Derek Spillane & Nicole Mooney, ManageCO2

The new regulation scheduled to come into force on 1 October 2013 requires all quoted companies to measure and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their directors' reports alongside their financial statements for the first financial year ending on or after 30 September 2013.

Furthermore they must also include additional information on human rights issues and gender representation across the company in a separate strategic report to replace the current business review required by Section 417 Companies Act 2006. It is clear from our conversations with the regulating body that this is only the beginning. A review is already scheduled for 2016 so the intention is clearly to broaden the scope of what is required to be reported and to increase the number of companies that will be legally obligated to report.

Quoted companies are those that are
- UK incorporated and whose equity share capital is officially listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange or
- officially listed in a European Economic State/Area
- or is admitted to dealing on either the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ.

The new regulation requires companies to report the annual quantity of emissions for activities for which they are responsible including the combustion of fuel (for transportation within all company vehicles) and the operation of any facility. Companies must also report emissions resulting from the purchase of electricity, heat, steam or cooling by the company for its own use in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

This indicates that included emissions to be measured and reported will be those equivalent to GHG Protocol scopes 1 (direct emissions) and scope 2 (indirect emissions). The inclusion of scope 3 emissions, for example business travel is currently optional for reporting purposes but as the legislation gets broader and encompasses more organisations, we believe that this will shortly become mandatory.

- What do you need to know? The requirement comes into place for company reporting years ending on or after 30 September 2013. This is referring to the year-end date rather than the date that the annual report is published.
- Since data from a 12-month period is required, this means that data back to October 2012 may be required.
- After the first year of reporting, companies must report prior year comparative information for the preceding year as well.
- Companies are obligated to report their global operational GHG emissions, and not just in their country of origin.

Mandatory carbon reporting presents both a challenge and an opportunity for organisations. The principal aim of these regulations is to improve reporting, helping companies manage their emissions and eventually work towards reducing them. This in turn will help to foster transparency and reinstate stakeholder and public confidence, thereby ensuring stable and long-term private sector growth. Therefore it is vital that companies invest time in the data collection and calculation methods, ensuring the correct emissions and conversion factors are used to comply properly with the regulations in time for a 30th September year-end.

About ManageCO2

ManageCO2 is a proactive and innovative environmental software development company which provides a global solution for greenhouse gas and carbon reporting for all organisations. Now operational in almost 50 countries, ManageCO2 can assist organisations in overcoming the sometimes difficult barrier of reporting against different standards in different countries.

We are passionate about the environment and about using technology to help organisations, both public and private, to combat climate change and meet legislative requirements. The ethos at ManageCO2 is simplicity. The ManageCO2 software platform is purpose built for greenhouse gas emissions, sustainability, CSR and energy management reporting.

Our mission is to make carbon, sustainability and energy management easy.

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