News and Updates

Circular Economy Project Summary

07 March 2022

Since May 2020, Earth Systems has partnered with Shifting Paradigms, Rebel Group and Circle Economy on the Lao PDR Circular Economy Project that seeks to help facilitate Lao PDR’s transition to a Circular Economy. The project has been commissioned by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and been implemented in collaboration with the Institute of Renewable Energy Promotion (IREP), Ministry of Energy and Mines, Lao PDR.

The key objectives of the project are (i) to conduct a robust circular economy (CE) policy analysis that identifies CE policy gaps and opportunities; (ii) to enhance the country’s greenhouse gas mitigation ambition under the Paris Agreement by conducting a comprehensive metabolic analysis of resource flows across the Lao economy and their impact on resource use as well as evaluating the emissions reduction potential from circular economy interventions; and (iii) develop a Long Term Low Carbon Development Strategy, based on the circular economy interventions identified.

Key outputs of the project include:

  • Workshops and webinars to introduce the CE concept, including examples of CE policies, circular business models and circular finance opportunities;
  • A metabolic analysis report, summarising a comprehensive analysis of resource flows across the Lao economy and their impact on resource use in Lao PDR. The analysis served as a basis for identifying circular greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation opportunities;
  • A circular economy policy brief that provides a comprehensive assessment of the current extent circularity in the Lao economy as well as gaps and opportunities to support Lao PDR‚Äôs CE transition;
  • A review of Lao PDR‚Äôs Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) with recommendations to update the NDC based on the metabolic analysis and CE policy review;
  • A Circular Economy Community of Practice (COP) that brought together policy makers, business leaders and civil society to identify challenges and opportunities for circularity in Lao PDR‚Äôs construction and ecotourism sectors; and
  • Development of a Long-term Low Carbon Development Strategy to reach net carbon neutrality in the Lao economy by 2050.

It is expected that GOL, development partners and the private sector will build on the outcomes of this project to further support the circular economy transition in Lao PDR.

Workshop on circular business models and circular finance in Lao PDR

First CharMaker in Europe 

08 October 2021

Earth Systems has recently successfully installed and commissioned a 40ft Fixed Pyrolysis Plant (FPP40) for a local council near Stockholm, in Sweden. This FPP40 is the first batch pyrolysis plant of this kind ever installed in Europe. This robust technology will handle a wide range of feedstock and turn it into high grade biochar for years to come. Heat produced during the process is strategically used to pre-dry the feedstock before it enters the pyrolysis chamber to make the process more efficient.
The successful installation of our Charmaker FPP40 has raised interest from other companies in Northern Europe and could result in many more projects.

Lao PDR Circular Economy Project

05 March 2021

Earth Systems partnered with three companies from the Netherlands, Shifting Paradigms, Circle Economy and Rebel Group, on a UNDP and EU funded project to develop circular economies in Lao PDR. The Circular Economy (CE) concept is based on three principles:

  • Design out waste and pollution;
  • Keep products and materials in use; and
  • Regenerate natural systems.

This Circular Economy project will support Lao PDR (i) to develop robust circular economy strategies in which the government and businesses cooperate to achieve the countries’ development objectives as described in its 9th 5-year plan, (ii) to enhance the country‚Äôs greenhouse gas mitigation ambition under the Paris Agreement by including also the emission potential from circular economy interventions and (iii) develop a Long Term Low Carbon Development Strategy, building on the circular economy opportunities identified.

Key initial project activities include:

  • A series of workshops to introduce the CE concept (including circular business models and finance opportunities) and seek inputs from key stakeholders about CE development in Lao PDR.
  • Targeted consultations to further assess the current status and identify future opportunities for CE in Lao PDR.
  • Development of a targeted stakeholder advisory committee (Community of Practice) bringing local and international public and private stakeholders together to collaborate in developing CE strategies.

The first workshop on introduction to the Circular Economy was held at the Crown Plaza Hotel on 8 December 2020 with more than 80 face to face and online participants from government agencies the private sector and development partners. The workshop was chaired by Mr. Chantho Milatanapheng, Director General of the Institute of Renewable Energy Promotion (IREP) and co-chaired by Ricarda Rieger, Resident Representative of UNDP Lao PDR.

Mine Closure and Mine Waste Management Study

26 February 2021

Earth Systems has been engaged by to provide technical assistance to the Government of Lao PDR (GOL) for improved mine waste management and development of a robust mine closure planning framework.

Mine waste is a major problem and can cause considerable environmental damage. There is a need to build capacity within the GOL to detect such environmental problems / risks and to improve the legislative framework, and inspection and enforcement tools and procedures.

In addition, Lao PDR currently lacks a framework to assist mining companies in the preparation of mine closure plans and GOL departments require assistance for assessment of the adequacy of mine closure plans.

Earth Systems will collaborate closely with GOL counterparts on the Mine Closure and Mine Waste Management Study to identify the major types of mine waste, the common environmental risks associated with mine wastes, and the internationally accepted methods for dealing with these risks, as well as other issues relating to closure. The study will take into account the capacity and resources of both mining companies in Lao PDR and GOL mine management counterparts to ensure that proposed recommendations are locally appropriate and will allow for practical application in the Lao mining sector.

Technical Assistance to Support Water Resources Modelling Development in Priority River Basins of Lao PDR

21 July 2020

Earth Systems in association with Deltares is providing technical assistance to the Government of Lao PDR on river basin modelling and water resource assessment for eight priority river basins across the country. This sub-project is part of  supported Mekong Integrated Water Resource Management Project which aims to ensure effective management and equitable use of water and related resources at the regional, national, and sub-national levels across the lower Mekong Basin.

Key objectives of the project are to raise the knowledge and capacity amongst government water resource assessment experts, and update and develop new river basin models and associated river basin assessment reports across the eight river basins to aid planners and decision makers. Another important output of the project will be the development of a Water Resource Assessment Guideline for the Lao Government to further aid planners and decision makers in future river basin planning.

Project activities include data collection and processing as well as development of Source, SWAT and HEC-RAS models for each of the eight priority river basins under normal conditions and future scenarios such as climate change, population growth and projected land use changes. Results of the river basin modelling will inform development of water resource assessment reports for each of the eight river basins. The project has a strong focus on capacity building and project team experts are supporting Lao government counterparts throughout the project with a combination of training modules and on-the-job training covering all project activities. The training and capacity building activities have been designed using a train-the-trainer approach to facilitate future knowledge transfer among government water resource assessment professionals.

Australia New Zealand Biochar Initiative

25 June 2020

Earth Systems has been involved in the formation of the Australia New Zealand Biochar Industry Group (ANZBIG). The non-for-profit organisation aims to streamline biochar education, research, collaboration, and commercialisation activities, to provide better environmental outcomes for Australia and New Zealand.

The  is a collaboration between growers, scientists, engineers and other stakeholders interested in advancing the understanding and application of viable biochar systems, both small and large scale. Be sure to check for a range of membership options.

CharMaker CPP

17 June 2020

A core expertise of Earth Systems is the development and application of technology for the pyrolytic conversion of waste biomass to energy and other useful solid and liquid products. The continuous pyrolysis furnace, the CharMaker CPP, has been designed and patented by Earth Systems to convert waste biomass to energy and a suite of high-value biochar and liquids products on site.

Earth Systems recently sold and shipped a CharMaker CPP to the Middle East, where it is being operated to treat biosolids and create sustainable waste management processes.

NSW Government – Legacy Mines Project

10 June 2020

Earth Systems has been engaged by the NSW Government – Legacy Mines Program for more than 8 years, and has recently been awarded a 4th project under the initiative. The project involves developing a Remediation Action Plan for a derelict copper mine site.

The primary objective is to develop a strategy to lower pollution discharges from the site. Unrehabilitated legacy mines can pose risks to public health, safety and the environment. Through the project, Earth Systems expects to stabilise and prevent further degradation of the site – substantially improving the downstream environment and creating long term benefits for the wider community.

Earth Systems in Response to COVID-19

01 June 2020

Earth Systems is committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of our employees, clients and the wider community we engage with, in response to Covid-19. All offices and worksites are following local precautionary guidelines. Some of the protocols established include:

– Continually monitoring and implementing the guidelines of local and international health authorities
– Facilitating flexible work arrangements for staff
– Ensuring social distancing requirements are adhered to in all offices and worksites
– Maintaining high-quality service in a business-as-usual manner

🖼️: Akanksha Srivastav

Report for The International Network for Acid Prevention

26 May 2020

Earth Systems in collaboration with¬†Okane Consultants, released a report providing new insight into ensuring low polluting mine operations, and more successful mine closure outcomes. Please contact¬†[email protected]¬†if you would like to receive a copy of the report.

The report reviews conventional mine rock stockpile construction methods, and summarises improved construction technologies that are available to help improve water quality from mine wastes. Continued efforts to implement these technologies will help quantify their environmental and economic benefits.

Earth Systems UNDP Project

22 May 2020

Earth Systems has been engaged by the¬†UNDP¬†to undertake a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of Rwanda’s Urbanisation Policy. This is Earth Systems’ second SEA project in Rwanda for the¬†UNDP.

MASS Design Group will be assisting us with this exciting project. We are thrilled to be working on this assignment, and are committed to providing a thorough assessment to support sustainable development in Rwanda.

📸: Michael Muli

Earth Systems Presentation ‚Äď Mobile Biochar Production

02 May 2017

Principal Environmental Engineer Dr Adrian Morphett, recently presented at the 1st Melbourne Beyond Zero Emissions Discussions group, showcasing solutions for biochar production from waste wood sources and sharing data on some of our most recent projects using the Earth Systems CharMaker ‚Äď Mobile Pyrolysis Plant.

Biochar is a form of charcoal produced from the oxygen-free pyrolysis of wood and which, even when combined with water and soil, remains stable for thousands of years. It can therefore be an important carbon store, capturing carbon from the atmosphere and ‚Äėlocking it in‚Äô as a solid mineral-like material.

Biochar has many applications apart from carbon sequestration, including soil improvement and water retention and is increasingly popular as a soil additive to increase plant growth and crop yields.

The full video presentation can be viewed here.

To learn more about the uses of Biochar and the Charmaker machine, please click here.


Facilitating Private Sector Led Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry in Lao PDR

Earth Systems secured funding through the Mekong Land Governance Project to work with Lao tea and eucalypt industry stakeholders to identify current environmental and social challenges and outline industry led collaborative approaches to addressing these and furthering sustainable development of each of the sectors.

Tea Sector

Tea Sector Tea sector work included the initiation of a Tea Sector Platform consisting of industry, government and civil society stakeholders; publication of a Sector Discussion Paper ‚ÄďSustainable Development of the Lao Tea Sector;(¬†EN LA¬†CH) and the development of partnerships with the Lao Chamber of Industry and Commerce (LNCCI); European Chamber of Industry Lao (ECCIL); Vietnam Tea Association (VITAS) and Forum for the Future (Tea 2030) for implementing a program of industry-led collaborative action. Earth Systems also utilised its office in China to effectively engage Chinese tea investors / traders. A video on the Lao tea sector produced as part of the project can be found here:

Eucalypt Sector

Eucalypt Sector Eucalypt Sector work included engagement with major eucalypt plantation developers including Birla Lao Limited, Burapha Agro-forestry Company Limited, Lao Plantation and Forestry Limited, Stora Enso Lao Limited and Sun Paper Holding Co. Limited and a range of other government and civil society stakeholders; and the publication of a Sector Discussion Paper ‚Äď Towards Sustainable Forest Management: An Industry Perspective (EN CH) outlining a collaborative approach to addressing environmental and social challenges and growing the sector in the years to come.

For further information on this Project please contact Chris Smithies (Country Manager) or Tom Callander (Principal Consultant) at¬†[email protected]


Planning for Disaster Recovery in Lao PDR

Over recent years, Lao PDR has experienced an unprecedented number of natural disasters which have claimed lives and caused widespread damage. These events have prompted the Government and its development partners to make significant investments to further develop all aspects the country’s disaster risk management framework.

Earth Systems and its partner Advisian worked with the Ministry of Planning and Investment with the support of the World Bank to develop a Value for Money Strategy and Management and Monitoring System for Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction. The work drew heavily on the experiences of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s Value for Money Strategy for reconstruction after the 2011 floods.

The Project, was conducted over a 12-month period until June 2016 and aimed to strengthen the government’s ability to plan and monitor post-disaster recovery efforts.

For further information on this Project please contact Tom Callander (Team Leader) at¬†[email protected]


Biochar Field Day September 10th 2015 in Karoonda, South Australia

Earth Systems’ CharMaker MPP20 will be the main feature in Biochar Field Day hosted by the Murray Mallee Local Action Planning Association to demonstrate the production of biochar using sustainably grown and harvested Oil Mallee Plantations.

If you wish to attend, please register your attendance by contacting the Murray Mallee Local Action Planning Association (see flyer).

Click here for the flyer or download the PDF version for more details.

Environmental and Social Risk Management and Monitoring for Road Projects – Capacity Building Workshops in Senegal

As part of capacity building around a Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) guarantee of two road sub-projects in Senegal, Earth Systems was engaged by MIGA, with support from the Japan Africa Trust Fund, to undertake a workshop on environmental and social risk management with representatives from the Senegalese road agency AGEROUTE as well as the Environmental Ministry and other key road right-of-way stakeholder government agencies.

The workshop took place from 4-6 August 2015 and was entitled ‚ÄúEnvironmental and Social Risk Management and Monitoring for Road Projects‚ÄĚ (French: Atelier sur la gestion des risques et le suivi environnemental et social dans le secteur routier). The objectives of the workshop were to:

    • Provide AGEROUTE and other related government agencies the capacity to assess, monitor and document the environmental and social compliance of the two sub-projects, as well as future projects; and
    • Provide a forum for sharing knowledge and experience on the design and implementation of community development funds.

The workshop was attended by 44 key environmental and management representatives from numerous Senegalese government agencies involved in road projects. The workshop was well received by the participants and it was the first meeting between many of the representatives. A key outcome of the workshop is the development of a network for sharing experiences and expertise, with the goal of improving the application of international best practice in environmental and social risk management for road projects in Senegal.

Biosecurity in the Black

Biosecurity in the Black: “New pyrolysis technology is an innovative tool in the battle against diseases, explains environmental scientist Peter Hughes.”

This article first appeared in the Autumn 2014 issue of Chartered Forester, the magazine for members of the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF), and is reproduced by kind permission of the ICF (

Clear Solutions

A new issue of Clear Solutions is now available for download. Clear Solutions is a newsletter covering some of the latest trends, opportunities and leading practices in water quality management and treatment.

In this issue:

      • Clear Solutions for Underground Mines
        Underground mines present a range of challenges with respect to acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD) and water quality management. Fortunately there are some effective solutions applicable at all stages of mine development ‚ÄĒ planning, operations and closure ‚ÄĒ that can dramatically reduce the risks and costs associated with these issues.
      • Planning: Plan ahead to avoid AMD
        Pre-mining planning decisions for underground mines can dramatically lower water quality impacts and AMD management and closure costs.
      • Operations: Managing operational water quality and odour issues
        Managing underground water quality and related gas emissions has become critical to the safe and compliant operation of underground mines.

        • Closure: Inert atmosphere technology for post-closure AMD management
          For free-draining underground mines, both historic and recently decommissioned, there is finally an alternative to water treatment in perpetuity or risky pressure bulkheads for managing AMD.


Earth Systems is an Accredited ESIA Consultancy Firm in Liberia

In 2014, Earth Systems became an accredited ESIA consultancy firm in Liberia. We are assisting international clients with projects on the ground through the Liberian project permitting process including scoping, preparing Terms of Reference and Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs), stakeholder engagement and consultation. Through its partnerships with Liberian consultancies and established relationships with government and non-governmental organisations, Earth Systems has developed a large network of local, regional and international experts and a comprehensive understanding of the local context.


Leading Practice

A new issue of Leading Practice is now available for download. Leading Practice is a newsletter produced by Earth Systems that explore latest trends, opportunities and leading practices in environmental management, compliance and assessment. This issue includes information on:

      • Planning for Mine Closure – Designing for closure to minimise environmental risk
      • Geochemical Engineering – De-risking mine waste management
      • Advanced Compliance Monitoring – New technologies help reduce monitoring costs
      • Safe Onsite Destruction of Hazardous Waste – New pyrolysis technology offers an innovative solution


Earth Systems Teams Up with the Victorian Government and IITK to Combat Tannery Waste Issues in the Ganges River Basin, India.

Earth Systems teamed up with the Victorian Government and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK), to deliver a roadmap for action by government, business and the community for the benefit of the environment and the Jajmau Leather Industry in Uttar Pradesh, India. The project is supported and funded by AusAID.

The Road Map provides a realistic and measured approach to address social and environmental impacts and will offer both technical and regulatory solutions.

The Vision is that the Leather Industry in Jajmau is able to sustain growth whilst not compromising the health of the river and the community.

Implementation of the plan will:

      • Ensure a sustainable and prosperous tannery industry
      • Protect employment for the local community
      • Improve health and safety
      • Reduce pollution, and
      • Establish a predictable, transparent and proportionate regulatory model

A copy of the Road Map is available here.

For further information on this Project please contact Tom Callander (Project Manager) at¬†[email protected]


Earth Systems at the SIM Senegal Mining Conference

Earth Systems successfully exhibited and presented at the SIM Senegal Mining Conference earlier this month. Now in its second year, the conference ran from 6 ‚Äď 8 November 2012 in Dakar, Senegal. Staff from our Australian, Senegal and UK offices attended the event, which attracted 75 exhibitors, 65 speakers and over 500 delegates originating from 22 countries.

Earth Systems has been working in West Africa for 10 years and currently have a number of on-going projects in Senegal and Guinea. Our regional Dakar office gives us advantages in project delivery in Senegal and the wider West African region, particularly having developed extensive regional experience in Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and Water Management. Our local knowledge and skills are supported by our international expertise to deliver a broad depth of expertise. As a result, interest in our services and experience was high amongst SIM delegates and we are looking forward to assisting our current and future clients in successfully delivering their projects across the region.


Lake Tai Water Pollution Treatment Project, China

The Final International Dissemination Seminar for the Lake Tai Water Pollution Treatment Project was held in Suzhou on March 20, 2012. The workshop brought together over 170 policy decision-makers and specialists from across China to discuss the results of the three year collaboration under the Australia China Environment Development Partnership. A number of specialists from the AUS Lake Tai Cluster, attended including representatives from Earth Systems, Hunter Water Corporation, eWater and Department of Primary Industries (VIC) to present a number of key outputs including:

  • Policy Directions and Guidancefor Nutrient Pollution Modelling andManagement in the Lake Tai Basin (ENCH¬†)
  • Policy Directions and Guidance for Wastewater Treatment in the Lake Tai Basin (ENCH )

Before the event, a memorandum of understanding was signed by the National Reform and Development Commission’s International Cooperation Centre, Suzhou Development and Reform Commission and the AUS Lake Tai Cluster to establish the China-Australia Water Resource and Environment Cooperation and Research Centre, and continue this partnership over the next 5 years. Lake Tai is the third largest lake in China but is the most important in terms of population density and contribution of the basin to national GDP. Water quality and algal blooms in Lake Tai has been recognised as a serious national issue for the P.R. China, particularly following the severe Cyanobacterial algae outbreak in 2007. The State Council has approved a comprehensive restoration program for the Basin.

In 2009 the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) provided funding for the Lake Tai Water Pollution Treatment Project under the Australia China Environment Development Partnership Initiative (ACEDP). The objective of the Project is to strengthen management and policy approaches in the Lake Tai basin by increasing awareness of Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) and science-based management/planning approaches.

For further information on this Project please contact Tom Callander (Project Manager) at¬†[email protected]


Earth Systems is a Registered Environmental Expert for the Government of Zanzibar

Earth Systems is now a registered Environmental Expert for the Government of Zanzibar. We are now providing environmental and social consultancy services in Zanzibar.