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Climate change policy weighs heavily on business

not enough green skills / information vacuum / carbon tax uncertainty

Climate change policy weighs heavily on business – not enough green skills / information vacuum / carbon tax uncertainty

The attached is a data summary of the second in our series of surveys that seeks to understand the impacts on business of climate change policy and potential regulation. Our specific focus has been on the Australian economy and business sector. This dataset is embargoed until midnight on the 11th October 2010.

Please also see attached media release from Matthew Tukaki, CEO and Executive Chairman of The Sustain Group (now incorporating SansGov). For those unable to download PDF’s – a summary of the dataset is below with the content of the press release from Mr Tukaki. 347 responses received sampling small, medium and large business – survey conducted between the 29th of September and 8am of the morning of the 8th of October.

(the full report summary can be downloaded here: http://www.sustaingroup.net/climatesurveyresults)

Quick data

o 63% of respondents remain unsure as to the impact of an emissions trading scheme on their specific industry sector. This is down by only 1% from the previous response of 64%

o 76.8% of respondents do not believe that Australia has the skills base to accommodate a rise in demand for green jobs or a growing green and renewable energy / technology sector. This is up from 63% in the previous survey

o 56.5% of respondents do not believe that the Government should introduce a tax on carbon ahead of a proposed emissions trading scheme (this question has been introduced into the survey and was not asked at the last survey)

o 42% of respondents do not believe the Government should wait for a global agreement on climate change while 40.6% believe they should. 17.4% were unsure.

o 63.8% or responding organisations are already taking direct action when it comes to reducing carbon footprints – this is up slightly from the previous survey which found 59% of organisations surveyed were taking direct action

o In a “balancing” question of what respondents thought of Opposition policy: 64% of respondents remain confused about what the Opposition mean by direct action. This is down from 76% in the previous survey

Executive Chairman and CEO of The Sustain Group has called for comprehensive action from both sides of politics when it comes to working within business in industry in understanding the likely impacts of climate change policy. Speaking after the release of data from the second survey in a series looking at the business response to climate change policy, Mr Tukaki indicated that while there was an immense amount of goodwill in the business sector to address the challenges of climate change, the reality was that many were struggling to understand the potential impacts of policies on both sides of politics:

“The last survey we conducted was just prior to the Federal election and even at that stage we continued to see confusion about the central tenants of policy construction and implementation. Business was saying then that they were confused about impacts, now they remain just as confused and added to this nervousness is what a possible price on carbon could do. There is a growing acceptance that there will be a form of emissions trading scheme, but respondents are feeling unease about what the implementation framework may look like.” Mr Tukaki said

“The other significant concern started off as anecdotal evidence for me when speaking at the MBA Directors Forum in May. Since then, the anecdotal evidence has been translated into raw data where 76.8% of respondents did not believe we had enough skills in the economy to support a growing green sector, particularly renewable energy and technologies. We know hundreds of millions of dollars is being invested into these sectors – what we don’t have, or are seeing, are the requisite skills that are being developed to support growth. We are also seeing an increasing demand for environmental engineers and sustainability managers – but at the real heart and soul of policy development, demand for policy skills has increased significantly. We don’t have the supply of skills in the Australian economy to accommodate this rise in demand just now.” Mr Tukaki

Mr Tukaki indicated that there was solid consistency in the raw data that shows growing acceptance, but also growing direct action from business:

“Business are already responding to the communities and consumer concern when it comes to sustainability and the environment. A large number of respondents (63.8%) were implementing programs or had already implemented programs – the challenge is now getting some consistency when it comes to benchmarking. In other words, if there is a significant amount of direct action occurring, what is it, what does it look like and what impacts will it have – there are some significant positives being overtaken by the narrow debate on a carbon tax, which incidentally, is peripheral to the broader look and feel of an emissions trading scheme.” Mr Tukaki said

Contact Matthew Tukaki for comment: 0435 636 373 or email: matthew.tukaki@sustaingroup.net

About The Sustain Group

The Sustain Group is a leading sustainability business practice that works with clients from the private and public sector when it comes to business transformation, green jobs and skills, executive briefings and learning. The Sustain Group recently integrated public sector advisory body, SansGov, into the broader services offering and, as a result, appointed Matthew Tukaki (CEO of SansGov) as the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman.

About Matthew Tukaki, CEO and Executive Chairman of “The Sustain Group”

Matthew is the former CEO of SansGov and Head of Australia’s oldest and largest employment services companies Drake Australia. Matthew was elected as Australia’s Network Representative to the United Nations Global Compact in July of 2010 and holds various board and executive advisory positions. The United Nations Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate citizenship program with more than 7,700 global signatories.

Survey Data Overview

This is the second in The Sustain Groups series of research reports and surveys into the Australian business and industry response to climate change. The first survey was conducted over a period of four weeks between June and July 2010. In the June and July survey, the number of respondents numbered 692 across three layers, small, medium and large business. In the latest survey, we have refined the methodology and held the survey over shorter period – the 29th of September through to the 8th of October. During that period there were 347 responses. Further refinement of the survey methodology included more detailed filtering that only collected data from Australian respondents. Each survey respondent was only able to submit one response. In addition, this latest survey collected anecdotal commentary from survey participants. From that perspective 31 additional comments (some detailed in length) were submitted and, where relevant, have been included to support the outcome of a specific data set. The survey was conducted using online methods and collection points.

This document is a summary of the results. If you would like a full copy of the survey results, please email research@sustaingroup.net .

Matthew Tukaki

Chief Executive Officer

Level 26, 44 Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000

P: +61 2 9089 8976

F: +61 2 9089 8979

M: + 61 (0) 435 636 373

E: matthew.tukaki@sansgov.com


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