Mandatory carbon reporting must be extended to all large companies

At a seminar to influential business leaders this week, Defra Under-Secretary of State Lord de Mauley described what businesses could expect from the mandatory carbon reporting guidelines, amid calls to extend it to all large companies.

“You are the ones with the expertise and experience and I encourage businesses here to consider how you can get involved, “he told delegates.

“The aim must be to get companies reporting annual transmissions in a transparent way but with the least regulatory burden on them,” he added.

The seminar was chaired by the environmental and business coalition Aldersgate Group which has been a leading voice in the calls for mandatory carbon reporting for companies.

Aldersgate Group sent a letter signed by more than 10 leading organisations to Nick Clegg in May 2012 (link) and a decision in June was made to implement this requirement to all listed companies.

Mauley said his team would decide whether to extend mandatory carbon reporting to all large companies in 2016 but in the meantime wanted to make reports more concise.

“Whilst we propose to simplify reports by removing some requirements, we value others that are important to shareholders. These changes to narrative reporting are part of the Government’s wider work to improve transparency in corporate accounts of UK companies.

“The end result is to make annual reports shorter and easier for shareholders to use. Clear and concise annual reports will help shareholders have better dialogue with the companies.”

Also talking at the seminar, Carbon Disclosure Project CEO Paul Simpson said it was also vital that all large companies face mandatory reporting.

He said: “The challenge is enormous but against that we welcome the Government’s regulation on mandatory reporting – the UK Government is leading the world in this regard.

“It’s the first government to mandate such reporting and integrated that into annual reports at a global level.”

“It is good progress but it really is not enough to transform our economy,” he added.

Simpson said carbon reporting also needed to expand to include other information such as risks, opportunities and details of the company’s strategy to mitigate the risks and reduce emissions.

Conor McGlone

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