Which organisations are going to find their reputations on the line when the government publishes its first CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme league tables? We won’t know until October, but early indications are that it’s the private sector which is going to find it the most uncomfortable reading.

Although it’s still early days in the scheme, sustainable innovation specialists Cambium has been the first to take an in-depth analysis of the 2,770 organisations affected by the legislation and their potential financial and reputational exposure.

It’s employed a web-based search methodology to measure each participant’s performance against indicators including their attitudes towards environmental sustainability, carbon planning, social awareness and environmental return on investment. It reveals some intriguing results.

On face value it might not be surprising that the private sector is going to dominate the tables: they outnumber the public sector by three to one. However, what’s more of a revelation is that there are significant differences in their attitudes on carbon planning and corporate social responsibility.

Companies were grouped into ‘leaders’, ‘early majority’, ‘late majority’ and ‘laggards’ to rate their appetite for investing and adopting in energy saving or other innovative technologies. Cambium found the private sector is performing significantly worse than the public sector with far fewer organisations classed as ‘leaders’ in sustainability - 5% versus 42% in the public sector. While within the ‘laggards’ segment, the private sector outnumbered the public sector by over 10 to one. Manufacturing and food and drink production were amongst the lowest in terms of the percentage of ‘leaders’.

A more detailed look at the public sector reveals that the NHS and police were the worst performers.

So what is the value of this early insight? As well as shedding some light on which companies are most at risk of damaging their reputations and losing out financially, it provides suppliers and investors with a focus on where the emerging market opportunities lie. What’s more, it adds weight to the argument for  separate CRC league tables for the public and private sectors to enable more meaningful performance comparisons.

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