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Clare Feeney's Blog

How to grow a mangrove forest: a recipe for losing beaches and filling in estuaries

Ingredients Take: 1 sheltered coastal water body in any tropical to temperate zone a rolling to steepish surrounding catchment (1 metric catchment = 1 imperial watershed) Add: a large quantity of forest clearance quite a bit of farming a few areas of forest, ideally on the steepest land a concentrated area of urban development several major roads and causeways Method: Start by removing the original forest – this gives you …Read More

Cheeks on seats = Good Training: Yes or No?

They come to your workshop, they stay, they go, they’ve learned. Right? Wrong. Together workshop attendance and the “smile sheet” (the form you fill out after a workshop), are still too often the only ways that many of us track our training. But when did you learn anything else from a smile sheet other than “The room was too hot”, “The lunch was too cold” or (hopefully!) “The trainer was …Read More

Hanging Judge or Fair Play? The judicious use of environmental enforcement

How do we balance “fair” with “fast” when business needs to lift its environmental game? Consider a cost-benefit analysis: the cost of developing a council environmental training program would be paid off if it avoided the cost of just one prosecution. Does this mean that all prosecutions can be avoided by governments delivering good industry training? Not necessarily. Good operators support enforcement because they hate being undercut on bids by …Read More

ROI on environmental training: what governments must know

In previous blogs I’ve mentioned the significant costs companies can incur if their staff are not well-enough trained about environmental management. I’ve also looked at the eye-popping profits firms can make from great environmental training. $ value of costs avoided + $ value of benefits earned = $ very big numbers! So yes, companies can reduce losses and increase profits by supporting great environment and sustainability training. But it doesn’t …Read More

Net Zero 2050: towards a low carbon future for New Zealand

When a fully cross-party group of New Zealand MPs get together to commission an economic report from Vivid Economics on how the country can achieve domestic emissions neutrality by the end of this century, you know something’s up. This is serious progress on defining how we can achieve our  commitments under the Paris Agreement. Why do I think this Net Zero report is so important? Because the co-benefits of an …Read More

Why climate change is not the enemy and carbon is your friend

Did you take the Quiz above? What do your answers mean? If you answered “Yes” to all three questions, that’s fine. If you answered “No” to all three, that’s fine, too. Even if you answered “No idea”, “Don’t want to know”or “Too scared to look” – this is fine as well. Why? There’s no point squabbling about it – BECAUSE – carbon emissions are what we call a ‘proxy indicator’ …Read More

400,000 reasons why you need to do $ ROI on your training

In previous blogs I’ve mentioned the staff of one large company who counted all the costs of a spill – which didn’t incur any enforcement action, fines or legal fees – and found to their consternation that it added up to over $150,000. The company was at that time internally reporting around 50 environmental incidents and near misses a year. When we looked at it, the numbers actually showed that …Read More

7 Reasons to measure the financial ROI on your training

Back by popular demand! Following the brilliant feedback from my recent workshop on how to measure the full financial ROI of environmental training, I’m running a 1-day workshop in Auckland on 17 October! Numbers permitting, there may be another in Wellington after that. In case you are debating the value, here are seven reasons to attend, in the form of  seven “Aha!” moments from trainees the last time I ran …Read More

Passing of Dame Nganeko Minhinnick, Manukau Harbour claimant

On the 17th of June 2013 I wrote a blog – reproduced below – celebrating the awarding of a Queens’ Birthday honour for Dame Nganeko Minhinnick. Four years later, Dame Nganeko has died, and I feel sad. But her legacy lives on in the form of the magnificent Manukau Harbour, once grossly polluted and now recovering as its people and communities continue to ensure its ongoing improvement. Read Simon Collins’ …Read More