Taking carbon out of the “too-hard” basket

The bottom line of sustainability – how to make a profit in the new carbon economy – will be the focus of Carbon Reduction & Trading Expo and Conference when it runs from March 31 to April 2 in Melbourne.

The bottom line of sustainability — how to make a profit in the new carbon economy — will be the focus of Carbon Reduction & Trading Expo and Conference when it runs from March 31 to April 2 in Melbourne.

The event is the first of its kind in Australia and aims to demystify carbon management ahead of the introduction of the carbon trading scheme next July.

“Business is crying out for someone to pull it all together for them,” says expo organiser, Marie Kinsella of Australian Exhibitions & Conferences.

“Most of the conference presenters and exhibitors I’ve spoken with say Australian SMEs have put carbon management in the ‘too-hard’ basket. You can’t blame them. Even the experts are struggling with the implications of the new carbon economy.

“The Expo and Conference will boil it all down into the practical steps businesses must take to deal with the demands they’ll face from government, suppliers and customers when this new regime begins in 15 months’ time.”

Although only large emitters will be caught under the carbon trading scheme from July next year, Leon Young, co-founder of sustainability education firm Change2, says businesses of all shapes and sizes need to act immediately.

“A common mistake business owners make is to think that if they aren’t one of the 1,000 biggest emitters, the CPRS won’t affect them,” Young says.

“If you have a customer that is included in the CPRS you will be directly affected. The carbon emissions generated by your product or service form part of the supply chain, and therefore you’ll be expected to account for them.

“It is critical that all businesses understand what the low carbon economy will mean for them and start educating their staff. This can be an opportunity or a risk for business. At the moment, no one needs more risk,” Young said.

“Given the state of the economy, now is the time to move. Many of the easiest changes business can make to reduce their carbon footprint also result in immediate and direct savings. This is particularly true when it comes to changing the behaviour and practices of staff.”

Young is one of the speakers to host eleven open forum sessions at the Carbon Reduction & Trading Expo, addressing topics that range from how to become carbon neutral to workplace education.

Complementing the free advice, the expo will showcase technology capable of generating power from wind, water, solar and even effluent.

Energy saving devices will stretch from efficient LED lights through to nanotechnology.

The concurrent Carbon Reduction & Trading Conference will feature an extensive line-up of high-profile speakers, including the Department of Climate Change assistant secretary, Anthea Harris, who will present an update on CPRS legislation and what it means for business, plus experts from Sustainability Victoria, the Climate Change Institute, CHOICE, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Origin Energy, Coffey Environments and the National Australia Bank.

The Carbon Reduction & Trading Expo and Conference will be held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from March 31 to April 2.

For more information, visit www.actexpo.com.au or phone Australian Exhibitions & Conferences on (03) 9654 7773.