The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2010-10-10T07:41:22Z Climate change policy weighs heavily on business 2010-10-10T07:41:22Z climate-change-policy-weighs-heavily-on-business 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 TukakiMr 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 www.sansgov.com Australia I North America I Singapore I Hong Kong I Beijing I Bangkok I Dubai I South Korea Please consider the impact of printing this email. One ream of paper = 5.4 kg CO2 in the atmosphere; 3 sheets of A4 paper = 1 litre of water. The content of this email is for the intended recipiant only. This email does not neccesarily express a view or opinion held by SansGov or The Sustain Group nor should the content of this email be explicitly interpreted unless officially sanctioned. Any report, summary, data or information provided by SansGov or The Sustain Group also does not express the view or opinion held by clients, both private and public sector. If you have received this email in error please notify the sender and delete the copy. Major challenges ahead for skills and employment in a resurgent Australian economy / September Job Figures (ABS) 2010-10-07T00:03:23Z major-challenges-ahead-for-skills-and-employment-in-a-resurgent-australian-economy-september-job-figures-abs Major challenges ahead for skills and employment in a resurgent Australian economy / September Job Figures (ABS) This release can also be located @ http://www.sustaingroup.net/septemberjobnumbers o Competitive skills market could put pressure on interest rates o Employee turnover expected to increase slightly in some sectors o Retail and hospitality jobs could be impact by a slowdown in Christmas spending o Carbon tax and an emissions trading scheme to cause real headaches Executive Chairman of The Sustain Group, Matthew Tukaki, has again cautioned Government and business that while the unemployment figures released by the ABS for September will continue to show consistency, as the Australian economy heads into the final quarter of 2010 we will see wage pressure make a return in addition to a fall in skill supply: Competitive skills market could put pressure on interest rates “The Australian economy is very strong, much more so than other nations in developed countries – however, with economic strength comes additional challenges such as supply in key skill categories declining, the development of a competitive skills market from West to East Coast which in turn is driving wages up.” Mr Tukaki said “As an example, as more projects continue to come on-line in Western Australia, those companies will be competing for the same skills as organisations from Queensland, particularly in the North, where demand is out-stripping supply in the engineering and trades categories. What this means for a place like Darwin and the Territory, where some major projects are also coming on-line, is the affordability of skills then weighs heavily on project viability. We run the very dangerous risk of having wage increases that then, in turn, put pressure on interest rates.” Mr Tukaki said. Employee turnover expected to increase slightly in some sectors “We are also seeing the majority of employers now returning people to the hours they had worked pre GFC and – in addition, salaries, overall, have been restored. There is still some angst out there and ill feeling towards employers who did not move fast enough and so we will probably see higher turnover rates in sectors such as banking and finance as employees abandon employers and head to new opportunities – but that disruption in our labour market will be relatively minor and certainly not be as significant as some commentators now claim – from what I am hearing, people are seeking stability and a settling period.” Mr Tukaki said Retail and hospitality jobs could be impact by a slowdown in Christmas spending “We also have to be mindful that we are moving into a very heavy employment market entry period with students either leaving high school or exiting universities for the holidays. A lot of these students normally head into the retail and hospitality sectors which traditionally show demand over the peak Christmas period – this year, with no Government stimulus encouraging people to “spend” – we might see a decline in casual and part time jobs compared to 2007 / 8 figures.” Mr Tukaki said Carbon tax and an emissions trading scheme to cause real headaches “With the debate raging about whether or not a tax on carbon will be introduced ahead of an ETS in 2013 – the reality is, we just do not have enough skills in the economy at present to effectively manage any new regulatory environment. In our latest “Green Business Survey” (which will be released on the 12th of October) a whopping 75.8% of respondents do not believe we have enough skills in the economy to manage a new regulatory environment. Also, the demand side for green skills such as environmental engineers, sustainability directors and managers have increased thirty fold – we are finding an increasing need to look offshore for the relevant skills.” Mr Tukaki said Mr Tukaki has said that there is an increasing need to look at the skills question versus the immigration question which seems to confuse the debate about how to effectively plan our national workforce. Mr Tukaki indicated that skills gaps would become much more visible in the first and second quarter of 2011 and he further expected a continued decline in unemployment through to the third and final quarter of 2011. ENDS o For comment: Matthew Tukaki 0435 636 373 o About Matthew Tukaki: Matthew Tukaki is Executive Chairman of The Sustain Group and Australia’s Representative to the United Nations Global Compact. Matthew is also the former Head of Drake Australia, the nation’s oldest and largest employment company o About The Sustain Group: The Sustain Group encompasses policy advisory body, SansGov. There are three divisions of the business, Recruitment, Education and Consulting Services. For more information log onto www.sustaingroup.net Matthew Tukaki Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer The Sustain Group Pty Ltd 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@sustaingroup.net www.sustaingroup.net Australia I North America I Singapore I Hong Kong I Beijing I Bangkok I Dubai I South Korea Please consider the impact of printing this email. One ream of paper = 5.4 kg CO2 in the atmosphere; 3 sheets of A4 paper = 1 litre of water. The content of this email is for the intended recipiant only. This email does not neccesarily express a view or opinion held by SansGov or The Sustain Group nor should the content of this email be explicitly interpreted unless officially sanctioned. Any report, summary, data or information provided by SansGov or The Sustain Group also does not express the view or opinion held by clients, both private and public sector. If you have received this email in error please notify the sender and delete the copy. July unemployment numbers welcomed / more needs to be done for older Australians and Indigenous people 2010-08-12T01:40:28Z july-unemployment-numbers-welcomed-more-needs-to-be-done-for-older-australians-and-indigenous-people Matthew Tukaki, CEO of business sustainability practice SansGov and former Head of Drake Australia, has welcomed news that unemployment rates have stabilised further, even though there has been a slight increase – but has said, more needs to be done to address the increasing disparity in Indigenous employment and the increasing number of older Australians becoming long term unemployed: “The employment numbers remain strong, even though they have increased slightly - and it is further indication on the increasing stability of the jobs market. The participation rate us up slightly and there appears to by more part time versus full time jobs on offer. I expect that before the end of the year, the unemployment rate will fall further and when we get towards October and November I also expect we will see an increase in the number of full time jobs being created versus part time. We have to put this into context, because the United States and European Countries are still averaging unemployment at between 9.5% and 20%.” Mr Tukaki said Employment increased to 11,220,600 Unemployment increased to 619,100 Unemployment rate at 5.2% Participation rate at 65.3% Aggregate monthly hours worked increased to 1,583.4 million hours“We must be conscious that we do not see the unemployment numbers as simply a job done, and now let’s move on. There is still significant disadvantage in some sectors of our community such as Indigenous employment. I attended the launch of the GenerationOne policy yesterday in Sydney with the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott , Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek and Twiggy Forrest. Let me tell you Indigenous unemployment being 3 times higher than non-indigenous unemployment is a disgrace and we need real solutions to a problem that has been plaguing our house for decades.” Mr Tukaki said. “With increasing demands on skills within industry, this is a perfect time to address disparity in employment from the increasing number of older Australians moving into long term unemployment statistics, Indigenous Australians where the rate is three times higher and disabled Australians who are able to work, but turned away by employers for, in many cases, no good reason at all.” Mr Tukaki said. Mr Tukaki has called on business and industry to commit to changing and modifying hiring practices and not just signing up to programs to better the brand of the business, but actually achieve targets they set: “A number of organisations sign up to corporate social responsibility programs or initiatives, but often struggle to meet the commitments they make. If you commit to increasing the indigenous diversity of your workforce and are unsure how to then meet your objectives, then get in touch with the program owners such as GenerationOne or the UNGC who can work with you.” Mr Tukaki said. Mr Tukaki has said that business and industry should be applauded for how they have managed their workforces over the past 12 months: “Let’s be blunt here – yes stimulus and the reforms for the previous Howard Government have been important factors – but let’s not forget the role business played in retaining workers, diversifying the workforce and keeping Australian’s employed when it was still quite possible for redundancies and lay-offs to have been a daily occurrence – we call that sustainable business practice, an important lesson learnt from the last recession.” Business Leader calls for the establishment of 2010-08-09T04:48:36Z business-leader-calls-for-the-establishment-of-sustainability-australia For immediate release: http://www.sansgov.com/mediasustainabilityaustralia.html/ www.sansgov.com Matthew Tukaki, CEO of SansGov and former Head of the nation’s oldest employment company, Drake Australia has today called for the establishment of a national body, one that can co-ordinate and develop a strategic approach to the problems associated with skills, population and migration. “My view is, increasingly, that we need a collaborative national approach – lets centralise the policy development, include business and industry and if we have to – let’s put a name to it and call it “Sustainability Australia” – it can be a national, cross party, consensus based approach that focuses on the make-up of our population, our workforce and our economy. Such an organisation can provide business with certainty, the community with clarity around the issues of population and policy makers with a co-ordinated approach – in terms of funding, I am more than happy to go out there and advocate business pitch in, if Government does as well.” Mr Tukaki said “At the moment I fear that the discussion around a sustainable population, and all the things we need to underpin it, is being eroded by the continued focus purely on immigration. This is the same angst that is playing out in the United States and across Europe but it is not a debate about ensuring we have a sustainable population based on a sustainable skills base – it is one of immigration. In the United States in the last few weeks we have had the case in Arizona where police can now stop and verify the identity of a person who may look as if they are illegal right down to one US Law Maker wanting to stop babies of foreign parents born on American soil from gaining citizenship (which requires a significant constitutional amendment). While I do not disagree that portions of our society are concerned with immigration, and in some cases rightly so, or that immigration does play a role, when politicians and policy makers talk about a sustainable population we need to have perspective and facts, not emotional attachments to other debates that are far more complex and highly charged.” Mr Tukaki said Mr Tukaki, who will be presenting a keynote speech on the issue of “sustainable population post the global financial crisis” at the Australian recruitment and employment industries annual conference in two weeks time, has said the debate needs to shift several gears: “We are faced with an increasingly aging population, a population we know is migrating to coastal and retirement centres such as Queensland and the Central Coast of NSW. The question is, once these people arrive in those locations, and they are arriving in their hundreds and thousands, do we have the infrastructure required to support them? Do we have a local workforce that one day would have been made up of tourism and hospitality professionals, but the next needs to be made up of healthcare and aged care professionals? Our suburbs in our major metropolitan centres such as Western Sydney are already bursting at the seams – in fact, I was driving through Hoxton Park recently, certainly not a new suburb of Liverpool, and the remedial infrastructure work going on there appears to have been going on for years – by the time you finish one part, it’s out of date and not enough.“ Mr Tukaki said “We need to combine our efforts with a sustainable population sitting at the centre and around that, infrastructure and services. From a business perspective, I fear that if we do not have a strategic approach to population we will be faced by significant pressure on our skills base which at the moment is unique in the western world – unique in the sense that in places such as the United States and Europe a large percentage of the unemployment rate is made up of skilled workers – as those economies recover, the unemployed skilled population will transition back into the workforce – for the Australian economy our problem is much greater in so far as our skilled unemployment rate is certainly nowhere near that of other nations. In that sense, we need to re-skill, up-skill and re-tool our current unemployed unskilled work-base at the same time as ensuring we have skilled workers entering the economy so we don’t end up with a skills crisis that could hit us at any time in the next 12 months.” Mr Tukaki said The ABS labour force statistics are due out this Thursday and Mr Tukaki anticipates that the rate will show further stabilisation. Mr Tukaki also said that the fall in online job advertisements was not a negative thing as the final arbiter will always be the number of jobs actually created and people in work as opposed to the number of jobs advertised: “We need a serious, national discussion on what our future skills base will look like, where and how our economy is diversifying, what key geographical locations will grow versus those that will be in decline and then – where and how our population will be constructed over the next ten, twenty and fifty years. The last thing anyone wants is another skills crisis that just leads to hopscotch in skilled migration and immigration policies.” Mr Tukaki said Mr Tukaki will be delivering his keynote speech on “A Sustainable Australia Post the GFC” at the annual RCSA conference being held in Hobart, Tasmania, between the 25th – 27th of August About SansGov:SansGovis a multi-disciplined consulting and services business focusing on providing Government, business and industry with a comprehensive set of solutions for both simple and complex problems.Established a decade ago, SansGov works closely with clients in the fields of business transformation and change management, sustainability and supply chain reviews, policy development when it comes to positioning for the greening of the economy and education briefing programs to both teach and collaborate around key issues of the day - issues such as preparing and transforming business post the global financial crisis, identification of opportunities when it comes to sustainability and working within both simple and complex regulatory environments domestically and globally. United States Climate Report does not bode well for Australia 2010-07-28T23:54:33Z united-states-climate-report-does-not-bode-well-for-australia United States Climate Report does not bode well for Australia / business executive calls the political parties into direct action United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report shows that snow cover, glaciers and sea ice have significantly decreased Temperature over land and ocean heat content have increased More than 90% of the warming that has occurred in the last 50 years has been absorbed by Earth’s oceans 59% of Australian business is already implementing direct carbon reduction programs Matthew Tukaki, CEO of business sustainability and green jobs practice, SansGov, has said the release overnight of the report of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration annual “State of the Climate Report” re-affirms that the world is already significant climate change impacts thanks to a rise in temperatures associated with greenhouse gas. Recently, SansGov released a report showing the business and industry response to climate change was reasonably high compared to pre-existing anecdotal evidence (59% of 692 respondents indicated they were implementing carbon reduction programs irrespective of Government climate change policy while the bulk of the remainder indicated a wait and see approach). “The report is comprehensive and we have a cross section of data from 300 scientists around the world. In fact 48 countries, including Australia, were involved in compiling the data and conducting the analysis. The report clearly shows that the temperature has been greater in each year from 1990 and, in some cases, has hit record levels – as is the case in some States of Australia.” Mr Tukaki said. “Even when you look at the 10 key indicators in the report you will see that are declines in things such as glaciers, snow cover and sea ice. If you have a look at other reports and align those with the data coming from NOAA, you cannot miss the realisation that global warming is already impacting the planet and the indicators do not bode well for the future” Mr Tukaki said Mr Tukaki did, however, caution Government policy makers who may be tempted to “rush” into action based on the data coming from the NOAA report: “I have no doubt we will probably see a price on carbon and a global carbon trading system put in place over the coming 2-5 years. The challenge for economies both developed and developing is ensuring we have the infrastructure, skills and supporting frameworks in place to ensure that if an ETS is one of the silver bullets, that it becomes real and measurable with tangible outcomes, and not just another tax or levy.” Mr Tukaki said. “The reality we are dealing with is very serious and so you need a serious and well mapped out approach. In the Australian election campaign it would be good to see announcements on specific investments into green skills development, particularly for vocational and tertiary education institutions, and incentives for business to act more directly and more quickly – this could be the ability to back date carbon credits providing the business is able to show and prove audited data.” Mr Tukaki said. “When it comes to households, I am generally finding that people are, and have been acting, for some time to modify habits, recycle more and reduce energy consumption – that said, when it comes to housing construction, offering more incentives to builders and developers to build more energy efficient homes while at the same time installing smart water systems.” Mr Tukaki said. “The policies of the major political parties are targeted towards the same goal, reduction of carbon emissions – some people may not like the concept of a community consensus, but the concept of consensus itself is important. What would work even better is if we established not only a group of eminent scientists, but business leaders, academics and community leaders to work alongside the body politic to come up with a tangible plan that covers a carbon tax, direct action, investment in technology, investment in green skills and jobs development.” Mr Tukaki said The NOAA report, released overnight, can be found here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/ Things business can do now: 1. Heavy industry: being to look at how you can re-engineer business process to create more energy efficient techniques. Set yourself an annual carbon reduction target and include things such as energy consumption and reduction of waste 2. Construction and infrastructure: it takes 40-60% less energy to produce secondary steel versus virgin steel – increase the amount of secondary steel in the construction of buildings and infrastructure thereby lowering the carbon emissions created by producing primary steel. 3. Government: could consider mandating a certain % of recyclable products be included when it comes to tenders. Because a number of small businesses are normally innovators in this area, it could be the case that there is flow on effects to increase the amount of Government business going to small business. Government could also provide a mandated requirement for Tenderers to have a sustainability program in place and, importantly, audit it 4. Transportation: increase the incentives for care users to adopt public transport. Bus and rail prices have been increasing across the States – maybe a financial incentive is the right way to go. “The policies of the major political parties are targeted towards the same goal, reduction of carbon emissions – some people may not like the concept of a community consensus, but the concept of consensus itself is important. What would work even better is if we established not only a group of eminent scientists, but business leaders, academics and community leaders to work alongside the body politic to come up with a tangible plan that covers a carbon tax, direct action, investment in technology, investment in green skills and jobs development.” Mr Tukaki said Extracted directly from the report: Extreme Weather in 2009 In Brazil, extreme rainfall in the Amazon basin caused the worst flood in a century. Forty people were killed and 376,000 were left homeless. In southeastern South America, the wettest November in 30 years displaced thousands of people. In northwest England, heavy rainfall flooded the Lake District, setting new records for river flows and damaging 1,500 properties. In northern Iberia and southern France, a North Atlantic storm raked the land with record winds, downed power lines, closed airports and blocked railroads. Three intense heat waves broke temperature records in Australia. One of them was accompanied by high winds that fanned bushfires, killing 173 people. The central north Pacific, which includes Hawaii, experienced several tropical cyclones after years of relative calm. About SansGov: SansGov was formed in 2001 as a knowledge and information management consultancy. In 2003 it added business transformation and change management to its scope of services and in 2009 the business introduced a sustainability practice. SansGov has been behind a range of significant reviews including the review of information management at the Joint House Department of the Parliament of Australia and the Australian Communications Authority. Matthew Tukaki is the CEO of SansGov. About Matthew Tukaki: Matthew Tukaki is CEO of SansGov and is the former Head of Drake Australia, the nation’s oldest and largest employment company. In addition to leading Drake in Australia, Matthew was also responsible for the business in Asia and was the companies power of attorney. Matthew is also the former Chairman of the WorkWise group’s executive committee and on the 1st of July 2010 assumed the role as Australia’s representative to the United Nations Global Compact (www.unglobalcompact.com) . The UNGC is the world’s largest business and industry led corporate social responsibility program with some 7,000 members worldwide. For comment: Direct dial number: 02 9698 3983 Mobile number: 0435 636 373 Email: matthew.tukaki@sansgov.com INFLATION STEADY / HOUSEHOLD INCOME PRESSURE AND UNDEREMPLOYMENT LOOM LARGE 2010-07-28T03:56:37Z inflation-steady-household-income-pressure-and-underemployment-loom-large Inflation steady but pressure on household income should be of significant concern / employers need to be careful / underemployment looms large Matthew Tukaki, who led the nation’s oldest and largest employment company through the worst of the Global Financial Crisis (Drake Australia) has said today’s inflation figures are a stronger than ever signal that cost of living pressures have begun to bite across Australian households and further re-iterated that underemployment was a danger to the economy and the community. Tukaki, who is now the CEO of business sustainability organisation SansGov has previously warned that underemployment would lead to lower consumer spending and a reduction in consumption of household necessities such as power and phones: “Even though I said time and time again last year the recession and financial crisis would largely be less of an impact on Australia than other developed countries, it was largely due to a change in how we managed our workforce. While employers were not laying off large numbers of people, they were diversifying the workforce, cutting back on hours and, in some cases, reducing salaries. In my own case, I took a $30,000 salary reduction. It was partly to do with employers being unsure as to the actual impacts of the GFC and also the knowledge that by laying off and then re-employing a few months or even a year later, this would lead to higher costs, not necessarily cost savings” Mr Tukaki said “This of course has led to a decline in consumer spending. We can see that in flat retail figures and even cuts in the amount being spent on phones and power. Spending on food is down and new credit card applications have also fallen – what we are seeing is twofold – the first being Australian’s are measuring every dollar and cent. The second is we possibly still have a large number of people who are still on reduced hours, still not returned to full time wages or – and this is the difficult, having started 2009 on a full time, permanent position, now working casually or part time.” Mr Tukaki said “The danger this has is any increase in interest rates or the cost of living will simply add to the pressures on households which, in turn, can have a disastrous impact as those pressures play out in family and home life. While the Reserve Bank may not increase rates, the major banks have done so anyway and we need to be very careful what the impacts of a rate rise could be.” Mr Tukaki said “In January, as the economy was clearly on the path to recovery, employers had the first chance to return people to normal hours or working conditions. We need to be careful not to take advantage of a workforce dynamic that should only have been intended to get us through the worst of a recession – not as an ongoing way to maximise productivity through lower labour costs” Mr Tukaki said Mr. Tukaki will be focussing on the recovery of the Australian economy and the employment market in a speech he will be making at the Recruitment Industries annual conference being held in Hobart, Tasmania, next month. About SansGov:SansGov was formed in 2001 as a knowledge and information management consultancy. In 2003 it added business transformation and change management to its scope of services and in 2009 the business introduced a sustainability practice. SansGov has been behind a range of significant reviews including the review of information management at the Joint House Department of the Parliament of Australia and the Australian Communications Authority. Matthew Tukaki is the CEO of SansGov.About Matthew Tukaki:Matthew Tukaki is CEO of SansGov and is the former Head of Drake Australia, the nation’s oldest and largest employment company. In addition to leading Drake in Australia, Matthew was also responsible for the business in Asia and was the companies power of attorney. Matthew is also the former Chairman of the WorkWise group’s executive committee and on the 1st of July 2010 assumed the role as Australia’s representative to the United Nations Global Compact (www.unglobalcompact.com) . The UNGC is the world’s largest business and industry led corporate social responsibility program with some 7,000 members worldwide.For comment: Direct dial number: 02 9698 3983 Mobile number: 0435 636 373 Email: matthew.tukaki@sansgov.com Business Leader welcomes ALP Climate Policy / data shows the nation is unprepared for an ETS 2010-07-23T06:53:14Z business-leader-welcomes-alp-climate-policy-data-shows-the-nation-is-unprepared-for-an-ets The author behind a recent survey on green jobs, business & climate change has offered strong support in response to Labours announcement of its climate change policy this morning. Matthew Tukaki, who is also the former Head of the nation’s largest employment company Drake Australia, has said that the response may fall short of consumer and individual voter demands, but the approach of getting the framework right is sensible: “Our recent survey, released just prior to the election being called, did indicate that while business generally accepted that an ETS was inevitable, there was just not enough understanding about what an ETS would mean to them or what the implications would be for their specific industry sector. 64% of respondents are not clear on what the impacts of an Emissions Trading Scheme or a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme will be on them (or their industry) 78% of respondents believe that not enough is being done to explain the key policies or their potential impacts 63% of respondents believe that the Australian economy does not have the adequate number of green skills to manage an ETS implementation or its aftermath 59% of organisations are moving ahead with the implementation of their own carbon reduction programs 76% of respondents also don’t understand or are confused by what the Opposition means as direct action So, for business this is a good outcome because it provides time to build the necessary awareness around impacts and implications, as well as begin the mapping process for what skills will be required in the economy and where those skills will come from.” Mr Tukaki said “I think we need to be clear and understand that without that awareness and understanding around implications, without the important elements of defining what skills will be required and where they come from, you run the risk of implementing a framework that will fail at the first outing. You cannot simply set a price on carbon and then re-engineer the back end of an economy, you have to prepare it first.” Mr Tukaki said “The challenge for the Government and the Opposition would have been the implementation of an ETS or setting a universal price carbon without also understanding the impacts on consumers. In New Zealand energy prices surged after the implementation of that ETS post July 1st 2010, and calls were made by the regulator warning against price gauging. At a time when cost of living is increasing setting an upfront price on carbon could very well impact the consumer side of the economy in addition to business.” Mr Tukaki has said “We need to prepare economy for the opportunities that come with climate change, not just the challenges. A recent survey showed (ACTU / Conservation Foundation) that in Queensland alone a further 3.7 million jobs over twenty could be added.” Mr Tukaki said Mr Tukaki is currently working on establishing the first National Green Jobs Index for Australia that will track and map job creation in the green economy and will provide raw data on what types of jobs are being created across the various industry sectors. For comment: Matthew Tukaki, 0435 636 373 For copy of the survey results see: http://www.sansgov.com/mediaclimatesurveyjuly.html About SansGov: SansGov was formed in 2001 as a knowledge and information management consultancy. In 2003 it added business transformation and change management to its scope of services and in 2009 the business introduced a sustainability practice. SansGov has been behind a range of significant reviews including the review of information management at the Joint House Department of the Parliament of Australia and the Australian Communications Authority. Matthew Tukaki is the CEO of SansGovAbout Matthew Tukaki: Matthew Tukaki is CEO of SansGov and is the former Head of Drake Australia, the nation’s oldest and largest employment company. In addition to leading Drake in Australia, Matthew was also responsible for the business in Asia and was the companies power of attorney. Matthew is also the former Chairman of the WorkWise group’s executive committee and on the 1st of July 2010 assumed the role as Australia’s representative to the United Nations Global Compact (www.unglobalcompact.com) . The UNGC is the world’s largest business and industry led corporate social responsibility program with some 7,000 members worldwide. Future surveys: Green jobs and skills: August 2010 Business reaction to climate change policies and announcements: September 2010 A copy of the full report with analysis will be released from the 19th of July. For a copy email info@sansgov.com "Business response to climate change: Government and Opposition called to question" 2010-07-14T21:42:11Z business-response-to-climate-change-government-and-opposition-called-to-question www.sansgov.comMain survey themes:Survey covered 692 businesses categorized as small, medium or enterprise64% of respondents are not clear on what the impacts of an Emissions Trading Scheme or a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme will be on them (or their industry)78% of respondents believe that not enough is being done to explain the key policies or their potential impacts63% of respondents believe that the Australian economy does not have the adequate number of green skills to manage an ETS implementation or its aftermath59% of organisations are moving ahead with the implementation of their own carbon reduction programs76% of respondents also don’t understand or are confused by what the Opposition means as direct actionMatthew Tukaki, the CEO of SansGov, has released the first in a series of business surveys dealing with climate change policies and how they impact business. Conducted over a period of two weeks with a total number of 692 respondents, the survey shows significant gaps between proposed Government policies and on the ground implementation:“The survey really does show that business and industry are struggling with understanding what impact an ETS or a CPRS will have on them and while there is an agreement that more needs to be done on climate change the general, and in some cases overwhelming, sentiment is the Government just isn’t explaining itself.In fact, 78% of respondents do not believe the ETS policy has been explained properlyin order for them to form a view on the likely impacts. Some of the anecdotal comments coming through feedback, aside from the raw data, shows genuine confusion about what sectors of the economy and industries would be impacted and the scale of the cost, while several indicated concern over whether or not such a complex regulatory and taxation environment may in fact head the same way as the previously proposed RSPT” Mr. Tukaki said“Another concerning variable is that63% of respondents do not believe that we have sufficient skills in the economyto implement complex regulatory environments around an ETS or CPRS, let alone managing a framework from a business by business perspective. This is backed up by a debate within the education community on how to best define sustainability and, therefore, what new or additional education programs need to be introduced to provide the economy with the requisite skills needed – this is no longer a question of simply developing skills for a renewable technology / energy sector, it is about the broader need for green skills that touch everything from the regulatory environment through to the supply chain.” Mr. Tukaki said“The Opposition certainly does not escape criticism with 76% of respondents either not understanding (44%) or being confused (32%)about what they mean by direct action on climate change. In terms of direct action, it is clear that business is already responding to climate change by implementing individual or industry based direct action. In fact 59% have indicated they are already taking direct action through implementing their own carbon reduction programs with these centred on reduction in energy consumption, modifications to travel policies and transportation, increasing interest in green star rated buildings and leases, and a greater interest in the carbon footprint of suppliers. Several respondents commented “what additional direct action could they implement?” Mr. Tukaki said.“On the question of leadership64% of respondents would prefer the Government to take a domestic leadership role when it comes to climate change policies, while it is evenly split on the question of whether or not the Government should wait for a global consensus.” Mr Tukaki saidWhat is clear is the general acceptance that climate change is very real and there is a significant move towards sustainability and the implementation of individual carbon reduction programs. For many in the retail side, this has been to some degree dictated by changes in consumer behaviour over time. This consumer movement has led to cleaner and greener products and services being developed and has, to some degree dictated emerging products and packaging. Another point that is not lost through the survey data is a move by business to implement and enforce stronger sustainability measures on supply chains and where they procure the raw materials from:“There have been several cases recently where online media and consumer movements have led to the dumping of some primary producers because of how they have grown or manufactured the raw materials – this in turn has led to business and industry changing the way it procures by introducing tougher sustainability and environmental requirements as part of contracts and agreements. This is one of the direct measures large corporations and buyers are introducing that do flow past just domestic production and into foreign markets such as Indonesia for paper products and South America and Africa for coca.” Mr Tukaki said.“We now have several surveys out from different sectors from consumers through to business – all of them are now pointing to the same thing that a combination of approaches is wanted. From the business side, it is clear that whatever framework is proposed, the lessons of previous implementations and announcements (the RSPT and home insulation) are learnt. “ Mr Tukaki saidMr Tukaki cautioned the Government that even though the New Zealand ETS had been introduced only from the 1stof July, lessons can already be learnt from a regulatory, consumer and business response perspective:“There were the same sorts of sentiments in New Zealand prior to implementation as there are in Australia. For example, consumers (both individual and business) were concerned about likely energy cost hikes. As it turns out, from the 1stof July, energy prices did increase which prompted a warning by the regulatory authorities that price gauging would not be tolerated. On the Governments side, improvements have been made to how it explains the new system by breaking it down by industry and consumer. This is now reflected in the quality of materials and content that is easier to understand and come to grips with.” Mr Tukaki said“The challenge this Government and Opposition have is the debate and public discussion has moved on from the belief of the existence of climate change to the acceptance of the majority in the community that more needs to be done to lower our impact on the environment – it is a challenge because the right policies may in fact be a mix of what both parties are proposing. If the key sticking point is, therefore, the percentage target and the date by which it should be achieved, then both sides of politics may just find that they only way of cutting through is by consensus.” Mr Tukaki said.“Either way, consumers and business alike have no appetite for bad planning, unexpected or planned cost hikes or wishy, washy policy”. Mr Tukaki saidSurvey overview:Number of organizations surveyed where data has been used in the final analysis: 692Number of organizations excluded from the final analysis: 61 (these organizations indicated they were responding from outside of Australia when completing an online survey. Had that data been included there would not have been a material change in the over arching results of each category). Of those responses received offshore, the largest number came from North America, Europe and New Zealand. All New Zealand responses will be automatically discarded if that data set is used in the future because of a conflict in the implementation of that nations ETS from the 1stof July 2010 (clearly, specific questions unique to that countries new environment would need to be asked separate to any other survey)There were questions built into the survey to act as control questions. These focused around skills and policy impacts37% of respondents indicated they represented a small business, 32% medium sized business and 31% enterprise sized businessAbout SansGov:SansGov was formed in 2001 as a knowledge and information management consultancy. In 2003 it added business transformation and change management to its scope of services and in 2009 the business introduced a sustainability practice. SansGov has been behind a range of significant reviews including the review of information management at the Joint House Department of the Parliament of Australia and the Australian Communications Authority. Matthew Tukaki is the CEO of SansGov.About Matthew Tukaki:Matthew Tukaki is CEO of SansGov and is the former Head of Drake Australia, the nation’s oldest and largest employment company. In addition to leading Drake in Australia, Matthew was also responsible for the business in Asia and was the companies power of attorney. Matthew is also the former Chairman of the WorkWise group’s executive committee and on the 1stof July 2010 assumed the role as Australia’s representative to the United Nations Global Compact (www.unglobalcompact.com) . The UNGC is the world’s largest business and industry led corporate social responsibility program with some 7,000 members worldwide.Future surveys:Green jobs and skills: August 2010Business reaction to climate change policies and announcements: September 2010A copy of the full report with analysis will be released from the 19thof July. For a copy emailinfo@sansgov.comFor comment:Direct dial number: 02 9698 3983Mobile number: 0435 636 373Email:matthew.tukaki@sansgov.com