I attended the 2nd annual Ethical Investor conference of this type, "Carbon Solutions Forum" on the 9-10th Oct, '08 in Sydney. Well have things moved rapidly in the last 12 months, everyone scrambling to get into position, however some will be elbowing and eye gouging last minute.... let's hope not!
Yes mind boggling for us mere mortals to get our heads around this complex topic- Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) soon to be introduced 2010 by the Federal Government.
There was a cross section of speakers from government and regulatory people, legal stuff, businesses, etc. benchmarking their best practises...and how businesses are dealing with the new changes. Including AGL, WWF, Telstra, Ernst and Young, ANZ, Corporate Express, Coopers, Climate Friendly, Energetics, CSIRO, EPA Vic, Supply Chain Consulting, Greenfleet and more.
The speakers were mostly impressive including:
Louis Chiam, Partner, Mallesons Stephen Jacques.. incredibly eloquent, even I understood his message all things legal particularly greenwashing- green claims.
A dual presentation by Emily Kucukalic, Group Head Brand and External Relations, AGL and Tim Cooper from Coopers Beer. Their joint project which includes the co-generation plant and protecting reputation. Fabulous.. Need to have more female presenters, could listen to Emily all day! Sincerity is what I'm looking for.
Which brings me to the tiniest, weeniest negative of the conference... a little bitching about greenwashing- not sure why it is needed, maybe to get a competitive edge, but I just loose respect for them.
Chloe Munro, Executive Director, Innovation Projects for the Digital Future, Public Policy and Communications, Telstra...... "Let's consume less and experience more". Interesting! Can't wait for incredibly fast broadband speeds so we can all have a better internet experience including video conferencing and faster downloading.
To get off the track again, apparently in the latest stats there are less females in executive positions now than a few years ago! Go figure.
Randall Pearce woke us all up mid afternoon Friday with his bubbly personality, what a crack up... Carbon Consciousness: Insights for managing customer and community perceptions. What people are really thinking and doing.
Everything was covered from governance/compliance, reporting, legal, market implications and greenwash.. Everything business needs to get ready, it was covered in 2 days. Highlighting that is not just the top companies that are accountable but everybody down the supply chain will be asked to be accountable for their carbon footprint.
Jon Jutsen, the Energetics founder whose clients include a large component of ASX 200 companies, "Cites a combination of the size of the challenge, lack of readiness and strategy, combined with a shortage of specialized skills to explain the shortfall." Lack of readiness includes data collection, risk analysis and investment opportunities as presented by the CPRS.
This highlights the need by government to put into place a transition program for businesses that includes tax incentives etc.
However we've come a long way in 12 months, there's also hope for the US with a new government.
Link to Ethical Investor for background papers.