EPA experiences emissions trading firsthand
Written by: Natasha Reid, EPA Victoria
EPA is taking responsibility for its impacts on the environment. After becoming Carbon Neutral in 2006, we are now tackling the new issue of carbon trading first hand. On 1 January 2009, EPA launched an internal cap and trade scheme. By implementing the scheme ahead of the Australian Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), we hope to:
- increase knowledge on emissions trading before it begins
- build capacity to service clients effected by the national scheme
- engage staff in cap and trade emission reduction activities.
Like the CPRS, our scheme will help to cost effectively achieve our overall emissions reduction target of 10% from 2005/06 levels by 2010. An emissions cap was set by EPA’s Carbon Trading Committee and each site was allocated emission permits up to that cap. Each EPA site has a Trader, assisted by one or more members of a Trading Team. Together, they are responsible for ensuring their site meets the reduction target. Throughout the year, sites will be able to track their emissions and determine if they are likely to be over or under the cap. Each Trading Team must decide if it is more cost effective to reduce emissions on-site or to buy permits from other sites on the EPA carbon market.
The scheme has sparked a great amount of enthusiasm amongst Traders and staff. Numerous discussions have taken place around the organisation about what the scheme involves and how to become the best performing site.
"It was so exciting being part of the trade. There was lots of enthusiasm in the room."
- EPA site trader
The scheme has also empowered individuals to take responsibility for their own workplace emissions and, in doing so, has challenged them to think about how to overcome obstacles in reducing emissions at a personal level.
"We have a challenge with our transport because the train is not working and the restructure will require more travel. We ran a workshop with the team to brainstorm on further activities we can do."
- EPA staff member
To further encourage staff engagement and competitiveness, EPA has developed a complimentary recognition program. The program recognises those who show outstanding leadership and enthusiasm, innovation and creativity, cap and trade knowledge, and best overall site performance; which is run on a quarterly basis.
"We have identified projects that weren't identified through the audit, including noticing that our insulation had been removed by the building owner and not put back after some repairs."
- EPA site trader
The results of the program and further information on EPA's Cap and Trade scheme will become available on the Cap and Trade website, which is currently under development.
- For more information in the meantime, you can contact the Carbon Trading Committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the EPA web site: http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/climate-change/.