Reporting GHG benefits business

Posted on December 8, 2010 by

A research recently published by DEFRA ( Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Government of UK) has found that British businesses that choose to voluntarily report their GHG emissions do experience benefits such as cost savings, improved green credentials, and better relations with investors and customers. This study found that businesses which measured their emissions also used these results to set targets for reduction which in a broader context influenced wider business plans. Business participants in this research said that the emission reports triggered top management interest in environmental issues and caused environmental behaviour change across the entire organisations, producing beneficial results for the company. The emission reports created were found to have a particularly important role in the communications with investors since these demonstrated the businesses’ environmental credentials and encouraged investment.

This report will help to build towards the Government’s decision on whether to make GHG reporting mandatory. An decision on how to proceed further is expected to be made in early 2011. Defra also recently published the carbon footprint of UK central Government from 1990 to 2008. This carbon footprint number includes the emissions from sources such as buildings, vehicles and other equipment. The report is pioneer in the sense that it has included the ‘embedded emissions’ of the goods and services bought by Government. As per the report, the Government activities have produced nearly 1.2 billion tonnes of GHG emissions between 1990 and 2008. In 2008, the carbon footprint of central Government was 64.7 million tonnes of GHG and supply chain emissions were responsible for 77 per cent of this. Central Government accounts for six to seven per cent of the UK carbon footprint. Driven by recent work done toward efficiency, direct emissions have been falling. The Government’s 10 per cent commitment to reducing carbon emissions on its estate is bringing further significant reductions.