Bryt Energy isn’t one of the almost 12,000 companies legally required to report under the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme - but we have just published a voluntary report anyway. And we think more businesses could benefit from voluntarily reporting, too.
When you’re working within a busy organisation, choosing to report under an energy reporting scheme like SECR when you’re not required to may seem like extra work. But if your organisation is serious about improving its sustainability, voluntary reporting can help you to get the most out of your efforts.
If you’re looking at reporting under SECR, here’s what you need to know:
WHAT IS SECR?
The Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting scheme, also known as SECR, is a relatively new energy efficiency reporting scheme that first came into force in April 2019. It was designed to replace the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme, which many businesses found complex, with a simpler reporting process. SECR also extends energy reporting obligations to far more businesses than the CRC did – around 11,900 businesses must now report under SECR, whereas only 4,000 reported under the CRC.
By expanding the number of businesses required to comply with SECR, the Government is striving to encourage more companies to calculate their carbon footprint. Companies must submit their SECR report within their annual Director’s Report, which means that their sustainability progress can be analysed by their stakeholders, staff and customers. This is intended to encourage them to not only understand their carbon emissions, but also take action to reduce them.
WHO’S AFFECTED BY SECR?
SECR applies to all UK quoted companies, as well as UK registered businesses that meet two or more* of the following criteria within the financial year that they are reporting:
a) 250 employees or more
b) £36m turnover or more
c) Balance sheet total of £18m or more
*There are some exemptions to this, and you can read the full government guidance, here.
Every company must report their Scope 1 and 2 emissions, whilst unquoted companies are also required to report on their emissions from business travel in Scope 3. These are:
Scope 1 – includes emissions from activities owned or controlled by your company that directly release emissions into the atmosphere, e.g. the gas used to heat your building.
Scope 2 – covers your indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity.
Scope 3 – includes emissions which you do not have direct control over, but that you can influence, for instance through your supply chain or the stakeholders you work with. An example of Scope 3 would be the emissions associated with your employees commuting to work.
Your SECR report must also include commentary on the energy efficiency measures you have implemented within the reporting period, as well as your methodology for calculating your emissions.
CHOOSING AN INTENSITY RATIO
You will also need to provide at least one intensity ratio, which expresses your annual emissions in relation to a standard business metric, such as your turnover or number of full time employees. At Bryt, we chose four intensity ratios to track our performance as we grow, and we’ve explained why below. We report in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted per year (kgCO2e):
- GWh of electricity supplied to our customers – an industry specific measure that is most relevant to our business output.
- M2 of office space that we occupy – allows us to compare our performance to other companies in the service sector.
- Million pounds of turnover – will show how we’re decoupling our carbon emissions from our economic growth; a key principle of decarbonising our economy.
- Full Time Employees – allows us to compare our performance with a wider number of companies beyond the energy sector.
BENEFITS OF REPORTING
By reporting under SECR, your company could benefit in the following ways:
1. Identify areas for improvement
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. You can only begin to effectively reduce your emissions once you are accurately tracking your carbon emissions. At Bryt, for example, we learnt that Scope 3 business travel is our largest area of emissions – and now we’re taking actions to address that.
2. Focus on energy efficiency
SECR compliance requires you to report on the actions your organisation has taken to improve its energy efficiency, year-on-year. This should encourage you to take action to ensure you’re making continual progress towards greater sustainability.
3. Engage your team in your sustainability efforts
Your SECR report must include an intensity ratio that’s appropriate for your industry – this makes your report much easier for stakeholders, staff and customers to understand and engage with, and creates benchmarks to compare to other businesses’ efforts to reduce their carbon emissions.
WHY WE’RE LEADING THE WAY
While SECR gives companies a simpler approach to energy reporting, it still involves time and resources, so you might be wondering why Bryt has chosen to undertake this additional work voluntarily?
Well, we want to be more than just a supplier – we want to be able to help our customers along their sustainability journeys. It wasn’t easy for us to produce our SECR report. For example, it was difficult for us to get some of the key data we needed because we share our offices with other businesses. But by going through the exercise of producing and publishing our report voluntarily, we can better understand the challenges involved and provide better support to our customers that are required to report under SECR.
We’re also producing our report because we simply believe it’s the right thing to do. SECR provides businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors with a universal template for transparently reporting their progress, making it easier to compare organisations’ efforts to reduce their carbon emissions.
As this is our first SECR report, we have used the template provided by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). We’re keen to learn along the way, so we’re looking forward to seeing more companies’ reports and getting to grips with what best practice will look like.
READ OUR SECR REPORT
Interested in reporting under SECR, or just curious about what’s involved? We’ve already done all the hard work – and now our report is complete! So if you’re wondering what a final SECR report looks like, you can check out our first one here.
We always welcome feedback, so if you have any thoughts on our first SECR report, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
N.B. The information contained in this entry is provided by the above supplier, and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher