Report: Australian Companies Not Ready for Carbon Emissions Reporting, Trading

October 17, 2007
Often on this blog you read about green technology programs and initiatives in the U.S. and Europe. But those aren’t the only parts of the world where people are concerned about the environmental impact of doing business. A recent report on the Web site of The Age, a newspaper covering happenings in Australia and New Zealand, highlighted an Ernst & Young report about efforts to reduce carbon footprints by companies “down under.”
According to The Age reporter Peter Hannam, the Ernst & Young report indicated that most Australian companies, while they’re making an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, are nowhere near being ready to report on carbon emissions or participate in emissions trading programs. New Zealanders are doing better, apparently; The Age blogger Leon Gettler said “New Zealand businesses are almost five times greener than their Australian counterparts.”
Regardless of what technologies or techniques they’re using to have a lighter environmental impact, the lack of readiness by Australian businesses is a problem. Starting next July 1, Hannam wrote, Australian businesses emitting more than 125,000 tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent annually will be required to report those figures to the government. But, according to the report, most companies do not yet have processes in place for reporting those numbers.
Companies will have the opportunity to reduce the carbon emissions they must report by engaging in carbon emissions trading—a program the Australian government plans to roll out no later than 2012, The Age said. Companies that don’t register or that report inaccurate number will be fined as much as $220,000.
It will be interesting to see how Australia’s environmental regulatory efforts pan out. What do you think—will companies make the necessary changes and utilize the best technologies available to make reporting accurate and to achieve reduced emissions? Or is a government-run system too bureaucratic?

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