1 April 2009

UK Government Not Motivating Industry to Reduce Carbon Emissions

Government incentives required to encourage businesses to reduce their carbon footprint

Colchester, UK, April 1st 2009 – A recent carbon accounting survey by Access Accounting has highlighted that the Government is not doing enough to motivate businesses to make carbon-reduction initiatives a priority in the workplace. A staggering 84% of respondents felt that the government needed to do more, while only 5% felt no motivation was needed.

Furthermore, 62% of respondents felt that the Government should incentivise businesses to reduce their carbon footprint by introducing beneficial tax breaks. Over half (57%) felt that greater education and public initiatives were required. As many as 36% of respondents felt that the Government should impose tougher regulations on carbon emissions even during the economic downturn.

Kevin Misselbrook, Customer Services Director for Access Accounting said, “With such a strong majority feeling, I’m surprised that green incentives haven’t been prioritised. The Government is committed to cutting greenhouse-gas emissions by 80% in the UK by the middle of the century, and this would be a big step in the right direction.”

Misselbrook continued, “While the Government needs to do more to encourage carbon-reduction, businesses should look beyond the environmental benefits of going green and understand the cost benefits associated with reducing carbon emissions. By measuring its current carbon footprint, a company can start to understand where carbon-cuts can be made. This might be initiatives to reduce power consumption and waste in the office, or utilising new communication technologies to cut back on unnecessary travelling.

“The real key to reducing carbon emissions is to encourage behavioural changes within the organisation. Businesses may be surprised when they identify their areas of highest carbon consumption and the potential associated cost savings to be made. To gain this understanding it is vital to have the right tools to measure emissions – after all, you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
John Doyle, Sustainable Development Policy Co-Coordinator, Information Society DG, European Commission said, “The carbon challenges set by governments are virtually unachievable, and the 2020 guidelines are not realistic. However, companies must start acting proactively in understanding their carbon footprints. If more companies measured and reported their carbon emissions, we would be able to get more mileage for carbon reduction.”

In 2009, Access Accounting launched Accounting for Carbon Emissions (ACE), the first practical tool to incorporate carbon emissions in the finance function. It was a landmark change, and now enables businesses to easily measure their footprint at low cost with little complexity. Access Accounting pioneered carbon footprint measurement into the day-to-day accounts function so that reporting on a business’ carbon footprint is now as easy as extracting financial reports.

Doyle continued, “ACE is an enabler, providing a tool that can help organisations manage and gain visibility of their carbon footprint. Eventually tools like ACE will be obligatory for all businesses.”

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