The Greatest Opportunity of the Decade.

With the Cop 15 Climate Change event in Copenhagen drawing to a close, now is a time for reflection. A period for the governments and people involved to sit back and reflect on decisions made. Further treaties and agreements will no doubt be made over the course of the next few months as world leaders try to comprehend the scale of the challenges arrayed against them and bring about the changes needed to preserve this world and our natural resources.

But this is not the first such event, it will not be the last and there are already a host of measures in place to stem the tide of ecological damage. In April 2010 the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (previously known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment) will come into force. This is part of the government’s efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions across the UK. In particular it is focused on large organisations, across the public and private sector in an effort to change opinions and mindsets at senior management levels. In simple terms the scheme will place a cost on carbon emissions and provide caps on energy usage, whilst providing opportunities to buy and trade allowances. The key fact though is that the individual organisations will have the right to decide for themselves, the most cost effective way to go about making those reductions.

Overall the scheme is likely to affect around 20,000 organisations across the UK, who are in total responsible for approximately 10 percent of the country’s emissions. There are various means of qualification for the scheme but it is expected to initially affect local authorities and government departments as well as supermarkets, banks etc. There will be a three year roll out of the scheme with various qualification levels and phases, culminating in 2013 with the first capped phase and the beginning of carbon auctions.

Why am Iand the rest of the team at Magenta Security Services so pleased about the CRC. Why is it such a great opportunity? Well, quite frankly there are two reasons. Firstly, as an environmentalist – anything done by any organisation to improve our climate and decrease damage to the earth is, in my opinion a good thing. Many people deride the government for not doing enough (or anything at all). This is a substantial step and should at the very least raise awareness levels. Secondly, the fact that the organisations involved can make up their own minds about how to improve their energy efficiency – why? Because it provides opportunity for those smaller businesses and service providers like those few of us in the security sector, who are already going to great lengths to be energy efficient.

Those organisations across all sectors, like Magenta Security, who are already measuring, reducing or completing negating their emissions and environmental impact are in the perfect place to help the large organisations. As the scheme kicks in, the companies affected need to start looking very hard at all areas of their business, identifying potential cuts and opportunities for greater efficiency. What better place to start than the replacement of an inefficient supplier with an efficient one. The use of carbon neutral suppliers has a direct and immediate effect on the emissions of the large organisations involved in the CRC. Just think of the difference they would make by immediately changing the supply of services from carbon heavy to carbon neutral.

This is a truly great opportunity, we need to push forward with our own effort to become more environmentally conscious and thrust these facts under the noses of the purchasers in the large organisations. They will very soon have a legal and financial commitment to the reduction of emissions; companies with green credentials are going to score far more highly in tender and bidding processes than those not bothering or not caring.

We should all embrace the CRC, firstly by making sure we adhere to it principals. Even if you are too small to be affected, why not consider adopting its principals and goals. It will make you all the more appealing and at the very least ensure you understand what your customers are currently facing.

The CRC is a hugely important piece of legislation and timing is everything. It has been years since the Kyoto summit and only now are we seeing real differences in the way our policy makers behave. Just think how long it will be before the Cop 15 talks have any impact – it may well be too late by then.

Abbey Petkar

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