Soon it will be “just in time – to be too late”

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - ENVIRONMENTAL -

FEW OR­GAN­I­SA­TIONS are equipped to re­spond to the chal­lenge of re­duc­ing their emis­sions when the new Zero Car­bon Bill be­comes law, says a Car­bon and En­ergy Man­age­ment spe­cial­ist who is help­ing the coun­try’s largest or­gan­i­sa­tions build ca­pac­ity by train­ing a new breed of man­agers for the changes ahead.

Norman Smith, an aca­demic/con­sul­tant hy­brid, has for 25 years been de­vel­op­ing and de­liv­er­ing post- grad­u­ate level ca­pac­ity build­ing pro­grammes for all sec­tors of the New Zealand econ­omy and Govern­ment.

A prin­ci­pal prob­lem, he says, is se­nior ex­ec­u­tives do not yet un­der­stand the need to re­struc­ture to achieve the tri­fecta of ben­e­fits await­ing:

• In­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity/per­for­mance.

• Re­duc­ing their car­bon foot­print.

• Sav­ing (lots of) money by sav­ing en­ergy.

“They are stay­ing with or­gan­i­sa­tional si­los which sep­a­rate strate­gic/cor­po­rate ob­jec­tives for sus­tain­abil­ity from op­er­a­tional goals in­volv­ing op­er­a­tional/en­ergy use ac­tiv­i­ties. This fails to re­alise the game has changed – for­ever – and these ac­tiv­i­ties must be­come in­te­grated in or­der to de­liver over­ar­ch­ing de­car­bon­i­sa­tion tar­gets.”

As a re­sult there is in­vari­ably an in­ter­nal dis­con­nect and con­flict be­tween man­agers oc­cu­py­ing head of­fice based ‘staff’ roles but with no au­thor­ity and bud­get and oth­ers in po­si­tions with the abil­ity to ef­fect change but no man­date to de­velop strate­gic ini­tia­tives.

“It’s go­ing to get worse as pres­sure builds to ‘walk the talk’, not just mea­sure their foot­print but do some­thing about it. The peo­ple em­ployed to lead these pro­grammes will come from a wide va­ri­ety of back­grounds and will be up- skilled lead­ers – per­haps en­gi­neers, per­haps not – with di­verse back­grounds. Their in­trapreneur­ship and soft skills of in­ter­nal ad­vo­cacy and build­ing in­ter­nal coali­tions will be crit­i­cal to suc­cess.”

It’s rea­son­able to ex­pect that once the Zero Car­bon Bill be­comes law the Govern­ment will lif t its own game; right now while hos­pi­tals and uni­ver­si­ties are build­ing ca­pac­ity and de­vel­op­ing car­bon re­duc­tion pro­grammes, larger de­part­ments ap­pear to be slower off the mark.

Lo­cal Govern­ment on the other hand was in­vest­ing in staff train­ing on the Car­bon: En­ergy course de­liv­ered through the En­ergy Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, as were larger com­pa­nies such as Fon­terra, Oji Fi­bres, Win­stone and Down­ers.

Over­seas Deep Retrofits had proven many times the po­ten­tial to cost ef­fec­tively re­duce en­ergy costs by well over 50 per­cent – not just the 15 per­cent New Zealand com­pa­nies gen­er­ally set­tled for – while de­liv­er­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity, de­car­bon­i­sa­tion and many other ben­e­fits which went straight to the bot­tom line.


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