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BPF: standardise emissions reporting

21 June 2012

The British Property Federation (BPF) has welcomed the move to have London Stock Exchange listed businesses report their greenhouse gas emissions from next year.

But questions remain over standardised accounting for finalising emission amounts.

There is also still the thorny issue of who must accept ownership of emissions in rented commercial buildings – owner or occupier.

The emissions announcement was made this week by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the Rio+ 20 Summit in Brazil.

All businesses listed on the London Stock Exchange's main market will have to report their greenhouse gas emissions from the start of the next financial year.

The UK is the first country to make it compulsory for companies to include emissions data for their entire organisation in their annual reports. The new regulations will be introduced from April 2013 and will be reviewed in 2015, before ministers decide whether to extend the approach to all large companies from 2016, according to a statement from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, welcomed the Clegg’s announcement which is based on BPF’s response to the government’s consultation in which it we favoured a staged approach toward the introduction of carbon reporting, starting with listed companies.

“The government has heeded our advice, with a review of emissions reporting in 2015 to determine whether it should be extended to other companies,” she said.

Clegg’s announcement also means the proposed emissions league table under the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRCEES) may be redundant.

“The introduction of emissions reporting raises questions about separate plans for an emissions league table under the CRCEES,” said Peace.

“The aim of the emissions league table was to raise energy efficiency considerations to board level and there’s a strong argument to be made that this will be more effectively achieved via (the government’s) announcement.”

Regarding reporting standards, Peace said the property industry has been working hard “to arrive at reporting standards which take account of the different spheres of control and influence over resource use in rented commercial properties”.