It’s hard to fathom going to a bar for a drink and being served ‘flat’ beer – even in the UK! Worse still imagine being unable to go to hospital to have a medical procedure. And yet, this amazing situation is currently playing out in the UK and perfectly demonstrates why you need emergency management planning because comprehensive planning is the only way to deliver resilience in supply chains.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is an important additive in the food, beverage and health industries. It is used widely, for example, in the carbonisation of water, soft and alcoholic drinks; It is also used to stun pigs and chickens before they are humanely processed through abatoirs; It used in many medical procedures for humans too and it is used during packaging of a variety of supermarket foods to ensure extended shelf life.  

Emergency Management Planning

In the UK, the current shortage of carbon dioxide has come about because two large fertiliser factories have stopped production because of soaring wholesale gas prices. Fertiliser plants generate CO2 as a by-product of their production process. The result? A 60% reduction in the UK’s food grade carbon dioxide supply.

Emergency Management Planning

The reduction in CO2 supplies has caused such shortages in the availability of a range of products that it has required intervention at a national government level. It is a remarkable situation and one that is proving difficult to resolve because the situation has arisen due to a fall in demand for fertilisers, not a fall in demand for carbon dioxide itself. The crisis has drawn attention to the fractured responsibility that exists in the supply chain and its management. Politically the issue lies across many areas of government.

Interestingly, this is not the first time a crisis involving the supply of Carbon Dioxide has occurred. It tends to be a cyclical event caused by a decrease in the production of fertiliser over the summer period. In 2018 a similar situation was reported. So, this incidence is entirely predictable and should have been resolved by proper emergency management planning to ensure resilience in the supply chain.

It is a great learning opportunity for all of us. All businesses need to ensure they have identified weaknesses and potential emergency situations and planned accordingly to deliver business continuity. Planning is the key to building resilience into systems and businesses.

The global pandemic has introduced a new normal to this equation. There’s more volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in our everyday lives, so we need to plan better for the unexpected. This requires a change in mindset and thinking. It requires businesses to perform detailed risk planning to identify vulnerabilities and adopt controls to ensure supply and operations.

Through Covid a key learning has been on the very issue the UK CO2 crisis illustrates – security of supply chains to ensure a business can continue to operate. There are many current examples where a lack of foresight has been exercised and businesses have been exposed. The automotive sector is a great source of learning along with many of our iconic parcel and package delivery services that have had to adjust their services due to unprecedented demand.

The learnings from the UK case study and Australia’s Covid experiences across a range of sectors make it abundantly clear that all businesses need to adapt quickly based on good data, intelligence, and evidence, leading to prompt decision making and the establishment of a rapid deployment capability.

It is an ever-changing world with new challenges and opportunities for businesses. Nuffield Group has the expertise and experience to support businesses in their risk assessment and emergency management planning.

Find out more:

contact us via the form on this website; email us direct at or call 1300 308 257 or +61 404 852 062


At Nuffield Group we don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel. We believe in helping create resilient businesses by sharing and collaborating non-competitive information. This approach has many advantages, not least of which is providing our customers with access to best practice frontiers based on learnings across industries and sectors.

Back in 2016 the Williams Formula One racing team worked with medical staff at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff to help apply their knowledge and procedures of pit lane operations to the resuscitation of newborn babies. The story is often invoked as an example of how you can learn from other industries and sectors to improve outcomes in your own.

In our industry we have adopted this principle by developing a practical solution; An online ‘Give ‘n’ Take Exchange (GNTX). GNTX is an innovative, collaborative and information sharing platform, supporting the development of best practice solutions across a range of organisations operating in various sectors and markets.

GNTX allows organisations, many with common goals, interests, and challenges, to share their approaches, policies, procedures, and practices to a range of issues.

The ability to access a diversity of experience, expertise and learnings creates an opportunity to understand and improve processes, tools, policies, and procedures among GNTX subscribers. Above all it enables the delivery of better outcomes in a timelier, better informed, less costly and efficient manner.

It’s like a virtuous circle driving continuous improvement which translates to better products, solutions and outcomes promoting sustainable business operations and improved consumer outcomes. It’s a new way of consulting with collaboration and validation of practices and is particularly centred on small and medium businesses to help them increase their capability and responsiveness.

Nuffield Group are proud of the ecosystem GNTX creates and the improvement it offers businesses. For further information on its functionality and application contact us via the form on this website; email us direct at or call 1300 308 257 or +61 404 852 062


“Go hard, go early” is probably one of the most coined COVID catchphrases this year. You wouldn’t think ‘hard’ or ‘early’ could be interpreted differently but in the modern-day political spin cycle, it seems they can! So, for the purposes of applying this mantra to project management we’re going to need a pair of unequivocal definitions. Here’s mine:

“Go Hard”, in terms of project management means execute the project within a strict (hard) framework of ‘independent technical governance’. Such a framework provides the kind of rigid checks and balances required at critical milestones to ensure projects continue to run on time and in budget. It’s a framework that will protect an investors’ interests and an operator’s reputation.

“Go early” is just that. Nip any variances or issues in the bud before they become expensive to rectify. Small, regular corrections or adaptations before & during project executions can make a huge difference. A few million spent early can save tens of millions later.

Don’t take my word for it.

Data collected by the Independent Project Analysis group from thousands of major projects around the world shows:

  • A $100m capex project can expect a cost overrun between $9.6m and $48m
  • A $500m capex project can expect a cost overrun between $48m and $240m
  • A $1bn capex project can expect a cost overrun between $96m and $480m

So, if you apply the “go hard, go early” concept to a project the potential savings are immense.

But it’s not just about ‘policing’ a project. Early identification of potential weaknesses or potential improvements can provide a project team time to redesign procedures, models or processes to get a better outcomes. This positively impacts the success of a project and the projected revenue stream from it.

Of course, big projects have project teams, so it would be fair to assume they would be across this approach. The data says otherwise. Just look at the typical cost overruns above. So, that’s why you should “go hard” with an independent technical governance program. Because it’s not always what you know, it’s often what you don’t that trips you up!

Becht with Nuffield Group has the expertise and a proven ‘cradle to the grave’ governance program that identifies risk, provides solutions, and helps prevent expensive delays to capital projects.
Download Brochure Here or call us on 1300 308 257 for more information.


It seems that everywhere I look lately there are real examples of significant and unexpected change to the relative normality of life. This is no more evident than in the Covid 19 pandemic that has swept across the world over the past twenty months and impacted so many in ways that were unforeseen only two years ago. And yet, some things, like fires & floods are seasonal and predictible, which is why it’s time to spring into action.

During the most recent lockdown experienced here in Victoria, we have been privileged to watch the Paralympics. Each athletes individual sporting performance and achievements are very impressive but for so many, their backstory reminds me of just how quickly circumstances can change.

It is often said that the only constant in life is change and where this change is positive, it is embraced but unwelcome change is not embraced and rarely considered. We don’t like to think about the unthinkable and we rarely plan in advance in detail to overcome it when it occurs.

As we move into Spring, we will experience welcome changes in the weather. Warmer temperatures and blue skies will be more conducive to the outdoor lifestyle, exercising and preparing our properties for Summer. We welcome this change. But with Spring and then Summer comes erratic wind, extensive periods of heavy rain and scorching heat. The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting above-average rainfall for Spring. These scenarios impact families and businesses by diverting attention away from day-to-day activities to unexpected activities such as cleaning up, repairing flood, storm or fire damage and implementing workarounds to maintain production and distribution.

Preparation for unexpected weather-driven events like fires & floods, is a risk to be managed utilising your risk management process.

Firstly, identify the risks. What are the possible weather-driven risks that could impact on you and how might that impact be realised? For example, are there tall trees that could fall during a strong wind event resulting in damage to buildings or an employee’s car in the carpark?

Secondly, analyse the risk. What is the likelihood of the identified risks occurring and what are the possible consequences? The risk can be assessed using your risk assessment matrix giving due consideration to such things as lost-time injuries, structural damage to buildings, power outages and denied access.

Thirdly, attend to the assessed risks in order to reduce the risk and avoid unexpected events. In the context of weather-driven events, this may include pruning trees, clearing drainage systems of silt and rubbish, securing loose objects, ensuring suitable access for emergency services and having the conversation with family members or employees at Health and Safety forums about looking after their safety and the safety of others in the event of an unexpected weather event.

The final step in the process is to review the risk to ensure that the actions taken have reduced the risk to a level that is acceptable, any maintenance required to provide ongoing management of the risk is included in maintenance plans and any residual risk which has the potential to interrupt business flow such as energy outages is addressed in your Business Continuity Plans.

It is not a matter of IF but a matter of WHEN the next unexpected weather event will occur. Vigilance to the extreme weather warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology will compliment thoughtful planning and make it possible to endure these events with minimal impact.

Nuffield has spent decades developing expertise in the risk management space and provides a range of services to help organisatons become resilient.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the risk management services our Integrated Emergency Management & Recovery team provide, then Contact us via the form on this website; email us direct at or call 1300 308 257 or +61 404 852 062