'Greentape' to hit SMEs

09 Jul 2007Archived News Energetics in the News

PUBLISHED: SmartCompany - By Mike Preston - Cheryl Bowler, Principal Consultant - Carbon Markets, Energetics Pty Ltd is asked to comment on proposed legislation by the Federal Government that will require businesses to conduct carbon emission audits as the first step in implementing a carbon trading scheme.

 

Medium-sized businesses in manufacturing and transport could be forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars each year having their carbon emissions audited under legislation currently being drafted by the Federal Government.

The proposal under consideration would require businesses that emit 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year across all their operations, or 25,000 tonnes per year from a single site, to report audited results to the Federal Government, The Australian Financial Review reports today.

The requirement for businesses to have carbon emission audits is the first step in implementing the carbon trading scheme outlined in the report of the Prime Minister’s Task Group on Emissions Trading in June 2007.

Cheryl Bowler, principal consultant at environment and sustainability consultancy Energetics, says the 50,000 tonne threshold could catch medium-sized businesses with multiple sites in energy intensive sectors such as manufacturing and transport.

She gives the example of a national food manufacturer with sites in every state as a company that would be caught by the scheme.

“If you were talking gas usage, on a single site 25,000 tonnes of carbon emissions would equate to about $3 million worth of gas a year, or for a transport company with multiple sights they would need to spend about $25 million on diesel a year to reach 50,000 tonnes, so they’re quite large numbers,” Bowler says.

It costs $5000 to $30,000 for a carbon audit depending on the size of the business and the degree of accuracy required, environment industry consultants say.

The legislation is set to be introduced into Parliament later this year with a view to coming into force in July 2008. The emissions audit threshold will be phased in over three years, with those emitting 125,000 tonnes caught in the first year, 87,000 tonnes the second year and 50,000 tonnes the third year after the scheme commences.

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