AUSTRALIA - While few packaging companies and users will be directly liable under the Government’s proposed carbon tax, all will indirectly feel its impact through cost and supply chain pressures, according to the Packaging Council of Australia (PCA).
The industry association warns that companies in the packaging supply chain may be pressurized by their customers to quantify and reduce their emissions.
However, many companies will have an opportunity to seek transition assistance and all will have opportunities to mitigate the impacts, according to PCA CEO Gavin Williams.
“The finer points of the pricing mechanism and programme are still being settled and, of course, are subject to the passage of legislation,” Williams explains. “Enough detail is however known for companies to assess their position, and liability, and plan their response.
“While there is time and cost involved in understanding the scheme and measuring your carbon position, it is essential that you do so.”
PCA recommends that companies determine ifthey are a directly liable party by checking whether:
They report under the National Greenhouse and Reporting (NGER) Schedule.
They consume or produce more than 200 terajoules of energy or emit more 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions for the entire corporation over the 2010-2011 financial years.
Any single facility/site consumes or produces more than 100 terajoules of energy or emit more than 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the 2010-2011 financial years.
Williams says, “The first step is to understand your emissions and the elements of your business, energy use, materials and your suppliers that have an impact and will be impacted.
“Irrespective of whether your company is directly liable or not, you also need to consider the direct and indirect impacts of the proposed carbon price.”
The carbon pricing mechanism has a broad coverage of emission sources encompassing stationary energy, industrial processes, fugitive emissions, emissions from waste and some specific types of transportation.
The PCA suggests that companies in the packaging supply chain be prudent and conduct a carbon emission assessment, which will require:
- An assessment of emissions boundary to determine which activities may or may not be in direct operational control.
- Development of an inventory of items or activities that may give rise to greenhouse gas emissions.
- Collection of utility bills and other expense information relating to electricity and fuel use, in addition to employee travel and waste generation and disposal activities.
- Calculation of emissions based on national and international specific factors for energy, transportation and waste disposal activities.
- Preparation of a report detailing the amounts and percentages of greenhouse gas emissions and development of a metric(s) based on productivity data specific to the company’s sites and/or specific operations.