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Epicor’s global survey reveals most companies are lagging in energy management initiatives

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A global survey conducted by Epicor Software , a world leader in business software solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organisations reveals that most companies are lagging in the comprehension and execution of carbon accounting initiatives.  

Epicor’s first ever global carbon accounting survey offers insight into the response of companies to the forthcoming tax legislation mandating carbon accounting currently being introduced by Australia as well as new regulations proposed in California.  

Conducted by Epicor during August and September 2011, the survey aimed to:  

  • Investigate the ability and willingness of companies to identify their greenhouse gas emissions
  • Find out how they technically capture emissions
  • Clarify the extent to which companies have to meet not only legal requirements for sustainability, but also demands from partners and customers
The survey compiled responses from nearly 1,000 companies worldwide with 48% of respondents from the manufacturing industry. While 42% of respondents were from organisations with 100 to 1,000 employees, 43% were from organisations with $50 million in annual revenue or less.

Key results of the survey:  

  • 58% had not heard of the term ‘carbon accounting’
  • Less than 25% could accurately describe ‘carbon accounting’
  • 80% do not monitor their carbon footprint regularly
  • 1/3 of respondents are unaware if their company is under legal obligation to report emissions
  • 50% of CEOs don’t have any C-level involvement
  • 85% can’t tell the level of carbon their company has consumed in each of the last six months
  • More than 50% think carbon accounting has impacted their business positively
  • Nearly 70% believe they accurately account for less than 25% of their carbon consumption
Chris Purcell, product marketing manager for Epicor believes it is cause for worry when a third of all companies don’t know about their legal obligation to report emissions.

He explains that carbon reporting will happen irrespective of any personal opinions about global warming, and businesses that prepare now for the reporting will have a clear competitive advantage over laggards when it becomes a legal requirement.  

He also clarifies that businesses can gain cost and energy savings from sustainability investments and the growth of emission trading schemes will only increase the need for companies to understand how carbon accounting will impact their bottom line.  

Though the survey reveals several inadequacies on the part of companies in corporate energy management, not all companies are in the dark.  

For instance, Epicor customer HARBEC Inc., a contract injection moulder and precision manufacturer located in upstate New York, recently decided to implement a more accurate and credible solution than its manual system to reach its goal of being carbon neutral by 2013.  

HARBEC is also in the process of pursuing certification to the newly released ISO 50001 energy management systems standard, which requires systematic documentation of carbon emissions using solutions such as Epicor Carbon Connect.  

President and founder of HARBEC, Bob Bechtold explains that the new certification and solution will give them the competitive advantage of being a leader in sustainability. Credible documentation from a robust ERP solution will allow the company to quantify their carbon management initiatives.  

Bechtold adds that this solution will enable HARBEC to efficiently and accurately track their carbon footprint, helping them manage it towards zero through efficiencies and smarter power generation.  

Purcell urges all companies to prioritise their green agenda by being prepared in advance so that they can avoid potential penalties for not adhering to legislation while also realising strategic advantages such as operational cost savings and additional revenue streams.    

Purcell concludes by emphasising Epicor’s commitment to the global emerging green market and their support for forward looking businesses who embrace technology to get ahead of the regulatory compliance curve, while providing efficiencies that will ultimately reduce costs and drive business performance.

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