Friday Aug 16, 2013

Environmental Legislation in the United Kingdom

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

As part of my ongoing efforts to discuss upcoming environmental legislation – I’m now going to focus on the latest changes occurring in the United Kingdom. Starting on October 1, 2013 the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013 will require all United Kingdom quoted companies to report on their greenhouse gas emissions as part of their annual Directors’ Report. Companies will be required to report on their scope one and two greenhouse gas emissions, including the six primary Kyoto gases and converted to a CO2 equivalent. Initially this requirement will only affect 1,100 incorporated companies listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, a European Economic Area market or whose shares are dealing on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ. The new regulations will then be reviewed in 2015 and ministers will decide whether to extend the approach to all large companies starting in 2016.

Companies that are covered by the regulations need to ensure they have a robust data management and reporting framework that covers the GHGs that will need to be reported; and the full scope of their organization based on the emissions they are responsible for. The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has issued guidance on how companies should report their greenhouse gas emissions. The document outlines the benefit of reporting – lower energy consumption and resource costs, better understanding of exposure to the risk of climate change and brand recognition – and recommends the use of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) to effectively manage environmental data. Although there is no prescribed methodology under the regulations, companies are recommended to use robust and accepted methods, such the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting supports these needs and provides consistency across organizations in how data is collected, retained, controlled, consolidated and used in calculating and reporting emissions inventory. EA&R also enables companies to develop an enterprise-wide data view that includes all five of the key sustainability categories: carbon emissions, energy, water, materials and waste.

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