Mandatory carbon reporting – UK Businesses view

Posted on December 7, 2010 by

Leading business houses across the United Kingdom have requested the government to introduce mandatory carbon reporting for large companies by 2012.  A group “The Aldersgate Group” comprising of businesses, NGOs, politicians and academics have made their request in an open letter to Environment Secretary -it has been published in the Financial Times on 26 November. Currently, many businesses do report their emissions as a part of their annual reports or under voluntary schemes such as the Carbon Disclosure Project. There is however, no legal requirement to do so. There are therefore no fixed standards.  The letter by the Aldersgate has argued that compulsory reporting that is “consistent with international reporting standards” would be an extremely useful tool to help decarbonise the UK economy in a manner that is beneficial to the business as well.  The letter explains that mandatory reporting “would reward those companies taking a lead in the green economy and help businesses to manage and reduce their emissions. Having comprehensive, reliable and comparable information would also greatly help investors make sustainable long-term decisions to support a low carbon future.”

This letter has been initiated by the WWF and the co-operative group and backed by the entire Aldersgate group that includes businesses such as Aviva, Biffa, BT, Johnson Matthey, Merrill Lynch, the National Grid and Veolia.  This is a part of the ongoing exercise by green businesses and NGOs to persuade the government of the merits of carbon reporting.