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Mining, resources companies fail to measure carbon footprints

The majority of companies in the mining and resources sectors still haven’t installed devices and systems to measure their carbon footprints, despite the threat of heavy fines for companies that don’t report their greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new research report commissioned by IFS.

The report, carried out by Resolution Market Services in November 2009, interviewed 38 companies operating in the mining and resources sector in Australia and found that only 44 per cent have implemented an energy efficiency improvement system, IFS says.

According to IFS, the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System (NGERS), which was established under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007, provides the framework for corporations to report greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and production.

The requirement applies to individual facilities producing 25 kilotonnes (kt) of carbon dioxide or consuming 100 terajoules (TJ) or more of energy. Corporate groups that emit at least 125kt of carbon dioxide or consume 500TJ of energy are also affected by the law, the company says.

In contrast to the lack of adoption for energy reporting systems, 87 per cent of respondents felt that reducing carbon emissions was important to the industry. Other important issues were adequate waste management (85 per cent), heritage protection (77 per cent) and compliance and risk management (100 per cent).

“To comply with government legislation, respond to shareholder demands and demonstrate a proactive sustainability approach, environmental impact has to be recorded. By taking action, compliance costs can be minimised, enabling mining and resources companies to focus on achieving economic growth and maximising efficiencies in 2010,” said IFS ANZ managing director, Rob Stummer.

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