“The launch of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) represents a major step change in how environmental sustainability is viewed by the UK private and public sector. Up to now organisations have been able to treat the reduction of carbon emissions as a worthy, but largely voluntary initiative.

“The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, coming into effect on 1st April, represents the start of a new period of mandatory regulation of corporate greenhouse gas emissions and with it a fundamental new challenge.

“The combined effects of the CRC and additional legislation coming into force means that large organisations can expect to be rewarded for good performance.

“Organisations will be penalised if they do not deliver and they need to demonstrate their ability to systematically control the use of resources across all divisions.

“This is a test that may well be repeated in other sectors such as water and a spotlight on the wider supply chain.

“Operationally it is clear that organisations’ leaders, in most cases the finance director, will need to take effective charge of this and its long term implications. An issue with such wide ranging impacts can no longer be left to environmental or energy managers.

“Besides the significant financial penalties for non-compliance, the government has committed to publishing a league table of the winners and the losers, thereby leaving no place to hide for those who have traditionally got by on green wash.

“Each organisation will need to establish a coherent strategy for delivering on reduction plans and the necessary assurance standards, but with 18 months until the first league table is published, the focus is now on action, not words.”

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