Although not yet compulsory, a number of companies have voluntarily been auditing and reporting on their carbon emissions, and many companies are seeing the benefits, a report commissioned by the government has revealed.
Despite what some people may think, businesses surveyed have not deemed the reporting process to be costly or hard work, and on a positive note, a number of firms have even noted that reporting on carbon emissions brings benefits to their businesses.
The research was carried out by a not-for-profit organisation who assist companies in monitoring their carbon output and calculating how much carbon they emit, The Carbon Disclosure Project, in conjunction with PwC Consultants (PricewaterhouseCoopers). Findings were drawn from a number of sources, including focus groups, information that had already been made available in the public domain, and surveying 155 businesses across the UK.
Although it was noted that there was not a direct relationship between corporate benefits and conducting carbon emission reports, because companies were becoming aware of the amount of carbon emitted by their companies in their day to day operation, this was leading to them putting measures into place to reduce those emissions being produced. For example, the amount of energy being consumed by businesses would be an area many companies would see as a particularly addressable carbon output that could be reduced by taking simple steps and putting environmental policies into place.
It is not currently compulsory for companies to audit their emissions, however the government will soon have to make a decision about whether they will introduce this as law. If they decide not to make carbon reporting a legal requirement by 2012, however, in line with the Climate Change Act, justification to Parliament will have to be made to explain the decision not to implement the policy.