Government has published an update to its Environmental Reporting Guidelines and it includes some much-anticipated guidance on Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR).
This April, the financial instruments within the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme will be transfered into the Climate Change Levy, whilst the reporting elements will transfer into the SECR scheme. An organisation must report if it is a quoted company, a large unquoted company or a large Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).
What’s going to be reported?
The three types of organisation will be required to report slightly differently, but will need to include data on greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, an intensity ratio and the methodologies employed. Certain lower energy users will not be required to report in the same detail, whilst there are also circumstances where information may be excluded if it is deemed ‘seriously prejudicial to the interests of the organisation’ or ‘not practical to obtain’.
Companies in scope of the legislation will need to include their energy and carbon information in their Directors’ Report as part of their annual filing obligations. For large LLPs, they’ll need to prepare an equivalent report to the Directors’ Report (the ‘Energy and Carbon Report’) for each financial year, whilst the reporting should be in the combined Directors’ and Trustees’ Annual Report for charitable companies.
Is it really ‘streamlined’?
Depends on your definition of steamlined. If you’re familiar with the reporting idiosyncrasies of the CRC and ESOS, you’ll notice a similar tone with SECR. It is less burdensome than the CRC and ESOS, it’s true, and many companies will already have established reporting practices using GHG accounting methodologies and programmes, such as the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard, ISO 14064-1 and CDP. However, SECR will demand a clear, managed approach with plenty of lead-time and a good understanding of your business energy and carbon metrics.
That said, there are some reporting templates in the guidance this time around, so maybe it is streamlined after all.
If you think your business will be in scope, have a look at our SECR pages to learn more.
Note that where the guidelines say ‘large’, it means a company or LLP which it satisfies two or more of the following in a year:
• Turnover of £36 million or more
• Balance sheet total of £18 million or more
• Number of employees 250 or more