Department of Planning Industry and Environment

Helen contributes to DPIE’s Sustainability Advantage Program, which assists members to become sustainability leaders. Recent projects have included projects on product stewardship for textiles, recycling options for clinical waste and absorbent hygiene products (nappies) and sustainable food service packaging for Sydney Fish Market and UNSW.

In 2002-21 Helen is also a member of the 20-Year Waste Strategy Expert Reference Group and the Technical Review Committee for several grants programs.

Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation

Helen is a consultant to the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO). APCO is a not-for-profit company established to administer the Covenant on behalf of government and Covenant Signatories. In 2020 Helen was the independent Chair of its industry Working Groups.

Energy efficiency

Helen has written or edited a number of business tools and case studies for the Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program (Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism). These have included:

Design for environment

Helen has been involved in Design for Environment (DFE) since the mid-1990s, when she worked at the Centre for Design at RMIT University on the innovative ‘EcoReDesign’ program with Australian manufacturers. In 2001 she co-authored Design + Environment (Greenleaf, 2001), which has been re-printed several times.

In 2009 Helen wrote a series of 12 Quickstarts on Design for Sustainability with Plastics for the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA).

Sustainable Packaging

Helen is recognised as a leader in the sustainable packaging field. She has worked closely with the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) to develop resources for signatories. The most recent of these were:

In 2013 Helen collaborated with RMIT University on research into packaging and food waste, with funding from CHEP.

Between 2010 and 2012 she undertook research for the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) and the APC on recyclability labels for packaging. This included extensive consultation with brand owners and retailers. Prior to this she undertook a detailed audit of environmental claims on packaging for a major supermarket chain to assess their legal compliance and opportunities for improvement.

Australian Battery Recycling Initiative

Helen was chief executive of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI) for six years until November 2016. ABRI is a not-for-profit association established in 2008 to promote increased recycling of all battery types. Its members include battery manufacturers and retailers, recyclers, government agencies and environmental organisations.