Key Staff

Beyond Neutral®’s director, Mark O’Brien, is the 2009 Certified Environmental Practitioner of the Year for his outstanding contribution to environmental practice in recent years, particularly in the areas of carbon emission assessments (footprints) and climate change mitigation (emission reduction).

Mark brings two decades of wide-ranging environment sector experience across Government, academic, international and private sector organisations. Of this, over 13 years has been spent gaining highly relevant experience providing advice and specialist services on climate change, sustainability and the issues and opportunities associated with both.  For a decade, Mark has successfully operated businesses focused on greenhouse, energy, sustainability and environmental issues.

Contact us if you would like a copy of Mark’s CV which will help to confirm his abilities and experience.  Alternatively, give us a call and we can discuss how we can be of help to you.

Environmental Experience and Knowledge

Mark has a comprehensive knowledge of climate change, sustainability and energy as well as across a broad range of environmental issues including water, natural resource management; biodiversity, agriculture, land use change and waste.  He has extensive experience:

  • identifying and reporting environmental issues,
  • developing and assessing action plans for reducing the environmental impacts of organisations’ operations, and
  • promoting approaches resulting in improved greenhouse, sustainability and environmental outcomes.

Mark brings real world experience of the difficulties various sectors have in dealing with greenhouse and sustainability, and of moving innovative abatement projects from the conceptual into reality.

Mark has been involved in around 100 successfully completed consultancies, addressing all aspects of greenhouse inventoriesemission reduction actions, performance indicators and reportingrenewable energyagriculture and land use changetechnical advice, and input into environmental impact assessment processes.  Over twenty significant projects have been undertaken for the Australian Government on inventory methodologies, abatement assessment, reporting requirements, database accuracy, renewable energy, verification and the National Greenhouse Accounts.

Mark has a wide range of other environmental experiences including:

  • Greenhouse Challenge industry adviser (energy and water sectors) and renewable energy and cogeneration specialist, both before and after the Australian Greenhouse Office was created;
  • Working on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (Sinks Report);
  • Research Officer working with the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting on terrestrial ecosystems’ carbon sequestration issues;
  • Commonwealth Environment Protection Agency working on waste issues, including contaminated site remediation, paper, tyre and other material recycling and sea dumping; and
  • Australian Government’s Department of Environment on the Australian Conservation Strategy for Biological Diversity, and issues covering air quality, noise pollution and nuclear production, use and waste.


2009 Certified Environmental Professional of the Year for Australia and New Zealand.

In 2005, Mark was the first person ever in Australia or New Zealand to be presented with a Certified Environmental Professional (CEnvP) certificate through the Australian Government supported professional certification program operated by EIANZ.  Mark has been a CEnvP continuously since 2005.

Certification indicates that Mark’s peers consider him a competent environmental professional who applies high professional and ethical standards while demonstrating a commitment to responsible environmental management.  The CENVP program ensures talented, skilled and ethical environmental professionals are given due recognition in line with their professional counterparts from engineering, accounting, planning and architecture.  Certification provides a higher level of assurance to the community, employers, clients and professional associates.

Mark is an accredited independent verifier for the Australian Government’s Greenhouse Challenge Plus greenhouse reporting program and its Greenhouse Friendly™ abatement project and product and service certification scheme.  He has been accredited since both verification panels’ inception in 2005.  Mark is also a pre-approved auditor for Origin Energy’s Carbon Reduction Scheme which operates in the Australian voluntary carbon market.

Mark is also an Associate Environmental Auditor on RABQSA International’s Register (2003 to 2009) and an accredited ACT Building Energy Efficiency Rating Assessor (2005 to 2009).  He was also on the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Panel and Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program’s consultant’s register when they operated.

Mark has been a member of EIANZ for 5 years and active at the local and national levels including:

  • President of the EIANZ’s ACT Division since early 2009
  • ACT Division’s treasurer since 2006
  • A member of the local Committee since 2005.
  • ACT CEnvP convener since 2007.
  • Being the chair and member of several CEnvP interview panels
  • Active member of the Institute’s climate change working group since its inception, providing significant input into the Institute’s submissions relating to the NGERS and CPRS, in particular in relation to their auditing/verification requirements.
  • Drafted substantial parts of the Institute’s climate change Policy Statement and providing input and review of other Policy Statements relating to sustainability, energy, water, waste and resource consumption, and biodiversity.
  • Organised several successful seminars and workshops as a part of the professional development program on topics covering adaptation options for the built and natural environments, the latest climate change science and the international standards for environmental management with particular reference to ISO 14064 and 14065.
  • Chaired a plenary session on energy at EIANZ’s 20th anniversary conference series.
  • Chair of the opening session of the 2009 EIANZ Annual Conference held in Canberra, 20-21 October 2009.
  • Chair of Env Impact Assessment session at the 2009 EIANZ Annual Conference.


Mark is author/co-author of 14 publications on renewable energy, bio-sequestration, greenhouse, impact assessment and aspects of Australia’s National Greenhouse Accounts.  He was a contributing author to the IPCC’s Special Report on LULUCF. He has also written articles on how schools of all levels can reduce their carbon footprint.

Mark conducted Australia’s first research focused solely on renewable energy users seeking self sufficiency in the provision of their domestic energy supply, exploring their energy supply and storage systems, the features of their dwellings and the type and usage patterns of their appliances.  It also investigated their attitudes towards various aspects of their quest for self sufficiency and explored the experiences encountered during that quest.

The research was carried out in Tasmania and also presented a series of case studies that demonstrated many of the positive spin offs arising from the desire of individuals and communities to be self sufficient.  The case studies encompassed a local micro hydro-electricity turbine manufacturer, the use of green grids to provide individual and community level energy supplies which then led to the development of further economic opportunities beyond the community, and the use of a mix of renewable energy supplies to enable the provision of high quality eco-tourism applications.

Contact us if you would like a copy of Mark’s CV which will help to confirm his abilities and experience.  Alternatively, give us a call and we can discuss how we can be of help to you.