While the top 500 emitters that were eligible for the carbon tax will welcome this change, it is doubtful that the cost reduction will be passed on to small businesses and consumers. Consumers don't usually complain or change providers when prices remain stable, they act when prices are going up. As a consequence, it is likely that this legislative change will simply improve the bottomline of our main emitters.
This is how businesses work... as price is dictated by the market; businesses increase profits in a mature and undifferentiated market like energy by reducing operational costs.
I anticipate that it will be business as usual for most in Australia, but I firmly believe that tracking carbon emissions and reducing your carbon footprint have significant benefits in improving a business bottomline. And this has been well covered by other ERP Channel blogs.
As the compliance requirements are disappearing, the incentive to act is also lessened; but it is still good business practice to measure carbon footprint as a business KPI. And who knows,the tax may come back sooner or later. Opposition leader Bill Shorten wasted no time to say that Labor would again move to price carbon through an emissions trading scheme, taking the policy to the next election.
In most cases, reducing one's carbon footprint is good for business because it is linked to a reduction of non added-value activities. A lean and carbon efficient business will incur lower costs for increased profitability in the long run.
Another side effect of having a carbon footprint KPI is to promote the use of technology, even in traditional businesses. There is no question that the rapid pace of technology innovation has a significant impact on most businesses by introducing leaner processes or even redefining some industries.
For example the use of web-apps can give sales executives all the information they need while on the road or at home, reducing travel, meetings and errors.
Similarly, the automation of the billing cycle in field service businesses or the tracking of the work hours of a service technician by web-apps will remove many manual tasks that are not adding value like completing timesheets and other paperwork at the end of the day, dropping the paperwork at the office at the end of the week, and getting someone else to enter the data in the ERP application with data entry errors, leading to additional time to resolve issues.
So keep tracking and reducing your carbon footprint. If the KPIs are green, it is likely that your business is improving as well.