From 1 April 2019, all large companies must follow new rules to disclose their annual energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, but SMEs can also learn from the regulations.
From April, new Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) regulations come into force for all UK quoted and large unquoted companies.
The changes, which will affect more than 11,000 companies, oblige firms to report their UK energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions relating to gas, electricity and transport fuel, as well as an ‘intensity ratio’ and information relating to energy efficiency action, through their annual reports.
The move is intended to streamline reporting requirements for large companies, which come under the remit of several different environmental reporting schemes.
A comprehensive guidance document has been produced to help those covered by the regulations to identify, address and report their environmental impacts.
However, the government says it “encourages all other companies to report similarly” and the document can help organisations of any size with voluntary reporting and setting key performance indicators on a range of environmental matters, including:
• Resource efficiency and materials
• Emissions to air, land and water
• Impacts to biodiversity.
Understanding and reporting these matters can help to identify ways of improving environmental performance and cutting costs.
Previous government research has revealed that very few small or medium sized businesses have ever considered conducting an energy or environmental audit, despite the opportunities they can uncover.
Additional government guidance for measuring and reporting on environmental impacts can be found here.