Opportunities for Industry in a Carbon-Constrained World

Speakers from all over the world – chaired by Gavin Jennings, Minister for Environment and Climate Change for Victoria, Australia and moderated by Don Paul, the ED of the University of Southern California Energy Institute.

I’d like to highlight three speakers:

Roberto Formigoni, President, Lombardy Regional Administration, Italy:

Talked about the importance of sub-national/regional leadership in terms of environmental policies and support for industry.  This was a main theme of the whole Summit – can’t wait for the feds, let’s get on with it.    He spoke of two instruments that were being used in Lombardy (Milan being the main city):

  1. Laws/Regulations – ie emission restrictions; and
  2. Economic Stimulus – ie support for “virtuous” companies (virtuous was his word – or at least the translator’s)

For example, Lombardy has instituted an Air Pollution Law (2006) that sets out specific limits.  They are also supporting European Union Research Centre in Lombardy around sustainable transportation.  And they are provided private citizens with new energy technology.  They are noticing the birth of new companies whose mission is to reduce pollution.  There is a tight correlation between the laws/regulations and the companies.  I have sent an email to President Formigoni’s staff to get more info.

Tony Prophet, Senior VP, Hewlett Packard US

Tony talked about the HP Framework in the context of global citizenship and corporate social responsibility (hoping this phraseology is replaced soon!).  The HP Framework is as follows (or at least this is what my notes said):

  1. Understanding their carbon footprint – 3.5 metric tonnes/year
  2. Transparency key – everything is open
  3. Target – 20% reduction by 2013 – energy efficiency, employee travel reduction, reducing weight of their packaging
  4. Substitution – using energy that is less carbon intensive and depending more on renewables
  5. Recycling – right now they recycle 1.7B lbs of e-waste – they are targeting 2B lbs
  6. Indirect Impact – they are measuring their impact globally (I think he said IT is 2% of global GHGs), looking towards smart grid and also interested in transforming more of their business practices.

Andrew Winston

Talked more than anyone about the need for “heretical innovation” and about the role that business schools need to be playing in sustainability.  He asked and answered the question – what should sub-national governments do?

  1. Develop a toolkit for green building incentives.
  2. Establish maximum speeds for trucks.
  3. Establish anti-idling laws.
  4. Get more creative – e.g. easier permitting for solar energy.
  5. Eliminate subsidies for traditional industries.

This last one is of great interest to me and it was the same message that Robert F. Kennedy J. gave at the Calgary Gaining Ground conference – yes – it is going to cost to move to renewables – but remember we (the US in this case) are subsiding coal fired plants big-time.

Next up:  Driving Technological Innovation and Sustainable Economic Growth.

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One Response to Opportunities for Industry in a Carbon-Constrained World

  1. David McPhee says:

    Very interesting stuff. The practicalities of action; I was struck by the perspectives of Mr Formigoni and Mr. Winston. In particular focusing on sub national/regional leadership. Nowhere is this truer than here in BC. The difficulty is the paralysis of consensual politics is more of a reality at the local level.

    The City of Vancouver has an opportunity to exercise some leadership in proceeding with its own laws and regulations, in particular as they relate to curbs and parking. The province has the ability to work with the City of Vancouver by supporting a pilot package of initiatives and not allowing the paralysis of consensus to numb leadership

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