Climate change leaders urge corporate Australia to mitigate environmental impact
Interviews conducted by The Bravery is Here show that Australia’s leading climate change business experts are urging corporate Australia to continue to mitigate climate risk and environmental impact.
This information comes following the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report which was released on Friday 27 Sep, and ahead of Australia’s largest business and government sustainability event of the year — the Australian Sustainability Conference.
The IPCC report is the first update in seven years on the science of global warming and whilst the report is seen as critical for policy makers, many are looking to the role that business can take in understanding and disseminating the information.
“It is as important for business as it is for policy makers to separate the shrill and often inaccurate information that is being circulated regarding this report from the facts that are actually in there,” urged Rupert Posner, CEO of Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA).
Posner commented that business should seek expert advice to gather insights from the report to develop a credible and long-term strategy for their business, "This report should be seen by business leaders as credible evidence for why they need to understand how sustainability issues impact on their business. If they don’t have the skills in-house to explain what it means to their business then they should seek external help. They then should share this insight with their staff so they can help develop a credible and long strategy for their business. An unformed business is a business with risk."
Matthew Shorten, Managing Director for Balance Carbon says the first step is to understand your business’carbon footprint and show how reducing emissions is as much about reducing operating costs as positively influencing social and environmental outcomes.
“The biggest challenge facing businesses in relation to their environmental impact will be waking up one morning, realising it's all about making good business decisions and that a failure to act sooner has jeopardised your competitiveness,” commented Shorten.
Initial reviews of drafts of the report had some critics claiming the science showed global warming was halting but business taking any credence in these comments run the risk of putting themselves out of business commented Posner, “Businesses need to be very clear about this - there is nothing that says that human induced climate change is any less of a risk then it was previously, indeed, the evidence suggests we are more certain,”
“Any business leaders that put their heads in the sand and think this problem has gone away are being irresponsible, not just to the wider society but also to their business.”
Posner, Shorten and The Hon. Tom Roper, Board Member of the Climate Institute, are all leading participants in the upcoming Australian Sustainability Conference, which will be Australia’s largest climate change and sustainability business event of the year, “This conference provides timely and practical insights into what proactive businesses are doing. It will ensure your business is not blindsided and can see significant benefits to ensure your business is better placed than its competitors.” concluded Posner.
The Australian Sustainability Conference and Exhibition, managed by Reed Exhibitions, is being held in Melbourne, 9-10 October at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. The Australian Sustainability Conference will be Australia’s largest sustainability event of the year as it is co-located with two major events; Australia’s premier, clean energy event, All-Energy Australia and the 2013 Waste Expo. For more information go to the Australian Sustainability Conference website.