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Why we need to support the Australian steel industry

Some say what you accept you deserve – I’m done accepting!

Chinese steel and its impacts on our Australian steel economy have been in the news a lot lately. This is yet another Australian manufacturing story with a possible unhappy ending.

We have seen the death of the car industry – is this the next one to go?

There is a significant excess of foreign-made steel available on the market at cheaper prices, and it's impacting our Australian steel industry, along with many others. So how are we also supporting our best practice steel production in Australia? Read more from Kate over at The Fifth Estate.

Report: sustainable consumption and production in Australia

What are the key challenges for businesses in producing or procuring sustainable products and services? What about the challenges for customers and consumers who want to purchase them?

GECA launched an Innovation and Strategy project in 2015 to find some answers to these questions. We wanted to understand the drivers, challenges, solutions and emerging trends.

So what are the key insights and what have we learned? Introduced at our 'Collaborate, Innovate, Celebrate' event this year in March, you can now read the results of Anna Scott's research into sustainable consumption and production patterns in Australia. Read the report today by registering your details here. We hope you find it interesting reading!

GECA helps develop new ISO20400 standard

ISO20400 - the first international guidance standard for sustainable procurement - is in development, and the latest round of discussions to review the draft of the standard drew to a close earlier this month. The standard is designed to provide guidance for organisations seeking to incorporate sustainability principles in their procurement policies and practices.

GECA was involved in contributing to the development of the standard as part of the Australian mirror committee and also as a member of the Australian delegation to the ISO meeting in Sydney. GECA was also heavily involved in the Global Forum on Sustainable Procurement, an event that formed part of the ISO meeting on the standard. Read more.

Pictured: representatives from all countries involved in developing the standard

Welcome Back: Embelton Flooring

We're pleased to welcome back Embelton Flooring, who have recently achieved GECA certification for two flooring underlay products! Their Hush Platinum Polyethylene Underlay and ImpactaMat Acoustic Flooring Underlay are both certified under our Floor Coverings standard, meaning they have a lower environmental, health and social impact.

Hush Platinum is a good quality, affordable, high density 2mm thick polyethylene underlay, suitable for use underneath most hard floating floor applications, including timber, bamboo and laminate.

ImpactaMat is made from recycled rubber and bound together with a waterproof flexible binder. It's proven to achieve significant reductions in structure-borne noise, while also offering reductions in airborne noise (reflected noise in a room).

New Product: E-Stilts Desking System

The E-Stilts Desking System from Malaysian-based Artmatrix Technology is now GECA certified under our Furniture and Fittings standard.

Inspired by a house built on stilts, the E-Stilts Desking System "acts as a simple, ingenious, and adaptive bench, suitable for an entire range of applications in open workplace". It offers flexibility and is easily re-configurable in addition to being made with a lower environmental, health and social impact.

GECA in the media

Awareness of GECA is growing, and it's great to see this level of recognition reflected in the media recently.

Sydney-based The Office Space has "rounded up the best of the sustainable bunch", and we're happy to see we've been included in the list of Top 10 Sustainability Sites for Sydney-siders! Check out some of the other places making a positive impact.

Cherie Barber from Renovating For Profit recently shared her tips for avoiding "a toxic property makeover" with Domain, and the importance of GECA is mentioned several times. Find out more about healthier, environmentally-preferable renovations here.

For even more tips for creating a healthy, sustainable home, Helen Edwards of Recycled Interiors launches her new ebook in June: "Healthy Planet, Healthy People, Healthy Home". GECA is featured and we've included some guidelines for choosing the best materials and cleaning products. More info here.

DesignBUILD 2016

DesignBUILD 2016 finished up on the 6th of May in Melbourne, and GECA was proud to be a partner of the event, as well as an exhibitor and contributor to the speaker sessions.

It was a great opportunity for GECA to connect with others in the building and interior design industries, and for CEO Kate Harris to speak about how China and Australia’s Free trade agreement will affect the quality and safety of Australian construction.

Many thanks to Hub Furniture for furnishing our space with GECA certified products from Moroso and Lowe Furniture!

2016 Banksia Sustainability Awards now open

The 2016 Banksia Sustainability Awards are now open. We’re currently calling for Australian business, government, community, individuals and other organisations to enter the 2016 Banksia Sustainability Awards.  If you’re a sustainability leader or you know someone who is, enter the Awards today and get the national recognition you deserve!

Entries Close 5 August 2016 - be sure to register before June 30th to be eligible for the Early Bird Entry Fee. For more information and to apply, visit the Banksia Foundation website.

The Living Building Challenge

Frasers Property Australia, in its first collaboration with the Living Future Institute of Australia has launched The Brickworks Living Building Challenge – Australia’s first Living Building Challenge design competition, and the first in the world that focuses on a retail centre. GECA is proud to be a sponsor of the event.

Designers, professionals, environmental experts, students and everyone else interested in a regenerative future from around the world are invited to submit ideas for this new retail centre – ideas that can dramatically raise the bar from a paradigm of doing ‘less harm’ to one in which we view our role as steward and co-creator of a true ‘living future’. Find out more here.

SEE Sustainable Experience 2016

GECA are proud to be a Supporting Partner of SEE Sustainable Experience 2016, held at the Australian Technology Park, Sydney, from 21-23 July this year.

Visitors will get to SEE the latest sustainable innovations from manufacturers and suppliers from around Australia that will assist them to design and construct green buildings. Free educational seminars, delivered by exhibitors and industry leaders, will be held over the three days.

Register for your free visitor pass or enquire about exhibiting and sponsorship through the SEE Sustainable Experience website. GECA licensees can access a 10% discount on exhibition and sponsorship packages by mentioning their certification.

The NSW Blue Star Sustainability Awards

Have you implemented a new waste or recycling program? Used sustainable materials to build and manufacture products? Are you re-using materials in a new or interesting way? Are you involved in an environmentally friendly corporate social responsibility program?

Keep NSW Beautiful's Blue Star Sustainability Awards celebrate businesses who are doing their part to make their practices and their communities cleaner and greener.

GECA certified manufacturers and distributors are encouraged to enter - it's a great opportunity to get your sustainability efforts recognised! The awards are open to individuals, businesses, community groups, schools, and councils in New South Wales. Read more.