Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting
With the compliance required for businesses becoming increasingly complex, we look at the SECR regulations and the increased reporting requirements for larger companies.
The first reports are expected from April 2020, but it does vary on when the financial year of your organisation ends.
Who needs to report?
- Quoted companies
- Large unquoted companies
- Large Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP)
Large companies are those meeting two or more of the criteria listed below:
- More than 250 employees
- Annual turnover greater than £36m
- Balance sheet of more than £18m
The Government is encouraging other companies to report similarly, but this remains voluntary for the time being.
What needs to be reported under SECR
- Energy usage (this includes gas, electricity and transport)
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Actions taken to increase energy efficiency
- Reporting methodology
Reports need to be submitted at the company’s financial year end to Companies House and a public disclosure will be made within the annual directors’ report.
How the SECR reports reflect on your business
As with any mandatory reporting that produces a publicly available report, there will be a flurry of articles in the press about some businesses who report on this if they have particularly positive or indeed negative messages. This could reach a wider audience, especially if the national press is having a slow news day. If your company has been marketing its green credentials and the report shows that you haven’t looked at energy efficiency, or that your energy consumption is high then this should be something you need to into take into consideration.
Opportunity to promote good news
If your company has been taking extra steps to champion the environment by taking action to reduce emissions and energy consumption you could take the opportunity to turn some data from the report into a press release or a blog for your company website.
Conversely, the report could have a negative impact for businesses with high energy consumption who aren’t taking enough action to reduce their carbon emissions. This can be particularly damaging for any businesses in the current climate of activism and consumers voting with their feet. It is worth getting ahead of this and putting in a strategic energy plan for the next five years, highlighting changes that will be implemented over time.
Actions you could take to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions
This could include anything from electric vehicle usage to solar panels or battery storage solutions. Thinking about the future and being dynamic, flexible and forward-thinking can help shape the future.
SECR gives businesses a real opportunity to narrate the positive action they have taken, and this should be something that can be used in many ways such as company literature, CSR statements, company website and social media.