Top 40 Business Tips #30: Be Green

Last Updated Dec 23, 2010 9:00 PM EST

Podcast

Phil Preston
(7 minutes 43) If you're holding off from green initiatives in your business because you don't want to be a first-mover, you could be committing your enterprise to an uncertain future.

Many Aussies, including the leader of the Opposition, are climate-change deniers. Ian Plimer from the University of Adelaide says atmospheric carbon dioxide has been up to a thousand times higher than it is now and "life went on as usual".

Whether you agree with him or not, there's still an argument for being green. Amanda McCluskey from Colonial First State Global Asset Management says, aside from the potential short-term cost savings, green credentials are important when it comes to attracting investors and employees. Could you find your company is a bad investment target because you have ignored the potential impact of climate change?

Phil Preston from Seacliff Consulting reckons the impact of climate change --- and the government response to it --- has not been costed in to the value investors place on businesses. That's because their focus is too short term (which is why they didn't see the recent financial crisis coming!). But at some point they will wake up to the changes and the response from markets could be swift and substantial. If you have poor green credentials the hurt might be considerable.

There's a potentially bigger issue beyond climate change. Ian Dunlop says there have been few significant oil discoveries over the last two decades, but there's been increasing demand from emerging economies. He says that means we have reached Peak Oil, and the cost of oil will only go one direction from here, driven by increasing demand and a static supply.

How many of these changes have you factored-in to your mid-term corporate plan? Or have you just assumed life will carry on as normal?

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