CBI Backs Mandatory Carbon Reporting For UK Businesses

THE CBI (Confederation of British Industry) yesterday reiterated its call for the UK Government to introduce mandatory carbon reporting for businesses.

But they urged the Government to take the opportunity to align it to existing regulations on measuring emissions.

In its submission to the Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) consultation on the measuring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, the UK’s leading business organisation argues that mandatory carbon reporting would help firms monitor and manage their emissions effectively.

But it warned that many businesses already have to report emissions under a variety of other mechanisms, including the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) and EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and urged the Government to get rid of time-wasting duplication.

Rhian Kelly, CBI Director for Business Environment, said: “Mandatory carbon reporting is a great way of making boardrooms aware of the savings possible through energy efficiency.
“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.   

“Given that many companies already report their emissions under other schemes, the Government should get rid of overlapping regulations so firms don’t end up getting bogged down reporting for a variety of different schemes.”

In order to comply with the 2008 Climate Change Act, the Government must make a decision on whether to introduce mandatory carbon reporting by April 2012. The CBI says if the Government goes ahead with mandatory reporting, it should scrap the CRC performance league table. Following the removal of the revenue-recycling element of the CRC in last year’s Spending Review, the CBI says the league table has lost impact and is an unnecessary duplication. 

By the end of the consultation period, the CBI is calling on the Government to demonstrate how it will:

  • Introduce mandatory reporting for CRC/ETS participants, with a view to phasing in all large companies
  • Address the complexity in the policy landscape by immediately removing the CRC performance league table
  • Address concerns about when companies are expected to submit their data by making the system flexible
  • Account for different sectoral and business models, recognising that where companies are reporting under other international schemes that they should have the flexibility to report either their UK specific or global emissions data, depending upon which is most appropriate in their individual case
  • Only ask for information that is material. The CBI supports the need to report the carbon dioxide equivalent of the six Kyoto greenhouse gases, but not each individually unless it is material to do so.

The CBI is the UK's leading business organisation, speaking for some 240,000 businesses that together employ around a third of the private sector workforce.

Picture of Birds circling over Canary Wharf © Copyright Ian Dalgliesh and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Friday 8th July 2011

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