Firms Must Reveal Pollution Levels
The Government has amended the Climate Change Bill so that businesses will be obliged to publicly reveal their carbon emissions by 2012.
The amended bill has been approved by the House of Commons, but is now awaiting approval from the House of Lords.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is launching a consultation with businesses on the regulations in 2009. Draft guidelines on how businesses will be expected to report their greenhouse gas emissions will be available by October 2009.
Defra emphasised that it will be important that businesses are able to report their emissions without it becoming a burden. Defra spokeswoman Kate Belson said:
“A high percentage of total carbon emissions come from businesses and we want firms to do their bit for climate change. We will work with businesses and support them to make sure we are getting it right.”
“It’s important for businesses to show their environmental integrity, and a lot of smaller businesses actually want to prove that and publicise their credibility,” she added. “Equally, investors and consumers often want to know about a firm’s green credentials. The changes to the law will help businesses. Becoming a greener business opens up opportunities and you can make considerable savings through energy efficiency.”
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the amendments to the bill, but said that the Government must help small firms to meet the requirements. FSB national chairman John Wright said:
“The bill tends to focus on big business and householders and we want the Government to remember that it will have a significant impact on small businesses, for whom the long–term risks are of increased costs and loss of revenue. We welcome a clear regulatory framework, but ask that small businesses are not overburdened by legislation and regulation,” he added. “We also want to see the Government investing in technical innovation and in financial incentives for energy efficiency for small businesses.”
By passing the Climate Change Bill, the UK has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.
For information on running a greener business, read our Tips for Growing a Green Business.