Report on mandatory emissions facing delays
A report into how companies should be disclosing their greenhouse gas emissions is set to be delayed. But, as Charlotte Reid reports, businesses are already finding the benefits of reporting emissions by themselves.
The Climate Change Act of 2008 set up a timeline for government to look at how businesses report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
According to the Act by the 6th April 2012 the Government must have introduced a legally binding carbon reporting system or explain why this has not happened.
However, it looks more likely that the government will have to explain to parliament why a reporting system isn’t in place yet, as it might be delayed past April. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) told Business Green that the report might be delayed but everything will be explained.
To help the government come to a decision there was a consultation period in 2011. It set out four options including a voluntary option and three forms of mandatory reporting.
Mandatory reporting seems to be a popular idea. In January 2011 a group of 150 organisations, including The Co-operative, wrote to the government asking them to take advantage of the clause in the Climate Change Act to bring in mandatory reporting.
Even the CBI, a business lobbying organisation, is backing the idea.
Rhian Kelly, CBI director for business environment, said, “Mandatory carbon reporting is a good way of making boardrooms aware of savings possible through energy efficiency”.
Back in 2010 Defra looked at the benefits for businesses by reporting their emissions. They released research called, The contribution that reporting of greenhouse gas emissions makes to the UK meeting its climate change objectives, which highlighted the benefits.
When the research was released Defra’s chief scientific adviser Bob Watson said, “It is encouraging to find that many companies see GHG reporting as beneficial to their business. The emission figures seem to act as a catalyst for other changes within the company resulting in wide ranging benefits for both the environment and the business”.
The government might not be reaching a decision on GHG emissions reporting as soon as expected, but it is encouraging to see that businesses have already started to see the benefits in these reports for themselves.
If you would like to know if the companies you are investing in take their greenhouse gas emissions seriously then ask your financial adviser. If you don’t have one then fill in our online form and we’ll connect you with a specialist ethical adviser.
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