Sunday, June 29, 2008

Why are companies accounting for Carbon?

Considering the pace at which markets and governments are moving towards reducing the overall carbon footprint, an accurate enterprise account of a business’s green house gas exposure maters to stakeholders. In addition disclosure is increasingly expected, and failure to disclose can put a business at a strategic disadvantage.

Consumer Demand
  • Americans’ appetite for environmentally friendly technologies and consumer products is grossly underserved, with a potential $104 billion in sales this year (2007 National Technology Readiness Survey
  • Wal-mart (NYSE: WMT) announced that its customers have increased purchases of the five eco-friendly products tracked in its Live Better Index by 66% from last year. The retailer says this overall adoption rate, which measures sales compared to other products in the category, serves as a nationwide trend indicator of consumer demand for green products.
  • 50% of US consumers would rather do business with a company that is working to reduce global warming than one that is not (Survey by GlobeScan 2007)

Cost savings

Examples of carbon ROI context for business decision making as illustrated with the following examples (Examples are illustrative and do not represent actual cases):

  • Should the company redesign lighting in a distribution center (a $50,000 investment will reduce lighting costs by 25% , and carbon footprint by 3 tons per year)

  • Should the company make a larger investment in package design to reduce distribution costs? ($100,000 design time, reduces shipment volume by 20% and saves 20 tons of carbon)

  • How do those alternatives compare to the cost of a ‘green’ re-design of a major product? ($250,000 in design time replaces a polymer with a bioplastic, enabling the announcement of a new green product and generating $1,000,000 in new annual revenue while reducing the carbon footprint by 40 tons.)

Domestic Policy

US Climate Security

California AB 2538: Greenhouse gas emissions: consumer product labeling

Global Environment

Kyoto II, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS)


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