What is Green House Gas reporting and why it matters

Discover everything you need to know about GHG reporting and the benefits it can deliver for your business.

As the need for businesses to reduce their carbon emissions becomes more urgent, organisations in the UK are encouraged to report on their greenhouse gas emissions.

Some companies have been required to report on their emissions since 2019, yet many businesses are still unsure if they are meeting the GHG reporting standards. Here at Ignite, our team of experts are equipped with the knowledge and experience to help you comply with GHG reporting regulations. We can also help implement energy-efficient processes throughout your organisation.

Keep reading to learn more about greenhouse gas reporting, and the benefits it can bring to large businesses. You can find out more about our full GHG Reporting service.

What is Greenhouse Gas Reporting (GHG)?

Greenhouse Gas Reporting tracks levels of greenhouse gas emissions from large organisations in the UK. This report helps companies understand how their everyday activities contribute to climate change, and identify areas to improve.

GHG reporting is a result of the 2015 Paris Agreement. In this agreement, countries across the world agreed to keep the global temperatures below 1.5℃. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions plays a significant role in this goal.

From 2019, quoted companies have been required to report on their GHG emissions, while all other companies are also encouraged to do so. However, under the streamlined energy and carbon reporting (SECR), GHG reporting applies to all large UK companies – more on this below.

Who needs to complete GHG reporting?

All quoted companies in the UK are required to report on GHG emissions. This means that if your company has shares listed on the London Stock Exchange, you should be reporting on your current levels of GHG emissions and how sustainability factors into your business goals.

Under Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR), GHG reporting extends to all large companies. This government legislation compels large organisations to report on their carbon emissions and energy use on an annual basis. It was launched to help meet the UK’s climate change target, so these more regular, streamlined reports identify areas of improvement and capture the everyday activities which contribute heavily to greenhouse gas emissions.

So, essentially, if you have a large company in the UK, you need to comply with GHG reporting. It’s worth noting that if you’re part of a small business, it’s encouraged that you also report to help reduce overall emissions.

How to comply with GHG legislation

When it comes to GHG compliance, there is plenty of guidance available.

This Sustainability Reporting Guide breaks down everything you need to efficiently report on your GHG emissions. Scopes 1, 2, and 3 must be accounted for, as well as gross expenditure that is a direct attribute to energy consumption. You can also find GHG reporting guidance from the GHG Protocol, who set the standards for reporting greenhouse gas emissions.

When reporting, the best practice is to note any expenditure of different types of travel and other costs which directly relate to GHG emissions. Report data can be collected on the basis that they’ve already been incurred, similar to financial reporting, or as and when. This could be when travelling for business or the usage of energy processes, for example.

We’ve broken this down for you below.

What you need to report for GHG

When reporting GHG emissions, there are many different elements that need to be included. The amount of information required may seem daunting at first, but with Ignite’s expertise, we will ensure that you’re complying with GHG reporting and other SECR requirements.

The information included in a GHG report is grouped into scopes. These are defined as:

Scope 1 – direct GHG emissions

These are emissions from sources owned or controlled by your company, including:

  • Business vehicles
  • Business generators
  • Boiler combustion, when the boilers are owned or controlled by your organisation.
  • Fugitive emissions of greenhouse gases, often from equipment such as refrigeration and air conditioning unit.

You must also report on gross expenditure on energy purchases and accredited offset purchases, plus total expenditure on business travel and areas of energy.

Scope 2 – energy indirect emissions

These emissions come from consumed energy that is supplied by another company, such as a building’s supply or outstation. You must also include other purchased indirect emissions, such as heat, steam or cooling.

Scope 3 – other indirect emissions

These emissions result from activities or assets not directly owned by the organisation, but impact day-to-day operations. This could include:

  • Business travel via public transport e.g. taxis or buses. This excludes international air and rail travel.
  • Work completed on behalf of the company by a supplier.
  • Emissions associated with business products or services.
  • Note that business travel is the only part of Scope 3 that’s mandatory.

Within each scope, an analysis of related gas & energy consumption must also be included.

When reporting, be sure to check the Government’s conversion factors. These are updated each year and provide guidance for calculating emissions.

As well as the data mentioned above, it’s encouraged that organisations include how sustainability is a crucial part of their business goals, through integrated reporting. It’s good to include any risks and how they’re being managed, plus information about particular areas of focus.

Benefits of GHG reporting for your business

When it comes to greenhouse gas reporting, there are numerous benefits. Here are just some of the ways GHG reporting can positively impact your business:

Doing your bit for the planet

The main benefit of reporting greenhouse gas emissions is that you’re helping make a difference to our planet. It’s becoming more of a priority for organisations to take action in the fight against climate change. GHG reporting is just one of the steps businesses can take.

By measuring GHG emissions, your company is making sustainability a priority, for now and the future.

Saves money for your business

GHG reporting is a great opportunity to identify areas in which you can save money, in particular through energy efficiency implementations. The visibility that comes from your GHG report provides insight into where your money is going and areas in which it can be reduced, cutting costs for your organisation.

Taking action matters to consumers

Being transparent about your sustainability goals can attract consumers to your organisation’s products and services. Research shows that 54% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands. By being open and proactive about what your business is currently doing to reduce its emissions, you could see an increase in loyal customers.

At Ignite, we believe that transparency is the way forward, which is why we offer an honest, impartial approach to our energy reporting and compliance services. We work with large businesses to find cost-cutting solutions to their energy management, securing impressive results. Click through to read more about our independent and transparent approach to energy procurement.

Better decision making

When it comes to setting sustainable business goals, it’s useful to have an overview of your organisation. A GHG accounting report provides just that.

By reporting on your greenhouse gas emissions, you receive clarity about your company’s contributions to climate change and what needs to be done. These insights are exactly what you need to create an achievable net zero strategy and guide stakeholders towards better decision making.

How Ignite Energy can help you with GHG reporting

Here at Ignite, we support large businesses with their carbon and energy compliance. Our expert team helps you form a green strategy that will reap benefits for your business. We’ll work with you to meet the GHG reporting requirements in a simple way, to help influence business decisions and meet your overall goals. We’ll ensure that you are taking the right steps towards a sustainable future.

Our end-to-end management service means that we can implement energy efficiency solutions using the latest technologies available. Our services are based on years of experience, trust, and high standards of customer service. We’re proud of our transformational approach to energy management, delivering results for large businesses.

To find out more about our energy compliance service and end-to-end management get in touch by calling 0333 023 2222, or emailing our team at enquiries@igniteenergy.co.uk.

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