More than 11,000 businesses are being advised to prepare for new energy and emission rules due to come into effect this April.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published new guidance, designed to help UK companies to comply with the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) regulations.
It aims to help all organisations with voluntary reporting on a range of environmental matters, including greenhouse gas reporting and the use of key performance indicators (KPIs).
The new rules, which will take effect from 1st April 2019, require all large companies to report on their global energy use in addition to greenhouse gas emissions in their annual Directors’ Report.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. New simplified rules will ensure more than 11,000 large businesses report on carbon emissions and cut down the amount of energy they use.
“The UK is already a world leader in cutting emissions, doing so faster than any other country in the G20. By accounting for carbon emissions, investors and shareholders will be able to see the opportunity and potential savings from cutting down on energy waste and increasing the efficiency of their businesses.”
The government encourages all other companies to report similarly, although this remains voluntary.
The following principles should be applied when collecting and reporting on environmental impacts:
Relevant: Ensure the data collected and reported appropriately reflects the environmental impacts of your organisation and serves the decision-making needs of users.
Quantitative: KPIs need to be measurable and targets can be set to reduce a particular impact. In this way, the effectiveness of environmental policies and management systems can be evaluated and validated. Quantitative information should be accompanied by a narrative, explaining its purpose, impacts and giving comparators where appropriate.
Accuracy: Seek to reduce uncertainties in the reported figures where practical and achieve sufficient accuracy to enable users to make decisions with reasonable confidence as to the integrity of the reported information.
Completeness: Quantify and report on all sources of environmental impact within the reporting boundary that has been defined as well as disclose and justify any specific exclusions.
Consistent: Use consistent methodologies to allow for meaningful comparisons of environmental impact data over time. Document any changes to the data, change in organisational boundary, methods and any other relevant factors.
Comparable: Companies should report data using accepted KPIs rather than organisations inventing their own versions of potentially standard indicators.
Transparent: Address all relevant issues in a factual and coherent manner, keeping a record of all assumptions, calculations and methodologies used. Internal processes, systems and procedures are important and the quantitative data will be greatly enhanced if accompanied by a description of how and why the data are collected. Report on any relevant assumptions and make appropriate references to methodologies and data sources used.