways To Green Your Club, provides practical information for Clubs and similar facilities to reduce their environmental impact.
The Green Table Australia Scheme has been set up by the Restaurant and Catering Association to recognise restaurants and catering businesses that are doing what they can to reduce their CO2 emissions. The program is based on the Canadian Green Table program.
Environmental Action for the Printing Industry, provides a wealth of resources to help operators in the printing industry improve their environmental performance.
Sustainable Green Print is the Printing Industry Association of Australia's own recognisable certification program designed to help printing companies meet their environmental responsibilities and go above and beyond compliance. The Association goes further, offering information and resources on the concept of Lean & Green, and providing a range of useful resources on their Environment page
The YourBuilding website provides links to a host of articles, tools, case studies and other resources to help you keep abreast of what is happening around sustainability in the sector.
Tools for Change, is a comprehensive guide to energy efficiency for Facilities Managers, produced by the Facility Management Association of Australia.
The Sustainable Property Guide has been designed in partnership with Colonial First State Global Asset Management. The guide provides the commercial property sector with the tools to integrate sustainability into core business activities and asset management.
The Sustainability Advantage program provides NSW businesses with professional support to build capacity within your organisation and boost environmental performance.
Energy Efficiency for Small Business Program
The Program offers individual energy assessments and audits to help NSW businesses save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage offer subsidised energy audits and facilitation to help NSW businesses identify and implement energy saving initiatives.
Many local councils provide assistance to business to minimise resource consumption and waste. Contact your local council to see if they have a program that can help you.
Most industry associations provide support to improve environmental performance of the sector. Contact your industry association to see if they can provide you with industry specific assistance.