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Defra seeks views on mandatory carbon reporting

COMPULSORY CARBON reporting rules for large businesses could come into effect from as early as April 2012, after the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) recently released a consultation on introducing new emissions reporting requirements.

The consultation, which runs to 5 July 2011, proposes overhauling the current system of voluntary reporting and imposing various mandatory reporting rules through the existing Companies Act.

Drivers for reporting emissionsThe consultation sets out three options for mandatory reporting: requiring all UK quoted companies to report on their carbon footprint; demanding carbon reports from both private and publicly listed large companies, covering between 17,000 and 31,000 businesses; or forcing companies which exceed an electricity consumption threshold to provide annual carbon reports. The final option would retain the voluntary regime, but provide extra support to organisations such as the Carbon Disclosure Project, and could set non-binding targets for specific sectors.

“Many companies are already reporting their greenhouse gas emissions and seeing the benefits,” says environment minister Lord Henley. “They focused on energy efficiency, improved their green image with consumers, and became a more attractive proposition to investors.”

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