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Download a .pdf of “MEDIA RELEASE - Stop Doing The Carbon Shuffle.pdf”

Stop Doing the “Carbon Shuffle”… and Find Your Hidden Treasures

16 August 2010 - For immediate release

Australians have failed miserably in getting government to set ambitious carbon reduction targets. They’re too busy doing the carbon shuffle, darting and weaving, to avoid ever standing up and providing leadership on climate change. A major problem with this – aside from the continuing degenerative effects on the environment – is that Australian businesses are missing out on the opportunity to discover hidden treasures in their business.

From clear cut science to debate debacle

Maria Taylor , doctoral candidate at ANU, brilliantly argues that in the twenty odd years from the late 1980s to the early 2000’s the issue of climate change was reframed from an accepted scientific reality into a debate. In the late 1980s, she identified how scientist’s voices and expertise were perceived as clear and as accepted. But by early 2000’s it had become a debate, with scientists portrayed as disagreeing. So through the media, climate change became uncertain, when it had been previously agreed to by the majority of the Australian public.

Evidence of public uncertainty, about the causes of climate change, comes from a mid 2009 study commissioned by Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) , on small and medium business attitudes to climate change. The study reported a roughly equal split amongst businesses who believed, or didn’t, that global warming was part of a naturally recurring cycle.

A win-lose, not a win-win perspective

Not only is there now public doubt about the causes of climate change, measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are framed in win-lose terms. Reduce emissions and the economy loses. As a result of this framing , public perception has developed that it’s hard and expensive to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The VECCI survey also showed that one of the barriers to business reducing emissions was the belief that they had done all they could to reduce emissions. (Read our Blog post “How self-limiting beliefs are wasting money and energy” here:

Yet businesses which do try to reduce their emissions are often surprised by how much they can achieve - and the financial benefit that results. For example, Linfox set out in 2007 to reduce its emissions per km by 15% by 2010. At the end of 2009 they had achieved a 27% reduction, and were saving a large amount on fuel costs. Now who would have thought it possible that a company of truck drivers could reduce their fuel use by 27% per km?

Hey, it’s not our problem! Blame the government...

Carbon pollution reduction has been framed as a government problem. Invariably news about emissions reduction will have government in the story. This creates the viewpoint that it is primarily the government’s problem. And if this is the government’s problem, why should I do anything about it?

However climate change is not just the government’s problem. All of us contribute greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

So we are now mired in an environment where emissions reduction is seen as the government’s problem, but government won’t take the sort of leadership that is required to greatly reduce carbon emissions because of the public’s attitudes about climate change. Furthermore, we are disempowered to reduce emissions out of an incorrect perception that this is too hard, or not cost-effective to do so.

What can you do? A lot actually …

If you really believe climate change is caused by human activity - ACT. Put your passion, intellect and time into implementing solutions that measurably reduce carbon emissions.

Many “no brainer” solutions now exist that simply need implementing. (“No brainer” being solutions that make such good economic sense that you would implement them no matter what you believe.) Some businesses are ahead of the pack on taking action - and reaping the rewards.

As reported in Triple Pundit on 2 August , “Since 2005, General Electric (GE) has performed over 200 “Treasure Hunts,” in which GE experts work with organisations’ onsite staff to recommend enhancements to reduce energy waste. The results have saved over $130 million thanks to an average of 20% reduction in energy use, while training 3000 employees.”

Earn a return of 25% on your investments that’s as “safe as houses”

A 2004 report by the National Framework on Energy Efficiency found on average 28% energy saving potential in commercial buildings, with an average 4 year payback on investments to reduce energy consumption. To put this in another way, investments in energy efficiency in commercial buildings could, with a rate of return of 25%, yield a 28% saving on average. That’s a lot of money and greenhouse gas saved. Savings of a similar size were found for the industrial and residential sectors.

If a bank offered a 25% interest rate it would be overwhelmed by customers. Energy efficiency isn’t even the “low-hanging fruit” when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. Instead it’s the $100 bills scattered all over the floor that you just have to bend over and pick up. It’s an absolute “no-brainer.”

You could, for example:

  • Form a green team
  • Set a reduction target, and start monitoring your bills
  • Become informed as to the actions you can take to reduce energy use
  • Implement low cost / no-cost actions to get a saving in the order of 10% to 20% (picking the $100 bills off the floor)
  • Set up a fund with the savings to invest in additional measures to reduce your energy use further

Changing light bulbs may not be fun, but you will be taking action to measurably reduce the amount of greenhouse gas going into the atmosphere.

Many of us are concerned about global warming, and want to do something to prevent it. Unfortunately the reality right now is that government is not leading on this issue - nor is it likely to in the near future. (Read our Blog post “What are you voting for?” here:

So if you believe climate change is caused by human activity, and want to do something about it, put your energy into implementing cost-effective solutions that reduce emissions. Stop doing the carbon shuffle, become a leader in emissions reduction, and collect the cash from your floor.

To arrange an interview, please contact:

Kristine Chompff
Tel 1300 311 763

About CarbonetiX

Discover how to reduce carbon emissions in your organisation – read the Carbon Conservation and Energy Efficiency Blog ( CarbonetiX are a climate change solutions company that offer energy efficiency services, carbon footprint services, software to monitor energy use and energy training solutions, to the government, commercial and education industries. Utilising a three-phase approach of Evaluate | Measure | Reduce, CarbonetiX help their customers save energy and achieve significant carbon reduction. Subscribe to our free newsletter, to receive informative articles, energy efficiency tips and updates on regulatory changes in sustainability: and download a FREE SPECIAL REPORT “Saving Energy On Heating And Cooling Whilst Maintaining Office Comfort”. Visit

PO Box 590 Frankston VIC 3199
Tel 1300 311 763
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Download a .pdf of “MEDIA RELEASE - Stop Doing The Carbon Shuffle.pdf”

Go back to Media Releases

Framing climate change: how we lost 20 years on climate change action, M. Taylor,

Victorian businesses’ climate change knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, Carbon Down,

GE and EDF Partner on “Treasure Hunts” to Improve Energy Efficiency, Leon Kaye,

Energy Productivity, the economic opportunity for Australia, D. Young,

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