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Sustainability

Australia’s evolving regulatory landscape, combined with political, economic and legal influences, have put sustainability and climate change at the top of many businesses’ agendas.
With the impact of recent commercial and regulatory reforms, particularly with respect to carbon pricing, it is critical that businesses not only comply with the new requirements, but are prepared for the changes yet to come.
All businesses, especially large energy consumers or those that use products with high carbon-intensity, should be considering the various burdens of costs passed through from upstream producers and suppliers.  Distributers, mid-tier suppliers and operation and maintenance businesses may be caught in the middle.  Gadens has the expertise to assist businesses to negotiate the best possible terms on both the input and output sides of their business.
Multi-faceted depth of expertise
Gadens’ national sustainability and climate change practice offers in-depth advice that helps businesses to adapt to their new obligations, while maximising emerging opportunities.  To achieve this, our team is multi-faceted, bringing together lawyers with deep expertise from our core practice areas.
Our lawyers apply their knowledge and experience to develop specialised carbon strategies for key stakeholders across many industries, including AMP, Stockland, Challenger, GPT, Serco, Macquarie Capital, Mitsui-Matsushima, Alcatel-Lucent, Ramsey Health Care and Lend Lease.
Our work includes ensuring our clients comply with the different obligations and acts, such as the Renewable Energy Target, and the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act, to helping them to capitalise on government incentive schemes, including the National Carbon Offset Standard.
 Industry-first lawyers
Our commitment is such that our lawyers were some of the first in the legal industry to attend the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star Accredited Professional Course.
As a result, our national sustainability and climate change team is a market leader in creating unique contracting solutions to deal with the intricacies of achieving Green Star ratings.  These include innovative approaches to energy performance contracting, green leasing, contracts for Green Star projects and a range of other project and development documents.
 Experience  
  • The Climate Institute:  regularly acting for The Climate Institute and assisting it to identify legal issues in the context of its core objectives to drive innovation and effective climate change policy solutions
  • Green Building Council of Australia:  identifying key issues in the property and construction sectors relating to sustainable development and green buildings and developing and presenting the GBCA’s Green Law Masterclass series
  • Australian Institute of Project Management:  identifying critical issues relevant to all aspects of project delivery and project management arising out of Australia’s regulatory and policy framework relating to climate change, advising in relation to carbon cost pass through exposure and reviewing their carbon pass-through and change in law clauses in existing and future contracts
  • Facilities Management Association of Australia:  identifying issues under the NGER Act for its members
  • Establishing projects in Papua New Guinea to generate carbon credits for the purposes of trading under carbon trading schemes
  • Corporate reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, energy production and consumption under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act for corporate groups including:
  • Complex strategic advices on potential liability, including the application of the ‘corporate group’, ‘facility’ and ‘operational control’ tests to a broad range of industries, businesses and assets
  • Implementation of internal compliance policies, procedures and systems
  • Reporting obligations under and compliance with the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act
  • Consideration of key climate change regulations and policies including the Renewable Energy Target, proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act, Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act and Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act to incorporate innovative solutions when drafting
  • Drafting contracts and major project agreements and structuring joint ventures and special project vehicles in the property, infrastructure, mining, resources and building and construction industries
  • Advising on voluntary carbon trading and offsets
  • Drafting and advising on energy performance contracts and green leases in relation to commercial (office), industrial, retail, health and hospitality assets
  • Drafting and advising on construction and development contracts for the achievement of Green Star ratings (administered by the Green Building Council of Australia) and other ratings systems developed by local councils and other authorities
  • Advising on and drafting a range of project agreements relating to the creation and transfer of Renewable Energy Certificates under the Renewable Energy Target
  • Advising on how best to maximise opportunities arising out of government incentive schemes (such as the NSW Energy Savings Scheme and National Carbon Offset Standard) including drafting agreements
  • Considering climate change requirements in residential development and planning approvals and environmental impact assessments
  • Advising on Corporations Law requirements for reporting of climate change risks and responses
  • Considering the rules under the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme and the impending CPRS that apply to electricity generators and retailers and negotiating agreements to deal with the impact of those rules and protect clients from associated commercial exposures (such as carbon cost pass through)
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