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Act now to profit from emissions reduction, businesses urged

Businesses that make emission reduction a board level priority and embrace new skills can reap the rewards of a low carbon Britain. This is the message of a new white paper, UK Climate Policy for Business, commissioned by npower from the London School of Economics, published today.

The white paper comes on the back of research from npower, which revealed that many businesses are concerned that Government regulation to reduce carbon emissions will make the UK uncompetitive and add more cost than benefits.

To address this concern and to stress the potential financial reward of emission reduction, the white paper provides a guide to the UK's emission reduction regulations and gives advice on the actions businesses need to undertake to succeed in a low carbon Britain. It also underlines that early adopters will be in the driving seat to make the most of a smaller carbon footprint.

The white paper stresses that the new regulatory instruments will not be without their complexities and that firms will have to learn new skills to ensure compliance with the rules, but that those that can do this early will be best placed to take advantage of the opportunities that might arise. It states carbon policy is specifically designed to reward firms that spot opportunities to reduce emissions, cut costs and adopt low-carbon processes.

'Reducing a firm's carbon footprint can be a challenge, but the measures needed are often cash-flow positive, with investments recouped in a short period of time,' says Dr Samuel Fankhauser, author of the paper, principal research fellow at the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and a member of the Committee on Climate Change.

'Reducing a carbon footprint is all about sound management and success will be determined by the priority businesses attach to emission reduction. Research has shown that well-managed firms tend to use less energy per unit of output than less well-run firms and are therefore better placed to succeed,' he adds.

David Titterton head of business development within energy services at npower adds: "Our aim in commissioning the white paper is to help businesses understand the current regulatory framework and point to the benefits firms can enjoy if they position emission reduction as central to their business goals. By doing so, we hope to ease the concerns that businesses clearly have.

'We understand that these are challenging times for businesses and many are focused on cost saving. Putting in place an energy management programme to reduce consumption can help manage costs, while also reducing emissions. Businesses doing this will be better placed to operate under the UK's climate change policies and succeed in a Low Carbon Economy.'

Advice to businesses from the white paper:

Speak to your energy supplier to identify what help is available to reduce your energy consumption.

Make someone responsible for monitoring your company's energy consumption; analysing that consumption and providing regular reports to your company's board of directors.

Ensure that energy management is on your board's agenda

Develop short, medium and long term goals for your company's energy consumption

Start ASAP!

The White Paper, UK Climate Policy for Business, can be downloaded below.

The White Paper, UK Climate Policy for Business
Estimated Size: 741 KB

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Article Date: 10 March 2009