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  • #964635
    BobF
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    I work with small to medium sized businesses, assisting them reduce their environmental impact and carbon footprint.

    From day to day interactions it seems there is a fair amount of misinformation and confusion in regards to emissions trading in Australia and what it means for SMEs.

    So I want to start this thread as a place where questions can be asked and answered and opinions shared. I’ll start the thread by answering some FAQ’s over the next few days.

    First FAQ:

    Q. What is the (Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme) CPRS and when does it start?

    The CPRS is the new name for Australia’s national emissions trading scheme. The scheme will establish a marketplace for emissions reduction where businesses which are covered by the scheme will be able to trade carbon permits to meet obligations to reduce their emissions.
    The legislation for the CPRS will be developed in 2009 and the scheme itself will begin operation on 1 July 2010 (if it gets through the senate).

    #1006933
    BobF
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    Re: Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme – FAQ 2: Q. How does the CPRS work?

    FAQ 2: Q. How does the CPRS work?

    The CPRS is an emissions trading scheme with two key features: a “cap” which places a limit on the total amount of ‘carbon pollution’, and the ability to “trade” by businesses in sectors that are covered by the scheme.

    The CPRS only applies to businesses which are in “covered” sectors: stationary energy (mainly electricity generation),
    transport (the oil, gas and petrol suppliers),
    industrial processes (large manufacturing operations, aluminium and other energy intensive metals or other products),
    waste (landfill and other waste-management facilities),
    fugitive emissions (oil and gas production, mining).

    Businesses who are in the CPRS will have a “cap” applied at a facility level where they own (and operate) facilities that have direct emissions of 25,000 tonnes of CO2~e per year of more. (Direct emissions from the facility are those which are produced at that facility and are not those relating to purchased electricity.)

    #1006934
    BobF
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    Re: Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme – FAQ 3: How many businesses must comply?

    FAQ 3: How many businesses will have to comply with the CPRS?

    The Aus gov. estimates that the CPRS will apply to 1% of Aus companies who are accountable for around 75% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions (approx 1000 entities).

    The CPRS is specifically directed to larger emitters in more emissions intensive sectors. The great majority of Australia’s 7.6 million registered businesses will not face the additional regulatory burden of compliance with the CPRS.

    #1006935
    BobF
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    Re: Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme – FAQ:4: What requirements are on SMEs?

    FAQ 4: What requirements are on small businesses under the CPRS?

    There are unlikely to be any legislative or regulatory requirements on SMEs but the scheme is likely to increase costs to all consumers, including SMEs.

    Larger businesses will need to evaluate whether their facilities directly produce emissions at or above the CPRS threshold of 25,000 tC02~e and if they will be covered by the mandatory reporting scheme.

    #1006936
    BobF
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    Re: Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme – FAQ 5: Requirements through supply chains

    Q. Will any requirements be placed on SME’s through “supply chain requirements”?

    While there is no expectation that Governments will develop ‘supply chain requirements’ in the energy or emissions reduction field, SMEs may find there is pressure from larger businesses who are actively pursuing carbon reductions across their full productions chain.

    Its important for SMEs within large supply chains to find out whether the large company they supply to will be directly effected by the CPRS. If the company they supply to is going to be directly effected by the CPRS it’s a good bet that they will begin to assess the carbon footprint of their supply chain and then look at ways of reducing that, i.e. contracting suppliers who are less energy and waste intensive and so have a smaller carbon footprint.

    #1006937
    liam.henderson
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    Re: Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme – FAQ 5: Requirements through supply chains

    Thanks for sharing you insights Bob. Given what you have said about supply chain impacts and likely energy price rises, I’d be interested to hear you thoughts on what steps SMEs should be taking to prepare for the incoming CPRS. Any suggestions would be appreciated. cheers

    #1006938
    BobF
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    Good question Liam,
    The main thing an SME should be doing right now is improving their energy and water efficiency and reducing the amount of waste they send to landfill. Put simply this means cutting any wasted resources.

    That might include setting up processes to allow as much waste as possible to be recycled, or it might mean upgrading old lighting with more energy efficient products, or it could be as simple as ensuring staff turn off their computers at the end of the day. Below are 5 tips to help people focus on what’s needed:

    1. Be Prepared – Take Action Now
    – Consumer awareness & expectations are already changing.
    – Engage employees in the process.
    – Improve your knowledge & gain access to resources & tools.

    2. Know Your Business-Measure & Monitor
    – Measure & monitor all business inputs & outputs.
    – Identify your goals.
    – Improve resource efficiency and reduce waste.

    3. Know Your Supply Chain-Suppliers & Customers
    – Engage with consumers.
    – Map the source of product inputs.
    – Identify opportunities for low carbon products & services.
    – Try to share development costs & knowledge benefits.

    4. Promote Your Progress-Verify & Communicate
    – Seek independent verification of your credentials.
    – Promote your credentials & initiatives.
    – Quantify & communicate the carbon footprint of your products.

    5. Stay Alert-Identify Future Opportunities & Risks
    – Instil a culture of continual improvement.
    – Seek opportunities to benefit & stand out from the crowd.
    – Assess your progress and celebrate success.

    #1006939
    AndrewR
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    small businesses won’t be directly effected by the CPRS but should measure energy consumption and take action to reduce emissions. This reduces operating costs and places active business in better a position to cope with future energy prise rises.

    Businesses can engage in conversation with industry associations, and other businesses rather than reinventing the wheel. State Governments are actively trying to help small businesses reduce emissions.

    EPA Victoria have published Carbon Management Principals which are a useful starting point at http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/climate-change/carbon-management/default.asp.
    Grow Me the Money have resources at http://www.growmethemoney.com.au/CarbonManagement#glossary as do Carbon Planet in their Carbopedia at http://www.carbonplanet.com/carbopedia

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