Today was the last day of classroom time for the Carbon Accounting course that I have been attending at Swinburne Uni. It was a very interesting day, and each class member gave a presentation about the inventory that they are developing. There was a broad spectrum of entities that were represented. From Offshore Oil recovery projects in Bass Strait, a major passenger rail operator in Melbourne, a soap manufacturing company, a home renovation project, a hydro dam tunnel project, and the ATA (my inventory) to name a few.
Some were huge carbon inventories, and unlike myself some of my classmates were able to work on their inventory during working hours as they were compiling it for the company they were employed by. And they needed to, because the huge amount of data would have taken someone doing it part time a very long time indeed. Well done everyone, they were great presentations!
After the student presentations, we were given a professional presentation about Cascade Green beer from Natasha from Net Balance. It was about the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) that she and others had to perform on the product so it could be branded as Greenhouse Friendly. The entire process took six months of hard work to complete this LCA for Fosters Group so they could buy the appropriate carbon offsets to be able to claim that the beer was carbon neutral. I still prefer home brew, far less emissions, and it tastes better as well!
After lunch we had a presentation from Peter from Ark Climate about how the National Electricity grid worked from a physical and financial perspective. It was extremely eye opening, but I won't go into the details here. Suffice to say that when I sold the Renewable Energy Certificates that I created upon installation of my Solar PV system in 2007, that was a very bad thing. The reason being is that I cannot claim the carbon benefit of the green power generated by my system. I sold that right to someone else when I sold the REC's. I have a few choices to be able to make that claim again. I can buy back the REC's at the market price, or buy the equivalent in CO2-e offsets. I figure that either way, I will be out of pocket to the tune of about $1200. I wish I had have known about this a little bit earlier, then I wouldn't have sold them.
We then got given our homework to complete off the course. We have to develop a 1200 word Carbon Inventory report complete with analysis, graphs, and recommendations for the company whose inventory we are compiling. I think it will take me a little while to whip up, because I am still trying to dig up a few more figures from the ATA to complete their inventory. That should keep me busy for the next two weeks.
Other than that, Richard our instructor gave the blog a plug, so if any of my fellow class mate are reading, thanks for dropping by! It was a pleasure meeting all of you.
All in all, a very worthwhile course if you are interested in this sort of field. I am, as you can tell, and would love to do this as part of a sustainable career. So if anyone has a role for me, don't hesitate to drop me a line via email! I am passionate about making a difference.
Oh, one last thing. Yesterday I said that I would end up being an accredited carbon accountant. I miss led you and myself. Richard helped clear it up for me. The course is accredited but the students are not. Here is the reason why, straight from the Governments White paper on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
"7.5.2 Auditor expertise and qualifications
In addition to developing relevant guidelines, the Government’s preference in the Green Paper was to establish an accreditation system for auditors, the form and nature of which would be determined following further consultation with the industry."
P 7-36 Vol 1 White Paper
So maybe when the government gets its act together, my fellow class mates and I will receive some sort of recognition for passing the course and increase our chances of employment. Here is hoping it will be quite soon, because I reckon that business will begin pick up in this sector very quickly over the next year.