The Carbon Equation

Dec. 5, 2012
One of the biggest debates surrounding the concept of sustainability is carbon accounting.

Though national political debates around the viability of cap-and-trade systems have abated somewhat, the issue of dealing with carbon dioxide emissions is still of concern for the manufacturing industries. For example, California and New Mexico are planning to initiate their own cap-and-trade systems. Also, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cooperative effort among 10 states in the Northeast, is developing a program aimed at greenhouse gas emission reductions.  

To better gauge awareness and activity around business response to the greenhouse gas emissions issue, Epicor ( (an enterprise software vendor based in Dublin, Calif.) conducted a survey in late 2011 to investigate the ability and willingness of companies to identify their greenhouse gas emissions; find out how they technically capture emissions; and to clarify the extent to which companies have to meet legal requirements for sustainability as well as the demands from partners and customers. Nearly 1,000 companies worldwide responded to the survey with the bulk of respondents (48 percent) coming from the manufacturing industries.

The survey revealed that 58 percent of companies surveyed were not aware of the term “carbon accounting” and that less than 25 percent could accurately describe what the term means. More troubling is that, considering the CEO is the most likely person to be held responsible for a company’s carbon strategy, 50 percent of respondents said there is no c-level involvement in carbon accounting at their company.

>> Click here to read Automation World's complete coverage on sustainability, "Does Sustainability Matter to Manufacturing?"

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