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Global warming action? Most businesses are out in the cold

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Battling global warming may be a necessary and noble pursuit, but as for putting theory into practice the Federal Government’s emission’s trading scheme is more devil than detail for Australian businesses.

Battling global warming may be a necessary and noble pursuit, but as for putting theory into practice the Federal Government’s emission’s trading scheme is more devil than detail for Australian businesses.

A report into the introduction of emissions trading by the Australian Institute of Management concludes that most businesses are not only unprepared but have scant knowledge of the scheme and its implications.

The survey of top level executives also found that only 36% were even aware that the Government’s emissions trading scheme is set to start the year after next. It also found that 80% said they “know very little” or were only “somewhat aware” of the scheme.

Of the CEOs, business owners and senior managers surveyed, 76% said their organisations had not commenced planning for the scheme’s introduction. The low awareness levels of the scheme were broadly similar across all organisations, regardless of size.

While most (94%) said their main source of information had been news reports, not government agencies or industry bodies, they agreed that the impact of the scheme will probably mostly be felt in terms of increased costs, more reporting to government, and an increase in internal workload.

“The survey shows an alarmingly low level of preparedness for the emission scheme’s introduction, with obvious implications for ETS readiness in 2010,” the CEO of the Australian Institute of Management (Victoria/Tasmania) Susan Heron says.

“The emissions trading scheme will put more pressure on the training, development and skill sets of Australian management than we have seen for many years,” she says. “I think we will see a new executive role emerge in Australian organisations based on sustainable management.”

Leigh Fungston, the head of stakeholders relations at AIM, says pace setters are already putting pressure on suppliers to make sure they have measured their carbon footprint.

He says that large businesses will need to employ a sustainability manager – but smaller businesses could make it a part time role.

Companies will need to have specialist advice on how to measure their carbon footprint and how they can reduce it.

 

Read more on emissions trading

 

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