UK organisations struggle with carbon reporting, survey shows

by Search Gate staff. Published Mon 31 Jan 2017 13:53
Majority of companies admit trouble with carbon reporting

Over half of UK businesses from financial, local and central government and service industries cannot precisely report their carbon footprints, according to recent research by Siemens IT Solutions and Services and CA Technologies.

Additionally, over half of the organisations surveyed (55 per cent) do not produce Board level reports on sustainability targets, despite the recent changes to the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency scheme in autumn 2010, which places a ‘carbon tax’ on emissions for businesses with energy bills of more than £500,000 per year.

Furthermore, when it comes to managing and driving organisational sustainability programmes, a key challenge cited by over a quarter of organisations questioned was the difficulty in gathering together disparate data.

A similar amount of organisations cited the challenge of prioritising the best carbon reduction projects.

“Carbon management is now the second currency in the boardroom,” said Steven Barker, Head of Government Affairs at Siemens IT Solutions and Services. “By 2015, large organisations will be taxed on energy emissions, so the need to have a full and accurate picture of their sustainability is vital.

“For many organisations, environmental reporting has developed well over the past few years, but is still a long way from the standards applied to financial reporting. This makes it time for all companies to apply similar levels of granularity, accuracy and auditability when measuring and managing carbon as they would expect to apply when reporting financial positions.”

According to the Siemens IT Solutions and Services and CA Technologies poll, organisations’ energy emission metrics are currently derived from utility bills, energy meters and building management systems.

Drawing together data from multiple sources into one place can be a resource consuming activity and often only reported in retrospect.

However, more mature companies demand real-time reporting and a cohesive programme to ensure that their sustainability initiatives are not disconnected, which can lead to a loss of momentum.

“Carbon and sustainability management software can play a central role in delivering sustainable business performance,” said Sonny Masero, VP Sustainability EMEA at CA Technologies. “This technology pulls together disparate data sources to provide a platform for action to reduce emissions and improve performance.

“Providing managers with accurate data is vital to demonstrate business value from the long sustainability journey and to gain the confidence of the Board. These metrics highlight the scope for rapid return on investment and help prioritise longer term investment programmes.”

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