Green Capital Speaks Up: “Doing Nothing is Not an Option”

Green Capital Speaks Up: “Doing Nothing is Not an Option”

The clear message is that doing nothing is costing business money.  Business and environment group leaders met in Sydney this week to review the collapse of the CPRS and how to manage risk in the face of climate change and a policy void. Green Capital and the Total Environment Centre organised the event. Melbourne has its chance to contribute on 14 April.     

Green Capital reports (30 March 2010):

Business and environment group leaders met in Sydney this week to review the collapse of the CPRS and how to manage risk in the face of climate change and a policy void, at Total Environment Centre’s Doing Nothing Is Not An Option event.  

Run by Green Capital, TEC’s business engagement program, the event also launched a Carbon & Energy Quick Check tool for business, CARB-EN.

The panel was chaired by the ABC’s Quentin Dempster, and speakers included Blair Palese, CEO,; Jon Jutsen, Executive Director, Energetics; Sean Macken, Director (NSW), Hawker Britton; Andrew Petersen, Partner, Climate Change Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Freddie Sharpe, CEO of Climate Friendly; Dr Tony Wilkins, News Limited’s Manager of Environment and Climate Change; and Matthew Wright, Executive Director, Beyond Zero Emissions.

“The clear message is that doing nothing is costing business money,” said Jeff Angel, Executive Director of TEC.

Jon Jutsen said, ““Energy efficiency, which is highly underrated, could deliver 53% of savings to every business and household. We can’t press the rewind button on the planet. Once the resources are gone they’re gone forever.”

Blair Palese called on business to “stop being nice and get ugly!”

“Politicians are not listening to the public,” she said, “and business is not telling government what it wants. We have the solutions and we need to get in the face of the people who are not acting to break this policy vacuum.”

CARB-EN sets out five areas ranging from greening the supply chain to staff green teams, where business can act now.  TEC called on companies to rank themselves from inaction/basic to excellent/inspirational as a way to help guide improvements in their performance.

“Companies that do take action now will be far better prepared when a carbon price does come in.  It’s not a matter of if, but when,” said Mr Angel.

As background, Jeff Angel of TEC sets this out:

Three years of build-up for a national emission trading scheme has collapsed. Global climate negotiations are in disarray. And now it’s an election year for Australia.

Where business had hoped for carbon certainty, it now faces prolonged policy confusion and frustration … all hopes of a bipartisan political solution appear to be lost.

So what happens now? With scientific alarm continuing to sound, public concern still burning, and investors looking desperately for clear signals, doing nothing is not an option!

Energy costs are going up rapidly even without an ETS or tax to put a price on carbon

State governments are still driving their own carbon and energy saving regulations and market-based solutions

Employees still want to work with environmentally and socially responsible companies

Consumers increasingly want to live and buy more sustainably

The Total Environment Centre and its corporate sustainability program Green Capital have shaped a special events and IP package to help answer the big carbon challenges for 2010. To be released at the events, our IP includes our latest issues paper, Doing nothing is NOT an option, and results of our own survey of sustainability professionals.

In the opening part of our Sydney and Melbourne events we’ll ask leading business practitioners of energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon offsetting to tell us their experiences to date, the role their sector can play – and how they assess the challenges now.

Then, in the second half, our panel of engaged experts will debate the political and policy situation; offer their own perspectives on the future for business and the community; and answer questions from the audience.

At the close we’ll present our package of recommendations to help guide you towards practical solutions for your business.

A Melbourne event continuing the theme, “Doing nothing is not an option” will be held      Wednesday, 14 April, 2010 from 7:00 AM – 10:00 AM, The ANZ Pavillion at the Arts Centre 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Victoria 3004.

Melbourne Chair:  Liz Minchin, Saturday News Editor, The Age, and co-author of Screw Light Bulbs 


Rosemary Bissett , Group Manager, Sustainable Business Practices, Group Corporate Affairs, National Australia Bank

Nathan Fabian , CEO, Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC)

Sheila Fitzgerald , Director Futures and Planning, Swinburne University National Institute for Sustainability

Jack Holden , Senior Manager, Sustainability, Climate Change & Water, KPMG

Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, Climate Change and Sustainable Transport Campaigner, Environment Victoria

Erin Simpson , Manager, Products and Services, Department of Sustainability Services, VECCI (Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry)

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