Why Businesses Should Report Beyond Obligations
At Northern Gas and Power, we’ve recently seen many businesses voluntarily submitting their energy reports or going beyond what’s required of them from the energy reporting schemes they’re obligated to participate in. But why are businesses opting to report on more energy data than required?
Our compliance team at Northern Gas and Power, part of Global Procurement Group, helps businesses of all sizes and sectors report on schemes such as the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme.
In the past, businesses might have previously disregarded these schemes as administration. Moreover, without the in-house resources these reports require, many businesses struggle with the additional burden of collating complex energy data. Recently, however, there has been a change in way these schemes are viewed.
A growing community of businesses throughout the UK are now deciding to voluntarily report on their carbon emissions. Businesses are now including their Scope 3 emissions in their SECR reports. This is optional, as this level of reporting is not actually mandated for companies which qualify for the scheme.
Demonstrate commitment to sustainable energy
For most businesses which choose to provide voluntary reports under the SECR scheme, they find themselves already committed to sustainability and use the scheme to prove that they are dedicated to lowering their carbon footprint.
Furthermore, as the SECR requires businesses to publish energy efficiency actions taken that year, it’s a perfect opportunity for businesses to market their net zero progress and state their intentions moving forward. Moreover, in publishing their carbon reduction measures in their directors’ report, business stakeholders are informed and aware of their commitment to energy sustainability.
Actions at the highest level
Some energy managers may find it difficult to attract the support they need from the senior leadership levels when it comes to implementing energy efficiency measures. In this instance, it may be worth voluntarily participating in the SECR scheme to motivate senior leadership to improve their business’ energy sustainability.
Prepare for detailed reporting
Under the SECR scheme, around 11,900 UK organisations will be required to submit accurate and auditable energy reports, as well as provide a high-level overview of their proposed energy efficiency actions. As the UK’s economy moves towards a net zero emissions target by 2050, it’s likely that energy reporting obligations will only increase.
For most businesses, Scope 3 emissions (indirect emissions) contribute to the majority of their emissions. This could lead to a change in SECR obligations to make Scope 3 reporting mandatory in future. This could also lead to an expansion to the eligibility criteria of the SECR scheme and the ESOS, allowing more businesses to document their carbon reduction strategies.
Voluntary Scope 3 reporting is no doubt beneficial for businesses in ensuring they are prepared for any changes to this structure in the future.
Make compliance easier
Many businesses that are required to participate in the ESOS are not obliged to do so under SECR. However, many organisations choose to voluntarily comply with the SECR scheme.
This is because the ESOS requires reporting every four years, so reporting annually for SECR can reduce the administrative burden involved in collating data required by both schemes, which will streamline the compliance process for businesses.
The SECR’s requirements on publishing energy efficiency measures will also help businesses act on their ESOS recommendations, ensuring that any recommendations are implemented and benefits are measured.
Go beyond your reporting requirements
If your business is ready to join the businesses that are volunteering reports under the SECR, our Compliance team is available to help you. We can guide you through the entire SECR process and ensure your reporting is achieved, so you can access the benefits of the compliance without straining your resources.