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•Roundtable experts agree Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) is catalyst for ‘Green’ adoption
•Organisations are under pressure to come up with innovative sustainable strategies to engage staff and drive competitive advantage
•Experts agree that organisations need to view ‘Sustainability’ as a corporate game-changer and ’collaborate’ moving forward

London, UK, 10th June 2010: C8 Consulting, an integrated marketing consultancy, and Kyocera Mita, leading printer and copier vendor, hosted a roundtable of ‘Green’ specialists recently and the results of the discussion were fascinating. In light of the recent Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency legislation, attendees examined the new role of ‘Green’ and how organisations need to collaborate and view sustainability as a corporate game-changer to drive competitive advantage.

The roundtable event ‘Making Sustainability A Corporate Game-Changer’, hosted by C8 Consulting and Kyocera Mita, included representatives from the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, Digital Surface Research, Henley Business School, Microsoft, Cambium, Doxense, Gillamor Stephens, CIPFA, 10:10, Reading Borough Council, IBM, ecoXchange, The Carbon Trust Standard Company, Capgemini, and the Crichton Carbon Centre.

A key driver for the discussion was how the new CRC legislation will become a catalyst for making sustainability a corporate game-changer. Tony O’Donnell from Cambium LLP said, “The CRC provides a very powerful and scary medium for organisations to start taking the issue of sustainability more seriously. It will act as a channel for adoption of technologies irrespective of whether they are IT or part of Cleantech innovation.”

Harry Morrison, General Manager of the Carbon Trust Standard Company, agreed that the CRC will have a dramatic effect on organisations and encourage them to take the issue of carbon more seriously. He said, “I think the CRC will completely change the way organisations think about carbon and it will raise the baseline for corporate performance. In order to comply successfully with the CRC companies are going to have to establish a robust process for collecting data and thinking about their management procedures. Additionally, it will be essential for them to put in place a long-term carbon management strategy and bring together a number of different people in different departments alongside the energy team. We’ve already seen some great leadership from organisations in terms of carbon management best practices and it’s definitely setting the platform in the longer term.”

Mike Bonaventura at Crichton Carbon Centre, an international centre of excellence on climate change, added: “One of the things I like about the CRC is that it focuses minds and raises awareness, and it’s very tangible.”

Darren Shipard, CEO of Digital Surface Research, said the UK and Europe are moving forward and taking the lead when it comes to energy efficient legislation. “As a native Australian living in the UK, from my perspective it’s an exciting time to be here at the moment. The CRC will bring a few benefits to our sector. The challenge I see with the CRC though is around baselining and that the biggest weighting is given to future building energy performance over its part performance.”

Tracey Rawling Church, Brand and Reputation Manager at Kyocera Mita, agreed and added that organisations will become under pressure to come up with innovative sustainable strategies to keep ahead of the game: “You do have to pay attention. Differentiators very quickly do become hygiene factors, so you do need to be constantly aiming well beyond compliance. The issue at the moment is that sustainability strategies are being driven to a greater extent by legislation, and there needs to be a holistic approach to address all of the issues.”

Pip Errington, CEO at ecoXchange, added that they have been attending a lot of business meetings where real business people are extremely confused about the benefits of going ‘Green’. “They see the sensible aspect of becoming more efficient and the potential to differentiate from their competitors, and they’re asking the questions like ‘what’s in it for us?’, ‘will it help our business?’, and ‘how will this save us money?’”

Hannah Sharp at 10:10, added that the sustainability debate needs to not only be communicated to customers, but it also needs to engage staff from the bottom up. “10:10 is all about empowering action at the grass roots level. The swell of enthusiasm, despite CRC commitments, has allowed companies to see real results and cost savings in the actions that individual staff have actioned.”

Richard French from BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, added: “Trying to show people to be active in the right way and verify that they are being green is going to be the main challenge moving forward.”

The attendees agreed that it will come down to priority, and that organisations need to view ‘Sustainability’ as a corporate game-changer, change attitudes, and ’collaborate’ moving forward.

“It all boils down to priority,” said Lee Schofield of print management solution company Doxense when asked how to get organisations to engage more in sustainability practices. “A lot of companies don’t do the research and don’t figure out what the benefits of having a sustainable strategy are. It’s becoming our job to engage with customers to help them realise those benefits, and it’s only then that it starts to become a priority for them and we can start talking to them about what we can do to help.”

Steve Downing at Henley Business School also added: “It’s about deepening the understanding and accelerating change, and the way we do that is through a community. It’s about collaboration between organisations and building a trusting community of practitioners.

The Carbon Trust Standard Company’s Harry Morrison concluded: “And, in the future, the consumer is going to demand it. They are going to want to do the right thing.”

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For further information:
Paula Elliott
C8 Consulting Ltd
+ 44 (0) 118 9001132

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