Q. What’s the purpose of Low Carbon Australia?
Low Carbon Australia (LCA) was established by the Australian Government in 2010 with initial funding of $100 million under the inaugural chairmanship of former Howard Government Minister, the Hon Robert Hill, with a strong board drawn from the highest levels of Australian business. It was set up to assist businesses to save money by becoming more energy efficient.
Instead of handing out grants, LCA works with financial institutions to leverage private funds and provide flexible finance to eligible businesses for the upgrading of commercial buildings, industrial premises and plant and implementation of distributed generation.
Energy is a big cost factor for many businesses and smart business leaders know it makes sense financially to embrace energy efficiencies
Our specialist team has expertise in energy efficiency and low carbon technologies, finance and legal structures, and is able to promote innovation by de-risking new financial products and economically sound carbon abatement projects. Proven abatement technology and commercially available equipment is funded and repayments are matched to monies recouped through energy and efficiency savings.
When it comes to energy efficiency, we are talking about better refrigeration and air conditioning, more efficient industrial pumps and boilers. More often than not this involves retrofits and newer, better technologies for companies that know it makes sense in terms of their profitability to embrace projects that realise substantial energy as well as maintenance cost savings.
Low Carbon Australia also runs Australia’s Carbon Neutral Program. The official government standard administered by LCA helps consumers reliably identify carbon neutral products and services.
Q. Is the business community sufficiently well-informed about sustainability?
Energy is a big cost factor for many businesses and smart business leaders know it makes sense financially to embrace energy efficiencies. Many also want to do the right thing by the environment. Sustainability is now part of the mission statement of many companies.
At a minimum, CEOs need to be asking if their organisation has the right professional advice on sustainability and ensuring that all options available to help improve the bottom line have been sourced. It makes good sense to take stock of energy use now, undertake an audit and investigate ways of reducing energy use. But it is always best to back a horse called ‘self-interest’. It makes sense for the bottom line as well as our environment to embrace a lower carbon economy.
For the full interview, see the Low Carbon Australia website.