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Industry urged to start preparing for mandatory carbon reporting now

A leading global provider of integrated facility management and sustainability software, has warned companies listed on the London Stock Exchange that they need to improve data consolidation practices ahead of the introduction of mandatory carbon reporting in April 2013. This is in order to comply with new regulations that require organisations to report on their global carbon emissions as part of their annual company reports.

Mandatory carbon reporting will make the UK the first country in the world to make it compulsory for listed companies to monitor emissions data for their entire organisation. In order to comply with these new regulations, multi-faceted organisations will need to build complete data sets that enable them to report on carbon emissions in a consistent and auditable way. This level of detail will also enable greater transparency, so that regulators can see which companies are efficiently managing the long-term costs of greenhouse gas emissions – and which are not.

Pierre Guelen, CEO of Planon Software, commented: “Unfortunately, modern businesses tend to store data related to energy consumption within a number of disparate IT systems that are spread across many different parts of the company. As a result, we estimate that only a small percentage of the 1,850 listed companies are actually ready for these new regulations, which means that the majority of listed companies in the UK could be facing a race against time to become compliant before these new rules are introduced next year.

“Businesses need to take action now to ensure that they avoid failing audits and are not left behind when investors start using greenhouse emissions as a consideration for future investments. In order to achieve this goal, organisations will need to employ strategies and software solutions that are able to capture utilities data effectively, not only as a way of developing a more complete understanding of their energy usage, but also to make their reporting on emissions easier to achieve.”

Guelen continued: “Unless firms can measure their energy consumption levels accurately, it will be impossible for them to know if their carbon reduction strategies are working. The ability to act on this information will be vital, as the winners from this new policy will be the companies that embrace the opportunity to increase the visibility of their energy consumption, reduce it wherever possible, and also reassure their customers and investors of their green credentials at the same time. For all these reasons, organisations need to start thinking about compliance by setting aside appropriate budgets and introducing provisions for reporting on carbon emissions right now.”

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