London, UK. July 6, 2010. A Verdantix survey of 202 UK carbon management experts found 87% believe it is important for the CFO to engage directly with the carbon management programme and a further 29% believe the CFO should be accountable for the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) compliance report. The phone survey, carried out by independent analyst firm Verdantix, presents the opinions of 202 senior managers in energy, environment, sustainability and CSR roles representing many of the UK’s largest private and public sector organizations.
“For the first time, the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme requires participating organizations to make a legal company director accountable for carbon emissions data. Almost the same proportion of those interviewed thought the CFO should be accountable (29%) as the CEO (30%)” commented David Metcalfe, Verdantix director. “Why is the CFO moving to centre stage? Our interviewees talked about budgets for new carbon management initiatives, the need to integrate carbon costs into financial data and the cash flow implications of the CRC. Verdantix expects CFOs to come under increasing pressure to tackle CRC compliance.”
The Verdantix report, CRC Inspires Carbon Management Leadership, includes the views of managers in all industries covered by the CRC, including automotive, banks, city councils, government departments, retail chains, telecoms firms and universities. Key findings of the report confirm the need for CFO involvement because:
32% of organizations plan to lead on carbon management. Individuals responsible for carbon management in the UK’s largest private and public sector organizations claim that 32% of their executives aim to lead the sector on carbon management and 51% adopt a pragmatic cost/benefit approach. Both strategies require involvement from the CFO to allocate capital and vet business cases.
300 to 500 organizations are expected to rank joint first in the CRC league table. Contrary to many dire predictions that organizations are unprepared for the CRC, the 202 carbon managers interviewed by Verdantix expect that between 5% and 10% of CRC participants will score full marks on both Early Action Metrics in the April 2010 to March 2011 compliance year. CRC success requires CFOs to guide investment in smart meters and energy efficiency projects.
85% consider forecasting future emissions essential for success. In April 2011, the CFO will need to purchase CRC allowances to cover the firm’s CO₂ emissions for the year from April 2011 to March 2012. Forecasting emissions accurately will avoid over-spending or under-spending on allowances. The responsibility for forecasting naturally sits with the CFO.
Ring-fenced budgets are essential for CRC leadership. The CFO in 80% of the organizations surveyed has allocated budget for energy and carbon data collection. A further 73% allocated budget for smart meters, 65% for CRC allowance purchases, 63% for energy efficiency capital expenditure and 54% for carbon management software with suppliers like CA Technologies, IHS and Verisae.
“In year one of the CRC, a small level of investment is required to maximize scores on the Early Action Metrics” commented Metcalfe. “For the second year, finance directors need to get more deeply involved to forecast future CO₂ emissions, plan cash flow impacts and invest in a portfolio of projects that will reduce energy consumption and cut emissions. CFOs should take the bull by the horns today and integrate carbon management into annual planning and budgeting.”
Verdantix is the fastest-growing, independent, analyst research firm focused on sustainable business strategies and market opportunities. For more information visit: www.verdantix.com.
Elinor Newman-Beckett, email@example.com
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