Posted on 30 Jun 2009
The leading global risk and insurance firm, Aon Risk Services, has today launched QUEST, a product developed to assist firms prepare for the launch of the UK government's Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) plan next year.
QUEST has been developed in partnership with RSA in order to help the 20,000 UK businesses that may have to participate in the CRC scheme, which will be launched in April 2010.
QUEST creates a strategy to manage a company's carbon footprint and potentially even profit from it. In addition, as the most senior employees of large UK companies could be prosecuted and face hefty fines or even prison sentences if they do not fully comply with the CRC scheme, Aon has arranged new personal indemnity insurance, should an error on carbon estimates and reduction occur.
QUEST is a four-step program,, which capitalizes upon Aon’s risk management expertise and partnership with RSA, whose consultants were integral in crafting the CRC legislation.
QUEST stands for:
QU: Qualify and understand whether or not an organization is impacted by the scheme.
E: Evidence an organization’s carbon emissions and forecast for future usage.
S: Implement a strategy for managing and reducing a company’s carbon footprint.
T: Implement a carbon trading strategy to capitalize and potentially profit from any reductions in carbon usage.
Peter King, regional sales director for Aon commented: “Most organizations want to be good corporate citizens and do their part to help fight climate change. However, CRC is an extremely complex scheme, particularly in how it dovetails with the EU scheme, and unless specialist expertise is available mistakes could be easily made. We estimate that up to 25% of companies required to submit evidence packs about their current and planned carbon usage will be audited. Should the information submitted be incorrect, not only is the company liable, but individuals responsible for these estimates are personally liable for prosecution too. This is not something you want to chance.
“Schools, universities, hotels, public institutions, manufacturers and other large organizations should have begun to receive notification that they may fall under the CRC scheme. We are strongly advising those organizations to begin planning now and not to leave it until the last minute. This will help avoid criminal prosecutions, additional costs and reputational damage – a dangerous prospect for companies already battling recession.
“If a good carbon reduction strategy is put in place, it is actually possible for organizations to create a new revenue stream by trading their extra carbon units as well as help fulfill any corporate social responsibility obligations.”