29 Mar 2010

Cooperation needed to prosper in low-carbon economy

7:13 am on 29 March 2010

The head of a business sustainability organisation in Australia says New Zealand and Australian companies need to work together to prosper in a low-carbon economy.

Models of Success and Sustainability is the Australian industry body for business sustainability, and led a business delegation at the climate change talks in Copenhagen last year.

Anne-Maree Huxley, the founder and chief executive of the organisation, is holding workshops in New Zealand this week to explain what reduced carbon emissions will mean for business.

Ms Huxley says it is clear Australia businesses are still lagging the rest of the world, particularly Europe, when it comes to reducing the effect of climate change.

She says there is not a lot of international recognition for New Zealand's efforts either.

Ms Huxley says Australia is doing some terrific work on renewable energy, but it is not being exported.

Ms Huxley says legislative uncertainty about the effects of climate change obligations is likely to remain for the next few years.

However, she says consumers and employees are becoming more certain about their expectations of businesses and want to work for or buy products from carbon neutral companies.

Ms Huxley believes the world has moved from being carbon neutral to being restorative.

She says people want to buy products and services that they know have a cradle to grave life cycle, to ensure all products are being recycled and that the most efficient products are being used.

She says New Zealand and Australia should also be working with other countries to tackle climate change issues.