New guidance for businesses to report their sustainability credentials
Defra has published proposals for new guidance on corporate sustainability reporting, aimed to help businesses to measure and demonstrate their corporate sustainability credentials in a clear and concise way. Views on the proposals are invited through a consultation open until 17 October 2012.
Clear advice on measuring and reporting performance
The proposed guidance shows businesses how they can measure and report on their performance in five areas – air quality and emissions, water, biodiversity and ecosystem services, natural materials and waste – providing clear advice to companies on how to:
- Measure and report on their environmental performance using environmental key performance indicators (KPIs);
- Determine which KPIs are most relevant to an organisation;
- The proposed guidance also sets out the rationale for managing environmental performance using KPIs.
The proposed guidance will help companies to see where they can make savings in their business model. It will also help meet the increased interest from investors in environmental information that is relevant to investment decisions.
This guidance is additional to the existing guidance on how to measure and report on greenhouse gas emissions. It is intended to replace current guidance (published in 2006) to reflect developments over recent years, meeting a commitment in the Natural Environment White Paper (NEWP) The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature: “The Government will publish new guidance for businesses by 2012 on how to measure and report their corporate environmental impacts”.
Sustainability reporting as normal practice
Publishing the proposals and consultation, Environment Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach said:
“British firms are world leaders in understanding that improving the sustainability and resilience of their whole business is not only good for the environment but good for the bottom line too. This new guidance is another step towards our aim of corporate sustainability reporting becoming normal business practice by making it as simple as possible for companies to show their environmental impact.”
The guidance builds on the agreement at Rio+20 where British firms and Government helped secure international support to encourage businesses to include sustainability information in their annual reporting.
Required greenhouse gas emission reporting
Lord Taylor of Holbeach has also announced further details on the new regulation announced at Rio+20 requiring all quoted companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions. A draft of the regulation has been published to update businesses on what will be required of them from April 2013. Views on these proposals are also invited through a consultation open until 17 October 2012.
- Measuring and reporting environmental impacts: further information on the new guidance for corporate sustainability reporting and the regulation on reporting of greenhouse gas emissions
- Consultation on Guidance for Business on Environmental Key Performance Indicators: consultation document and how to respond
- Consultation on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reporting draft regulations: consultation document and how to respond
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