The UK will soon become the first country to make it compulsory for quoted companies to report on their emissions data in their annual directors report from 1 October 2013. According to the head of a legal department at a UK energy service provider, streamlining energy use via the use of smart metering will be a critical part of the process.
Under the the new regulations, a business’ strategic report must cover the six main GHG’s (Greenhouse Gases) highlighted in the Kyoto Protocol: carbon dioxide (Co2), methane (CH4), hydro fluorocarbons (HRCs), nitrous oxide (N2), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).
The annual report must include the annual quantity of emissions in tonnes of ‘carbon dioxide equivalent from activities for which that company is responsible’. These activities include the combustion of fuel and the operation of any facility, including those that are mobile, temporary and marine-based.
AccIan Wallbank, head of legal & corporate services at IMServ, explains that these regulations will brings into the open, and crucially before shareholders, a new metric, whereby shareholders will equate greater emissions with higher costs, leaving management vulnerable to questions regarding energy usage.
“This puts a new emphasis on the need for companies to address energy consumption,” warns Wallbank. “Smart metering technologies provide accurate Real-Time consumption data, flagging up unusual peaks in energy use which enable organisations to change consumption behaviours, introduce monitoring devices and thus realise the energy savings and emissions reductions.
According to Wallbank, being smarter about consumption and communicating year-on-year savings in annual reports will be both beneficial to blue-chip businesses and stakeholders. Increasingly, stakeholders are filing sustainability related resolutions, asking companies to set out greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, publish sustainability reports and pursue energy efficiency.
“From discussions at various recent legal networking events, the profession seems to be concentrating on what needs to be done in order to comply with the reporting requirements. To my mind, the real emphasis needs to be on what is actually being reported, the story behind it, the planning for the future and perhaps more importantly, the likely impact all of this is going to have on key stakeholders and shareholders. Although shareholder resolutions on sustainability don’t typically receive a majority vote, they can still prompt companies to take action to avoid any risks to their reputation. Directors should be wary.”
IMServ works closely with many FTSE 250 organisations and companies within the commercial and industrial sectors, processing around 20 million data items per day. The company offers an all-inclusive portfolio that covers data collection, analysis, reporting and carbon management. For help and advice on how to use smart metering to support emissions data reporting please contact email@example.com.
About IMServ (www.imserv.com)
IMServ Europe Ltd is one of the UK’s largest independent energy data management providers. The company offers carbon and energy management solutions, helping organisations across all sectors to save energy, reduce costs and control carbon emissions.
IMServ offers an all-inclusive portfolio that covers data collection, analysis, reporting and carbon management. To date over 180,000 sites in England, Scotland and Wales are benefiting from its solutions.
About Ian Wallbank, Legal and Corporate Services Director, IMServ
Ian, a qualified Solicitor, has worked both in private practice, in a commercial role for a national legal practice, and in-house in highly regulated industries. Initially holding the position of Head of Legal, Ian has, in his 5 years at IMServ, expanded his responsibilities to include the Quality function, including maintaining all industry and ISO accreditations as well as auditing, and the Business Support function, covering such elements as EHS&S, training, the building, and vehicle fleet maintenance.
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