Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans, Antonio Pasolini is a journalist based in Brazil who writes about alternative energy, green living and sustainability. He also edits Energyrefuge.com, a top web destination for news and comment on renewable energy and Elpis.org, a recycled paper bag/magazine distributed from health food stores in London, formerly his hometown for over a decade....
UK Government Introduces Mandatory Carbon Reporting
The UK has taken a significant step towards its goal to cut its emissions to 50 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. In the context of the Rio+20 conference, UK officials have announced ithat all businesses listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange will have to report their levels of greenhouse gas emissions from the start of the next financial year.
The UK is blazing a new trail by making it compulsory for companies to include emissions data for their entire organization in their annual reports. The introduction of the reports will enable investors to assess how companies are managing the hitherto hidden costs of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Department for Rural and Environment Affairs said the majority of businesses that responded to the consultation support the change and the move is also supported by leading employer and environmental organisations.
The rules are initially expected to be restricted to firms listed on the main London Stock Exchange and will not cover private companies or those listed on the Alternative Investment Market. The new regulations will be introduced from April 2013 and will be reviewed in 2015, before ministers decide whether to extend the approach to all large companies from 2016.
"Counting your business costs while hiding your greenhouse gas emissions is a false economy. British companies need to reduce their harmful emissions for the benefit of the planet, but many back our plans because being energy efficient makes good business sense too. Climate change is one of the gravest threats we face," said Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
The bold move by the UK government is likely to please organizations and activists working on the sustainability front. Mandatory carbon reporting is a long-standing demand from NGOs and organizations such as the Confederation of British Industries, which said: "We have been calling for mandatory carbon reporting for some time. It is an important way to help businesses save money and emissions. Provided this is done in a sensible way, this announcement is to be applauded. To avoid unnecessary duplication, the Government now needs to scrap the Carbon Reduction Commitment."
Image credit: @Seifenium