Working collaboratively to promote sustainable practice across the legal sector


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  • 04 June 2013 4:54 PM | Anonymous member
    Upgrading lighting to improve energy efficiency can improve staff productivity, save dollars and improve the look, feel and amenity of office spaces.

    The City of Melbourne 1200 Buildings project has a page devoted to lighting upgrades, including  costs savings modelling, and information on incentive programs (for Vic businesses only) 
  • 21 May 2013 2:44 PM | Anonymous member

    Pangolin is an Energy and carbon management consultancy

    We help our clients achieve cost savings and competitiveness through energy efficiencies and greenhouse gas reductions.

    Our core services include:
    • Energy audits
    • Comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) assessments,verifications and assurance
    • Carbon tax modelling
    • Compliance with government schemes such as the
    • National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act (NGER),and the National Carbon Offset Scheme (NCOS)
    • Carbon offsetting advice, including the supply of carbon
    • credits and Australian GreenPower.
    Our scientific team has comprehensive experience and the highest level of environmental accreditations. Our auditors are registered under the Federal Government’s Department
    of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.

    Pangolin is an Australian-owned company working with all levels of business and government in Australia, New Zealand and globally. We also team up with a select group of trusted partners to provide additional services and products outside of our core offerings.

  • 08 January 2013 4:53 PM | Anonymous member

    CitySwitch CitySwitch Green Office is a growing national partnership between businesses and local government acting as environmental leaders. The program works with office tenants committed to improving energy efficiency to make a positive impact on climate change.

    Signatories are required to undertake NABERS assessments.
    Home Checklist

    GreenBizCheck has developed a comprehensive list of simple measures you may wish to implement in your quest to make your household become more sustainable.

  • 14 May 2012 4:45 PM | Anonymous member

    View the recording or download the presentations from the AusLSA Energy Forum recorded at Norton Rose Australia on 14 May 2012 with guest speakers:

    • Jamie Ayers, Freshfields
    • Tom Nockolds, Norton Rose Australia
    • Bronwyn Pott, Swaab Attorneys
    • CitySwitch
    Two-thirds of law firms' carbon emissions come from their consumption of electricity (AusLSA report 2010/2011) and is therefore the best place to start with your environmental strategy. 


  • 03 December 2011 4:28 PM | Anonymous member

    Herbert Geer: Server Virtualisation

    Download a presentation from David Rees, Director-IT, Herbert Geer, outlining their server virtualisation project. 
  • 02 November 2011 4:19 PM | Anonymous member

    Russell Kennedy: Server Virtualisation

    Cost to implement

    $ 109,948.94

    Cost savings

    $ 37,500.00 p.a. (server replacement & electricity)          

    Environmental impact/savings

    149,358 KWh reduction is energy consumption
    Equivalent to 107 Tonnessof CO2

    Implementation Issues

    Implementation and changeover has to be done out of business hours.


    The move to a Virtual Datacentre not only saves significant electricity and cooling costs but also allows for faster disaster recovery and reduced maintenance of the server environment.

    Programme details

    In July 2010 Russell Kennedy began a datacentre review to identify hardware upgrades/replacements as part of this process it was found that the majority (23 of 27) servers needed to be replaced due to age and performance.

    As a result of these findings the firms IT department investigated the potential to virtualise the datacentre rather than replacing the aging fleet of servers. This provided the firm with the opportunity to consolidate 27 physical servers to 3 physical (host) servers.
    Russell Kennedy decided upon VM Ware as the platform for virtualisation after considering all the available technologies. The project was run by the firms IT department in conjunction with Thomas Duryea Consulting.

    Virtualisation Challenges

    The major challenge faced by the firm during the process of virtualising the datacentre was minimising the disruption to normal business activity whilst undertaking such a major back end change.

    This was achieved by a mixture of out of hour’s outages and rebuilding existing servers in the new environment then performing a cut over to the new system from the existing systems. By taking this approach the IT department was able to virtualise all major systems (PMS, Email) with no downtime or data loss.

    Virtualisation Benefits

    Russell Kennedy was able to see tangible benefits from the virtualisation of the datacentre almost immediately. The most obvious benefits were seen in two areas, the maintenance/deployment of new servers and the reduction in power consumption.

    Prior to this project when a new server needed to be deployed it involved the purchase of the hardware, configuration of the hardware for the purpose and the installation of the software (operating systems and application). Typically this process could take up to 3 weeks from the order date to the server being ready for testing.

    It now takes between 30mins and 1 hour to deploy a new server with all software to the test environment. This has resulted in a significant saving in man hours and also the reduced carbon footprint from the hardware procurement process.

    Maintenance downtime has also been reduced as systems are more resilient and can be moved between host servers to allow patching (software updates) to occur without an outage being called.

    The largest gain so far from this project has been to the firm’s energy consumption, there has been a 44,000 KWh reduction in only 7 months after the virtualisation of half the physical servers. Once all the physical servers have been virtualised the firm will have no trouble meeting with the projects expected 149,000 KWh (107 tonnes CO2) saving per annum.

    This reduction in energy use has been derived not only from reducing the physical power consumption of the servers but also the reduced heat signature of the datacentre that in turn reduces the cooling requirements.

    Another major benefit to be derived from virtualisation is the reduction in datacentre size, whilst this may not be applicable for an existing datacentre it should be considered when relocating or building new datacentres.

    As the physical size requirements are much lower with a virtual environment, it will allow an organisation to build smaller more energy efficient datacentres and free up space to be utilised for other purposes.

    More Information

    Dinesh Rajalingam
    IT Manager
    Russell Kennedy

    Thomas Duryea Consulting

    VM Ware


  • 06 October 2011 3:53 PM | Anonymous member

    Environmental impact/savings

    75% reduction in electricity usage


    Phil Scorgie
    Director of Environmental Sustainability
    Norton Rose Australia


    Read how you can help reduce you own personal carbon footprint. Like in the office, the single biggest contributor to greenhouse gases at home is electricity consumption.

    Programme details

    The biggest impact we can have at home is through power reductions. These reductions have the added benefit of also saving money. Even with increased electricity prices, our home electricity bills have never been smaller. Our last bill was $160 for the quarter.

    We have five members in our house. Two adults and three primary school children. Five years ago we were consuming 30kWhours a day. Our last bill was only 7kWhours a day. This is a 77% reduction! How did we do it? It has certainly taken some effort but nothing anyone can't do.

    The first thing we did was the low hanging fruit.


    I replaced all the old incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFL)s. The "warm white" ones are the ones to go for. Steer clear of the "cool white" globes as the light they cast is unpleasant. Walk around the house and make a list of the different types and power levels required. Then make a quick trip to somewhere like Bunnings.

    Halogen lights are very inefficient and therefore should be replaced if possible. A common 50W low voltage halogen puts out less than 5% light. The rest is heat. This isn't too bad in winter but as much electricity is used again to cool them down.

    We were lucky, our mid-century modern house doesn't have many halogens. I replaced 1/2 of the halogen lights in the bedroom with LEDs. The LEDs were not bright enough to light the whole room but replacing 1/2 of them was a good compromise.

    The lounge room had 2 X 100W halogen lights. I replaced these with 2 X 14W CFLs. This took some effort because I had to modify the fixtures but it saved 170W. Running for 4 - 6 hours a day, this saved nearly 1kWhour a day.

    The no cost option for lighting is to turn lights off when not in use. Anyone can do this. It takes a little effort but can have a big impact on greenhouse gas reductions and lower electricity bills. I am constantly turning the lights off as I walk around the house and constantly nagging everyone to do the same. My persistence seems to be paying off because my family are slowly getting the message.

    Hot Water

    Our old electric storage hot water heater consumed 1/3 of our electricity but made up less than 1/4 of the bill. This is because hot water was generated at night at the reduced rate. We replaced it with a gas boosted solar system. This saved a massive 10kW hours a day.

    A tip for replacing your hot water service is to plan for it before the old one breaks. The risk of going without hot water, particularly in winter, can lead to rushed decisions after a failure. Don't be tempted to replace the failed unit with a new electric storage unit. Instantaneous gas units have a much lower impact on the environment and obviously solar boosted is better again. Heat pumps are also very efficient and are classified as solar and therefore can attract subsidies. I suggest doing your research now and have a solid plan when you current unit fails.

    Stereo Equipment

    I have a pile of stereo equipment. DVD and CD players, set-top box, VCR, subwoofer, tuner and amplifier. These all have standby power and are often left on when CDs finish. I bought a cheap 4-way remote control light switch on eBay and wired it to power the stereo equipment. I can selectively power the radio and the amplifier and with one button all the equipment turns off. Similar RF switches can be purchased from specialist electrical retailers or on the Internet.


    We upgraded our old CRT TV to a new LCD unit with LED backlighting. The new 46inch TV uses 270W. Unfortunately this is double what the old 25inch CRT consumed. Luckily in our house we don't watch that much TV.

    When buying a new TV, avoid the Plasma types and ask for the lowest power models. The well-known brands tend to use less power. Particularly in standby mode. Its best to do your research before you go shopping.

    Computer Equipment

    In the office we have at least 15 appliances. PC, speakers, printer, wireless phone, scanner, monitor, wireless router, video camera, external hard drive, etc. Its too impractical to turn everything off manually and some of the equipment like the wireless router and wireless phone need to be left on.

    I made a simple USB activated power board. The PC is plugged into the master power board with the wireless router and phone. However everything else is plugged into the USB activated switch. Therefore most of the equipment comes on when the PC is powered up. Consumer devices like the one I made are available on eBay or at specialist electrical retailers like Jaycar.

    Phantom Power

    We have a $100 power meter called a Cent-O-Meter. This measures the electricity consumed by the entire house at any moment in time. I used this device to determine how much electricity each appliance was drawing. I discovered when everything was turned off, something was still drawing 70W of power. I discovered that my hard-wired air-conditioned was still using electricity when turned off. 24 hours a day. I saved 1.7kWhours a day by taking out the air-conditioner's fuses.

    Master Switch

    Our house was built in 1960 and had old ceramic and wire fuses. When fuses blew, I had to rewire the ceramic fuses. Not fun in the dark. Upgrading the fusebox and installing the new smart meter was an excellent opportunity to install a master switch.

    A master switch switches off everything in the house except a limited number of outlets. We excluded the kitchen and laundry appliances and also wired the master switch into the alarm system. When we leave, we flick the master switch, everything in the house turns off and the alarm arms itself. When the alarm is disarmed everything in the house comes on.

    The master switch needs a little getting used to. It isn't fun when someone bumps it and the computer turns off. It also means that the electric clocks need to be replaced with battery operated units. However the master switch has been a major contributor to our electricity reductions. The master switch also turns the heating off avoiding unused gas consumption.

    Small chargers

    Well made small battery chargers for mobile phones and other wireless devices consume little power. However lots of chargers add up and many still use electricity when not plugged into the device. Its always best to turn them off at the switch when not in use.

    I also suggest that its best to avoid wireless devices like mice, keyboards and wireless phones. They use more electricity than powered devices and the batteries only seem to last a couple of years.

    Other Cost Saving Measures

    We have a new smart meter. Since we had a night meter in the past with our old storage heater, we received a twin tariff smart meter. This means any electricity used between 11:00pm and 7:00am is at the night rate. This is half the day rate. We now run the dishwasher and washing machine after 11:00pm. A simple task using the delay functions.

    On our last electricity bill 1/2 of the power was consumed at the night rate. A solid saving. In the past only the water heater received the night rate. For us the smart meter has provided considerable cost savings.


    At 7 kW hours a day for a family of 5, I feel it is unlikely we can make any more major reductions. The next step is to offset our electricity consumption with solar panels. We hope to generate as much electricity as we consume. Estimates suggest that a 2kW system will generate 8 kW hours a day.


    I recommend that before you spend money on expensive solar panels or green power, put some effort into reducing your electricity consumption. This will provide real cost savings that can be put towards further investments. Another benefit of reductions is the increased electricity you will be able to claim using the feed-in tariff when you install those solar panels.

    Phil Scorgie

    Director of Environmental Sustainability
    Norton Rose Australia
  • 17 August 2011 4:39 PM | Anonymous member

    Energy Use and Energy Purchase


    Carbon emission from the consumption of electricity is the main source of total emissions for our sector, however little attention is typically given to how we purchase our electricity.

    While electricity is a 'commodity', the forecast increases in electricity costs make us seek to purchase the cheapest energy we can find.
    Have we examined all avenues in our firms to reduce the consumption of electricity as much as possible?

    Can our electricity vendors provide a percentage of our total usage from renewable resources and what are the sources?

    What is the electricity vendor's position in relation to the sustainability of the generation of their supply.

    Identify Requirement

    Clearly we need to use electricity.
    Identify our current base load and usage patterns (peak, off peak, shoulder).
    Consider what we can turn off, put to sleep or minimise the use of equipment to reduce our current load (systems to turn off PCs automatically, low wattage lighting, sensor lighting, or simple user education to 'turn off the lights'.

    After we have satisfied ourselves we have reduced as much energy consumption as we can, consider purchasing a percentage of the energy we use as renewable energy

    Look at the current metering in your tenancy - there are often discounts if meters can be amalgamated, or 'smart metering' is used.

    Energy vendors are very competitive and contract issues are sometimes complex, so engagement with an energy broker or consultant may be more successful in securing the best price. The brokers can also give advice on the most cost effective metering. Caution should be used however to ensure that the engagement with the broker does not lock in any ongoing payments for "saving you on energy costs".

    Consider what length of contract term you want to establish for your electricity supply - while you can lock in base rates for a contract terms it is likely that charges such as transmission line fees and distribution fees will be variable.

    Consider a percentage of renewable (green) energy to purchase as part of the contract - this will be driven by your firm's sustainability policy and cost of the supply.


    Typically, selection is based on the cheapest price, however through our sustainability lens, other factors need to be considered.

    If renewable (green) energy is to be used, how is this sourced? Typically, sources are wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass. We should investigate what the vendor is proposing and consider if there are any environmental downstream risks from the selection of their renewable source.

    Is the renewable energy source audited, and do we have assurance that the vendor is purchasing sufficient renewable energy to satisfy our contract (as well as everyone else's).

    Does the offer include any automated reporting for monitoring usage? Often smart metering systems have a web based reporting portal that can aid analysis of usage.

    What is the vendor's position towards sustainable procurement in their own organisation? Do they report on the logistics of their electricity generation (including the downstream issues of mining and transportation) in their own sustainability reports?

    Typically, there is little 'post sales' or ongoing relationship with an electricity vendor and customer. Again, however, through our sustainability lens we need to continue to manage and monitor usage and continue to decrease consumption wherever possible.

    Prepared by
    Kelvin O'Connor

    Henry Davis York

  • 28 February 2011 4:33 PM | Anonymous member

    Cost to implement

    $ 30,000  Will depend on the size of your firm's desktop fleet 

    Cost savings

    $100,000 p.a. (in combination with other electricity-saving initiatives)

    Environmental impact /savings

    25% reduction in electricity usage

    Implementation Issues

     Communication, staff engagement


    Introducing an automated desktop computer shutdown initiative reduces your firm's electricity consumption, electricity bills, enhances computer performance and encourages staff to think about shutting down unused appliances at home.

    Programme details

    Any initiative to reduce a firm's carbon footprint should start with benchmarking the current status. This enables reductions to be measured and helps identify where to focus effort. At Norton Rose, the collated results made it clear that reductions in electricity consumption would have a major impact on the total carbon footprint.

    The process of getting the hourly electricity consumption from retailers is not difficult. The Norton Rose Australia figures were revealing. Around 75% of the electricity consumed (excluding heating and air conditioning) was constant day and night. More detailed analysis identified that 2/3 of the electricity consumed for computers and other electrical equipment was used by the desktop PCs. The remaining 1/3 was used by the servers, printers and other electrical devices.

    Many considerate users shut their computers down at night when they go home. However, most don't. An awareness campaign on shutting down had less impact than hoped. Therefore, at Norton Rose we decided to automatically turn off the desktop computers at 7:00pm. A product called Nightwatchman was deployed to automate the shutdown process. Nightwatchman was configured to send a warning 1/2 hour before the scheduled shutdown. If computers are in use, the user simply clicks "No" when prompted to shut down.

    The desktop operating system, Windows XP provides a shutdown feature, but this wasn't able to shut down all applications. Nightwatchman, by contrast, shuts down everything uniformly and even saves unsaved documents and emails in a special area for retrieval the next day. Surprisingly, this feature is hardly needed as few people leave important unsaved documents and emails on screen when they go home at night.

    The automated shutdown process received a mixed response from users. Some thought it was a great initiative but others complained about being inconvenienced. Most complaints centred around having to wait for computers to start up in the morning. At first the slowest computers could take 1/2 hour to start up. Considerable effort was put into simplifying the start-up process in order to reduce the pain. A target of 5 minutes was achieved. Many people argued that this is still too long, but the average of 2 or 3 minutes seems acceptable.

    The option of automatically starting up computers was discussed at length. This would have reduced the complaints regarding logon times, but would also have reduced electricity savings, because some individuals start later than others. Further, at Norton Rose we have computers on every desk for interstate and international travellers and starting these computers up automatically would waste electricity if they were unused. Environmental awareness was also a factor considered. We wanted to encourage staff to switch things off at home and in the office and believe having to turn computers on in the morning encourages this practice.

    Shutting the computers down at night had a huge impact on electricity consumption. It more than halved the power used by the desktops. Combined with other initiatives, a total reduction of 25% in Norton Rose's energy use was achieved (over $100,000 a year). As electricity prices increase these savings will also increase.

    Other initiatives included;
    • Bringing forward the automated lights-off time
    • Configuring the printers to go into "sleep mode" after 1 hour of inactivity
    • Reprogramming the boiling water taps to only heat water during business hours
    • Upgrading older style fluorescent lights to more efficient units
    • Reducing the number of lights in public areas that don't need to be so brightly lit
    • Replacing inefficient halogen downlights with LEDs

    Additional benefits of automated shutdowns included the refreshing of memory in the desktops, which reduced the number of desktop crashes. The software deployment was also more reliable because the machines were remotely started-up in the night and new software deployed onto fresh computers. By contrast, the unattended installation process often failed on computers that ran for days, sometimes weeks at a time.

    Electricity is a major contributor to the production of greenhouse gases in Australia, particularly in Victoria where brown coal is burnt. Any investment in the shutdown process is quickly recovered through reduced electricity bills. At Norton Rose these savings were used to finance other initiatives that helped reduce the firm's carbon footprint even further. Coupled with other initiatives a total reduction of 35% has been achieved over a 3 year period.

    More Information

     Phil Scorgie
    Norton Rose Australia


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