Magazine article New Zealand Management

In the Dark on Emission Risks

Magazine article New Zealand Management

In the Dark on Emission Risks

Article excerpt

Go to your next shareholders' meeting and ask if the firm you own part of has assessed its emissions--and has a plan to deal with them and their cost.

It's likely you'll find only seven out of every 100 firms have even measured their emissions, most have no plan in place to cut them, and, disturbingly, managers, boards and shareholders are being kept in the dark about the risks they face.

The sectors facing the biggest carbon emission bills--and opportunities to cut or avoid them--are poorly prepared.

As the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was voted into law at 9.37pm on September 10, thousands of New Zealanders were completing a ShapeNZ survey asking them if the organisations they work for or own have measured emissions, have had them properly verified, have a plan to manage them, and regularly report to their CEOs, boards and shareholders on their emissions liabilities.

The results should concern any shareholder. Emissions pricing is coming, regardless of which parties form the next government. Most affected will be manufacturing, the primary sector (agriculture, forestry and fishing) and transport.

But the ShapeNZ results, covering 2455 respondents nationwide (and weighted to represent the population and with a margin of error of two percent on the national sample) reveal:

* 38 percent of respondents in manufacturing, 43 percent in the primary sector and 22 percent in transport or storage know their organisations will be involved in the mandatory ETS.

* Emissions have been measured by only 21 percent in manufacturing, five percent in agriculture, forestry and fishing, and eight percent in transport.

* Only 15 percent in manufacturing have had their emission measurements certified by an independent expert third party, five percent in the primary sector and seven percent in transport.

* Only 37 percent in manufacturing are developing an emissions reduction plan, and it gets worse in the primary sector (nine percent) and transport (seven percent).

* Only 12 percent or fewer in the three sectors have already implemented an emissions reduction plan.

It's probably not surprising they don't want to confess their lack of preparedness to their managers and owners:

* Only two percent of CEOs in manufacturing are getting regular reports on their organisations' emissions status and liabilities, six percent in the primary sectors and five percent in transport. …

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