Shining examples

Dozens of climate-wise examples by Australian associations to inspire your own actions

We’ve gathered details of practical climate-wise action already taken by Australian associations. These fabulous examples, many the first of their kind in Australia, are listed below to inspire and motivate all associations and members.

The examples (drawn from the associations’ websites) are arranged under the main headings featured in our self-assessment climate-wise actions Rating Tool. These are the actions associations and members can take to lead and manage risks. They range from education and training to embedding climate-wise action within your own strategies and plans.

Emulate these examples in your own climate-wise journey. Actions by these future-minded organisations range from peak bodies to local sports clubs, and will open your eyes to the opportunities.

“Become a shining climate-wise leader for your members.”
Gail Greatorex co founder of Climatewise Associations
Gail Greatorex
Co-Founder, ClimateWise Associations.

Our shining examples

The numbers in brackets refer to the action listed in the ClimateWise Associations Rating Tool.

Education and Training

Engineers Australia is the peak body for the engineering profession with around 115,000 individual members. EA actively works with members to implement climate wise policies, including a range of workshops and webinars focused on risk assessment, engineering and climate management to inform and support members and the wider sector. (1 A)

Horse SA provides services for horse owners and the South Australian horse community. A highly practical Action Plan that’s relevant across Australia includes a comprehensive checklist on what can be done to manage the dire climate change impact on horses. (1 C)

See also Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand.

Research and Communications

Royal Australasian College of Physicians represents over 30,000 medical and trainee specialists in Australia and New Zealand. RACP has an impressive commitment to gaining knowledge and information about climate-wise actions, with climate change and health a priority policy area. This includes a comprehensive research report reviewing literature, policy and practice in relation to climate change and Australia’s health care systems. (3)
Chartered Accountants Australia/New Zealand represents more than 135,000 chartered accountants for qualifications, professional development and advocacy. The CA ANZ Members’ Climate Survey has been conducted since 2020 and findings show members’ strong support CA ANZ taking an active role in climate-related advocacy and program delivery, which CAANZ is increasingly investing in and doing for the benefit of members. (3)

Codes and Certifications

Planning Institute of Australia is the peak national body representing town planning and the planning profession in Australia, with 5,000 members. A Climate Change Unit is now integrated into the PIA Certified Practising Planner Program, as part of ongoing professional development. This kind of leadership gives PIA members greater capacity to advise and address the impacts of climate change in their work. (4 B)

Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is Australia’s national program for grape growers and winemakers to demonstrate and continuously improve sustainability. Climate-wise action is embedded in the certification of wine grower members, with two wine industry sustainability standards established in 2020: one for viticulture and one for wineries. These standards must be met by all members of the association and information is provided to members on independent auditing against these standards. (5)

See also the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association

Awards and Tools

Australian Institute of Architects is the representative body for architects in Australia, with around 14,000 members, including 5,550 working globally. AIA recently lifted the bar on its annual award program to make sustainability measures a core evaluation criteria for all categories. Individuals and/or groups who demonstrate exceptional leadership and outstanding contribution to advancing sustainability of the built environment will also be considered for the primary Sustainable Architecture category award. This embedding commitment by AIA lifts the expectations and performance of entrants to all categories and of the industry as a whole. (6)

Cement Industry Federation is the Australian peak industry association for manufacturers of clinker cement and cement products. CIF was a primary contributor to a VDZ Report on Decarbonisation Pathways for the Australian Cement and Concrete Sector. Following this pathway, the industry and members have begun to reduce emissions and CIF works with stakeholders and policy makers across the value chain. (7 B)

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Policy and Planning

Insurance Council of Australia is the representative body for the general insurance industry. Members represent approximately 85% of total premiums written by private sector general insurers for all Australia. Everyone’s insurance is already impacted by increasingly costly damages claims caused by climate change disasters. Some areas are now uninsurable due to sea, cyclones or floods. The ICA has been mapping and tracking the financial cost of climate change for decades via landmark reports and maps and warning of worsening events and financial risks, liabilities and premiums. It has formed cross-sector partnerships and are shifting its approach to what we build and how. (8 A)

Farmers for Climate Action is a coalition of farmers, agricultural leaders and rural Australians working to grow the number of farms and farming communities championing ambitious action, and to influence their political representatives. FCA is the only farmer-led organisation that specialises in climate action and aims to reduce the 15% of Australia’s emissions from agriculture. Their Farming Forever national plan for climate change and agriculture outlines a positive vision for rural and regional Australia. (11 C)

See also Australian Retail Association and Accord

Measure, Evaluate and Report

Australian Institute of Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heating represents those working in the heating, air conditioning and refrigeration and building service industries. In Australia, the industry is worth over $38 billion, uses more than 24% of the country’s electricity and accounts for around 11.5% of carbon dioxide emissions. AIRAH has long recognised the climate impact of its sector with speciality industrial gas emissions and opportunities for improvement. Offerings for members include the innovative podcast. What you need to know about HVAC&R and Climate Change. It has a new plan for transition to low emissions with its industry blueprint, PRIME: for the future. AIRAH’s commitment to reducing emissions is evidenced by its own measurement in declining annual emissions. (13 B)

Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is Australia’s national program for grape growers and winemakers to demonstrate and improve their sustainability in the vineyard and winery through the environmental, social and economic aspects of their businesses. SWA was established in 2019 as a united Australian sustainability program, drawing on the certifiable Freshcare wine industry sustainability standards. Continuous improvement is central to its mission and facilitates improved brand recognition in an increasingly discerning sales market. Regular reporting and disclosure by members is essential to remain a certified sustainable winegrower. Impact reporting details how its community of growers and winemakers are taking climate-action. (14 B)

Marketing and Public Engagement

Maldon Neighbourhood Centre is a place of social connection and lifelong learning enabling community wellbeing and acts as a connected, inclusive and sustainable community. It values active participation in environmental responsibility and leads in innovative ways through its Climate Ready Maldon initiative. It produces handy ‘climate ready’ packs for users to understand how to respond to climate change; and podcasts some of the many great actions being taken for a safer climate across the Loddon Mallee Region, Victoria. (15 B)
Green Building Council of Australia leads a transformation of the built environment for sustainability. It has 600 members representing the largest most influential companies in public and commercial property in Australia. GBCA is one of Australia’s leading sustainable property networks and is linked to increasingly powerful Green Building Councils around the world. The membership logo is a symbol of green leadership, which lifts members’ profiles and gives them more certainty in their sustainable transformation of the built environment. (15 C)

Governments and Decision-maker Relations

The Australian Medical Association is the peak professional body for doctors in Australia, and Doctors for the Environment is comprised of medical professionals aiming to protect human health through care of the environment. The federal government in the 2022-2023 budget committed to establish a National Health and Climate Strategy and a National Health Sustainability and Climate Unit, in order to systematically address health impacts of climate change. The AMA and DE extensively and successfully lobbied the government for this outcome and will continue to work with the government for meaningful action. (17 A)
The Business Council of Australia represents Australia’s largest employers and has become a powerful voice for greater climate action. BCA advocates for a co-ordinated national transition to net zero by 2050. Its policy paper Achieving a net zero economy 2021 proposes a transition pathway and policy recommendations to get there. A vital factor it calls for is enhanced coordinated action across governments, regulators, industry, and the community. BCA lists clear decarbonisation commitments by its members and continues to advocate for robust government policies. (18 A)

Collaboration and Partnerships

The Australian Council of Social Service is a major national advocate supporting people affected by poverty, disadvantage and inequality, and the peak council for community services nationally. Over 100 community organisations united in signing the Community Sector Climate Change Declaration to call on the Australian federal government to commit to stronger targets and fair and inclusive policies to cut climate pollution this decade. (19 A)

Central Victoria Greenhouse Alliance has led collaborative community bulk buy program MASH (More Australian Solar Homes). MASH is an innovative regional initiative, recognised as a leading example of a community solar bulk buy. It is the largest program of its kind in Australia, operating across Central and Northwest Victoria comprising individuals, residents and 13 councils who form part of the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance. (19 B)

See also Ethnic Communities Council Victoria and Victorian Council of Social Service.

Association Operating Practices

Ormond Tennis Club in suburban Melbourne has taken action to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by installing new LED court lights. Funded through a grant from the Victorian Government’s Community Climate Change and Energy Action fund, this action cuts the club’s costs as well as its emissions and is a showcase for other sporting groups and their members. (21 A)
Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce is the automotive industry employer association, with a membership of 5,000 employers in the Victorian and Tasmanian retail motor industry. Its Investment Committee has engaged investment advisers with consideration of ESG factors, including climate change risk, in their fundamental research and advice process. The advisers are a signatory to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment, the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia and the Investor Group on Climate Change. All investment managers managing money on behalf of VACC have undergone the adviser’s due diligence process. (22)
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We hope you are inspired by these wonderful organisations offering leadership on climate for their members. Download our ClimateWise Associations Rating Tool to view all actions that can be taken and rate your current climate-wise status and opportunities.

Read other, more detailed examples of leading associations on our Case Studies and Stories page.

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