THE PATHWAY TO SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

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A paradigm shift is occurring in the way government and businesses are tackling resource management. Up until 10 years ago resource management was viewed simply as a cost saving opportunity and was approached as a technical project usually starting with a resource efficiency audit. Energy was the first to be tackled, due to its relatively high cost, compared with water and solid waste. The approach generally followed a cycle. When energy costs were high an audit was conducted, the easy cost reduction opportunities were implemented and some short-term gains were made. As time moved on however, the focus moved to other business issues, the costs rose again and the cycle continued.

A fundamental change to resource management is now occurring, with government and businesses driving more sustainable solutions based on a systematic approach to resource management. The systematic approach was first adopted in the energy industry around Australasia and more recently in the water industry. This paper will discuss both the government and industry drivers behind the changes, case studies around Australasia and emerging future solutions to sustainable resource management.

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