Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Carbon Cuts Save Business Billions

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Carbon Cuts Save Business Billions

Article excerpt

WITH a carbon price firmly on Prime Minister Julia Gillard's agenda, there's a strong business a not political a case to be made for lowering energy consumption and emissions, a sustainability consultant says.

Dr Martin Blake, who consults leading organisations in the UK, US and Middle East, says companies have a fiduciary duty to shareholders to use proven technologies which can cut energy consumption by 20% to 40%.

Moving to a low energy intensive model would provide a net positive to the bottom line and was effective risk management against future tax exposure, asset depreciation, insurance and financial risk, he said.

aIf the internal rate of return on some of these energy saving interventions is higher than your core business, how can you afford not to do it?a Dr Blake said.

aIn fact, they have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to proceed with projects that add value to the bottom line.a

As a consultant to UK's Royal Mail, Dr Blake has overseen 30 million pounds ($A48.1million) in annual savings, plus a 20% reduction in the company's carbon footprint, over three years. He's also consulted for the oil industry in the Middle East and says the internal rate of return on some energy initiatives in the resource sector reached as high as 900%.

aA Middle Eastern oil company ... went through the process and they are now saving a billion dollars a year on their energy that they were using previously in processing,a he said. aIn the oil industry, where you are looking at processing issues and process change, you could measure payback periods sometimes in minutes.

aSo why would you be frightened to invest in something that has such a high rate of return?a

Last week, Ms Gillard said carbon had to be priced in the national interest and she remained committed to that course of action.

aI don't want to experience an energy shock in fossil fuel prices and a fossil fuel constrained future,a she said. aI don't want our economy to be left behind. I do not want a debate that is ruled by fear instead of facts.a

But Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has vowed to scrap the carbon price and cap-and-trade proposal if his party is elected. …

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