THE MAJORITY of businesses are taking some steps to engage with the issue of climate change. However, most aren't confident in their knowledge of the key legislative mechanism for tackling the incoming Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), a recent survey has found.
The survey, undertaken by Australian Industry Group (AIG) and KPMG, found that almost three quarters of businesses currently measure, or plan to over the next three years, their carbon footprint. In addition, more than 60 per cent of businessed have taken steps, or plan to over the next three years, to invest in cleaner capital equipment as part of managing their carbon footprint.
However, when it comes to the CPRS, only 15 per cent of businesses said they were confident they had knowledge of its key elements, and more than 30 per cent said they had no knowledge of its key elements. Furthermore, more than 55 per cent of businesses were not currently taking any steps to become better informed.
The survey results are in line with the experience of Baker & McKenzie climate change head Martijn Wilder, who believes many businesses have been put off by the turbulent politics surrounding the CPRS. "With so much uncertainty as to whether it's coming or going, a lot of companies just aren't doing anything," he said.
Wilder said there were also varying levels of preparedness surrounding the reporting framework underlying the CPRS - the National Greenhouse Energy and Reporting Act 2007 (NGERS) - with the first reporting date coming up in October. "We've seen a group of companies who have been very, very proactive about it, and who have treated this in the way you treat GST implementation - so full, comprehensive implementation. Then I've had a couple of calls in the last week with people saying 'We've just worked out that we have to do something with NGERS and we're only just now working on it.' So there's a range of companies who really haven't addressed it adequately," he says.
The AIG/KPMG survey examined the views of about 400 businesses in the manufacturing, construction and services sectors.
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