UK business lobby group the CBI has reiterated its call for mandatory carbon reporting to be brought in for UK companies.
The CBI made the comments in its submissions to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) consultation on measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions, which closed yesterday.
Under the terms of the 2008 Climate Change Act, the Government has to decide whether to introduce mandatory carbon reporting by April next year.
The CBI says mandatory reporting would help businesses monitor and manage their emissions more effectively, but warned the Government to ensure that any such scheme would not duplicate reporting already being undertaken as part of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) or EU Emissions Trading System (ETS).
The Government has recently announced simplifications to the CRC efficiency scheme, but the CBI argues that if mandatory carbon reporting goes ahead the performance league table aspect of the scheme should be scrapped.
One of the major strands of the CRC scheme was going to be an annual league table of participants in the scheme ranked by the improvement in energy efficiency over the previous year.
The CBI also wants to see a mandatory system that is flexible about when businesses have to submit their data and that only requires reporting of CO2 equivalent emissions, rather than the six Kyoto-defined greenhouse gases individually.
“Mandatory carbon reporting is a great way of making boardrooms aware of the savings possible through energy efficiency,” says the CBI’s Rhian Kelly. “To be effective, it is important that the Government phases in the introduction of mandatory reporting and makes the process simple for companies to follow.”
The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), which represents over 15,000 practitioners, also says there is growing support for mandatory reporting.
According to the organisation’s annual survey, 90% of 900 of its members support greenhouse gas reporting – up from 80% last year.
A majority (69%) say it will deliver cost savings for companies and even more (77%) believe it will also deliver environmental benefits.
“In 2010, 50% of UK FTSE 350 companies made their disclosures public compared to 65% in the rest of the world. It is vital that the government makes a decision to make greenhouse gas reporting mandatory to enable the UK to take a leading position in business responsibility,” says Martin Baxter, executive director of policy at IEMA.
For further information:
UK Government promises to streamline CRC efficiency scheme (1-Jul)
Energy-intensive industries need a break, says CBI (15-Jun)
UK carbon emission reduction targets at risk, warns CBI (8-Jun)
UK Government asks business about best way to report emissions (12-May)
06 July 2011