Monday, 29 September 2008

Carbon Forum UK

Last week Debby Lloyd spoke at Carbon Forum UK. Below is a ‘brain dump’ of her lasting impressions from the event.


A personal view – it’s always when you attend these events that the gravity of the situation hits you all over again.

In my own presentation I emphasised the complexity of the corporate situation where everyone used different words and phrases to tackle “carbon” and the huge range and scope of projects that are tackled. It’s not difficult but it is hugely complex because all of the subjects below touch on every aspect of our businesses today.

Some salient points made by some of the “thought leaders” present:-

The Corporate Leadership Group feel more ambitious Government targets to drive improvements should have been set – the current 8% level they felt was lacking in “bite”. I asked the question about visibility at “CFO” level on the upcoming CRC (Carbon Reduction Commitment). The general consensus was 8% reduction could easily be lost on the balance sheet of major corporates and therefore it wasn’t visible.

Concerns also about “adaptation” and how to take things “beyond carbon”
CDP6 was launched in the USA with 70% of the world’s largest financial companies responding this time.

A demand for increase in the amount of policy to drive positive investment, but they do not want punitive policy and there was concern over the amount of corporate red tape already in place.
Institutional investors are currently very concerned about the sustainability aspects of their investments and the impact on company value behind negative performance and publicity
Carbon Reduction Commitment launch – targeting the entities responsible for 10% of the total UK emissions landscape – provoked discussion around the “two tier” system that was clearly emerging.

On Energy Management EN16001 - the new European energy management standard, due to be launched mid 2009. BSi are piloting early movers next year. Regarding energy audit/surveys – the UK are taking a lead on developing the new European standards. The new international energy management standard ISO 500001 will supersede the European standard.

There are some interesting discussions happening in the US on “world population”.

Lots going on in the world of Smart Metering – if you can’t measure it you can’t improve it and there is a big problem with measurement.

Doubt as to whether oil demand (if it continues rising at its current rate) will not be met come 2011.

University of Liverpool are now offering an oil dependency Audit.

Some interesting “world legal” dynamics – seeing a transition in the UK from “deterrent environmental law” (i.e. standards and penalties for breach –v- “behavioural change law” e.g. CRC.

Some technology challenges, for example in Waste to Energy – overcoming the emerging technologies which transfer waste outside of the waste stream once processed. Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) – concerns as to the speed of evolution.

Education – University of East Anglia have the first Carbon Management MBA – it’s fully subscribed.

Skills – there are skills shortages but corporates are just not being flexible enough in an emerging and disparate skills marketplace and are holding out for the perfect experience and skills-set that simply doesn’t exist in volume. Environmental qualifications are all very well but without the commercial bottom line translation skills and cross functional project management ability there’s a real risk to progress. What of career progression and longevity too? It’s a bit like the millennium bug rush. Once it’s done - what next?

The Carbon Forum UK website will be officially launched in January 2009. For further information contact Jeremy Blow of Zeno Communications Ltd via

Feel free to give your thoughts on any of these points below in the comments section.

No comments:

Post a Comment