How to produce a carbon footprint report

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As one of our Environmental consultants, Greg helps businesses manage compliance, improve their environmental performance and maximise the commercial opportunities presented by improving their environmental performance. Greg has extensive experience in environmental management, both in company and as an external consultant, he is also the UK Expert for ISO 14004 and represents the whole of the UK in the global committee for the revision of the environmental management standards. 

In case you didn’t already know, mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting begins in April this year as the Government legislates to increase the number of companies reporting and actively managing their carbon emissions. ‘Quoted’ companies are the first group to be covered in what is inevitably the first step in mandatory carbon footprinting for all.

Legislation is one part of the story, but the reality is that GHG reporting, or carbon footprinting, is a valuable exercise to do and businesses are missing some real opportunities if it’s not being looked at - irrespective of whether you’re in or out in April.

For those covered by the legislation you need to know what to do and how to do it. But many organisations considering whether they need to develop a carbon footprint or a GHG report can see beyond the legislation and are looking at how to meet customer requirements and win more business or view reporting as the starting point to reduce energy and costs. Ultimately, the adoption of GHG reporting (or at least the development of a carbon footprint) will help you to save money and reduce your reliance on scarce resources.

Knowing why and how to report on your carbon footprint

Energy is possibly the biggest challenge manufacturers face, whether it’s security of supply or simply how much it costs. Your carbon footprint  will give you:

  • The ability to see how much energy you use and where
  • The ability to identify your ‘hot spots’ and where the opportunities for savings are
  • The knowledge and information to reduce bills
  • Assurance to customers, investors and other stakeholders that you are managing carbon risks

And it’s not as hard as you might think.

  • First you need to get buy in from the business by developing a business case
  • Then you need to collect, record and analyse data and convert into carbon emissions which, once you know where to look, is relatively straight forward
  • When you've done that, you can then report on your greenhouse gas emissions applying the DEFRA Guidance
  • Finally, present your greenhouse gas report to necessary stakeholders

We delivered our first one day course on greenhouse gas reporting in November. Interest was huge and we were over subscribed with some companies affected by the legislation, but many were looking at adopting GHG reporting voluntarily. So we are now set to run the course at several locations across the UK in February and March - find out more here.

More short environmental courses for 2013

Throughout 2013 we are going to continue to offer topic-specific short courses in addition to our accredited qualifications to meet knowledge gaps in our membership which will arise due to new legislation or specific concerns. These will be starting with nationwide one day courses on REACH, followed by Reducing Carbon Reducing Cost and Corporate Responsibility - sign-up to our training bulletins to be kept up to date with courses and locations.

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