From today (1st April 2019), the streamlined energy and carbon reporting (SECR) framework comes into force.
What is SECR?
Ever heard the accounting term: What gets measured, gets managed? It’s that. Measure your energy usage and carbon output, and that will help you to manage it. Report on it, and investors and other interested parties can see what you’re doing to ensure your business is paying attention to energy and carbon issues.
There’s a number of other reasons but that is the most important.
Who needs to comply with SECR?
Quoted companies as defined in section 385 of the Companies Act 2006. This is the same group of companies already required to report under mandatory greenhouse gas reporting requirements and covers UK companies that are listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange or in an EEA State, the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq.
UK registered, unquoted large companies as defined in the Companies Act 2006 (note that this differs from the definition of “large” in the ESOS Regulations). At least 2 of the following conditions will apply to these companies:
- at least 250 employees;
- an annual turnover greater than £36m; and/or
- an annual balance sheet total greater than £18m
Large Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) that would already be obligated to carry out energy audits under the requirements of the ESOS Regulations 2013, and that were also likely to have been required to report under the CRC Regulations 2008 Large unregistered companies that operate for gain and currently have to produce directors’ reports under the Unregistered Companies Regulations 2009, with those reports needing to comply with the Large and Medium-sized Companies and Groups (Accounts and Reports)
Note that there are exemptions to this.
What needs to be reported?
5 things to consider:
- Timing: Don’t leave it to the last minute! Energy and transport data can be time consuming to collect and analyse even for a relatively compact business. I recommend analysing data at least quarterly – this allows you to report relatively easily at the end of the year and also ensures you can compare energy usage quarterly and see trends in real time.
- Internal reporting: Where is the data coming from? ensure you have the right reporting structures in place internally to be able to gather the data with minimal fuss.
- Internal engagement: Since you’re collecting the data anyway you should think about how you’re going to use it – graphically showing trends in energy and carbon use for the business is a great way to engage with decision-makers on implementing energy efficiency measures.
- Granularity and Materiality: this is the perfect time to consider what other data would be useful to collect at the same time. You may choose to aggregate all data for ease of reporting but that doesn’t help you make decisions about energy intensive parts of the business. Neither does it help you work out which part of the business is making a material impact on your energy use. Be sure to collect enough data that decision-makers can see where the crunch points are.
- Guidance: There’s lots of it! Start with the government guidance and go from there.
The good news is that, with a bit of thought and a systematic approach, SECR reporting can be done with relatively little hassle. The great news is that you can use the data you collect to engage senior decision-makers on energy efficiency projects to save energy and protect the bottom line.
I am a sustainability coach with 10 years experience in the sustainability sector. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how I can help you with SECR reporting. You can find plenty more information on the benefits of sustainability strategies to business operations on my website