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The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published the updated Environmental Reporting Guidance, which incorporates Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) that will apply to financial years starting on or after 1 April 2019.
We fed into the consultation together with other stakeholders, which has assisted BEIS in improving the guidance in the following key areas:
Encouragement of greater voluntary disclosures
Amendments have been made to a number of areas setting out more clearly the ways in which businesses could go beyond the SECR requirements to demonstrate best practice; including those dealing with energy efficiency action narrative, intensity ratio, previous year’s data and increasing the range of recommended voluntary disclosures in the reporting templates.
Reference to the Taskforce on Climate-related Disclosures (TCFDs) recommendations and encouraging disclosure aligned with the TCFD principles
This is now reflected in the introduction, encouraging businesses to engage with TCFD-aligned reporting.
Inclusion of a de minimis for emissions and energy use reporting
As the legislation does not have a de minimis, BEIS was not in a position to be prescriptive on this. However it has extended Section 8 that deals with ‘materiality’, which now applies to both quoted companies and unquoted businesses and includes some best practice guidance.
Greater clarification of different landlord/tenant scenarios and how SECR requirements would apply to those
BEIS has sought to clarify that data on energy use should be disclosed when available or can be estimated including where tenants may not be responsible for its purchase. It considers that the rest of the guidance provides enough information to help businesses decide on the right approach such as those dealing with estimating data and the reporting boundaries.
Greater encouragement of the use of dual reporting of emissions, including location (grid-average) emission factors for purchased electricity, in recognition of the approach taken in Government’s existing guidance and the revised ISO 14064
This is now reflected in the Section 9 narrative and the revised reporting templates.
Clarification on non-disclosure on ‘seriously prejudicial’ grounds
Further clarification has been provided that this option should only be applied in very exceptional circumstances and as such, specific examples may not be appropriate. Expanded sections on materiality will also help businesses in the application of exclusions on ‘not practical to obtain’ grounds.
Additional information on group reporting, eligibility of companies and LLPs in public sector bodies and levels of assurance/verification
Please note that the SECR update did not seek to address other areas covered in the Environmental Reporting Guidance, and BEIS would be pleased to engage with us again soon when it has firmer plans for the wider review.
For further details or assistance with meeting the compliance requirements of SECR, get in touch:
Call: 01252 560 379