The IEMA greenhouse-gas report: six months on

19th April 2011

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Reporting ,
  • Mitigation



Nick Blyth, senior adviser at IEMA, provides an update on some of the issues identified in IEMA's greenhouse-gas report and the developments now under way.

In October 2010, IEMA’s special report on greenhouse-gas (GHG) management and reporting presented the results from detailed engagement work with members, including workshops attended by 200 environment and sustainability practitioners and findings from a comprehensive survey with nearly 2,000 responses.

The report represents a substantial body of evidence on the progress and issues faced by practising professionals across a range of sectors.

IEMA has made wide use of the report to inform decision makers and government departments – including the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, DECC and Defra – and communicate the unique practitioner evidence base to influential networks and stakeholders.

For example, IEMA evidence was one of four supporting sources used by Defra in its November 2010 report to parliament titled The contribution that reporting of greenhouse gas emissions makes to the UK meeting its climate change objectives – a review of the current evidence.

IEMA members indicated that GHG reporting by organisations is in itself central to achieving and sustaining progress with a clear relationship between reporting and the achievement of carbon reduction. Eighty per cent of practitioners expressed support for the introduction of a “mandatory requirement” for businesses to regularly report their GHG emissions – in line with provisions in the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008.

A range of organisations is now supportive of the introduction of a mandatory reporting requirement; the government’s next steps on this important issue are awaited with interest.

A number of issues and concerns identified by IEMA members are also being addressed through new guidance. Short guidance notes are being compiled on specific or “problematic issues” such as:

  • green tariff electricity;
  • carbon neutrality; and
  • GHG schemes and standards.

The guidance notes will seek to explain, clarify and resolve some of the confusion that exists on specific topics, with the first, on green tariff electricity, available from April 2011.

In addition to guidance, a number of workshops and events have helped to take forward key issues from the report. These included workshops at IEMA’s 2010 conference on making the business case for carbon reduction, GHG inventory management (preparing for verification), carbon tools and calculators and many more.

IEMA steering groups are similarly responding. The east of England group held its own regional conference in late March on making the business case for climate change and resource efficiency.

Managing and reporting of GHG emissions in supply chains and across product life cycles (Scope 3 emissions) is a significant challenge for practitioners.

Pressure is starting to be felt in supply chains: 39% of active practitioners face pressure to manage or report on GHG, and 28% are placing pressure on their suppliers.

Recent and current work from WRI and WBCSD is under way, providing two new GHG Protocol standards – the product accounting and reporting standard, and the corporate value chain (Scope 3) accounting and reporting standard.

IEMA’s report is also being used to inform a number of wider related developments, including the revision of PAS 2050 – specification for assessing the life cycle GHG emissions of goods and services.

To get involved in our developing practitioner guidance or simply to find out more about IEMA’s current work on GHG management, contact Nick Blyth at [email protected].

Transform articles

‘Eco-anxiety’ under the spotlight at IEMA Connect 2023

Turning ‘eco-anxiety into eco-action’ was discussed at IEMA Connect 2023 this morning, providing key research and tips to help sustainability professionals deal with feelings of environmental despair.

21st September 2023

Read more

The UN has published its first official ‘global stocktake’ of progress tackling climate change since the Paris Agreement, which shows that ambition and implementation “must be accelerated rapidly”.

14th September 2023

Read more

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has this week published a plan to decarbonise the world's buildings and construction sector using an “avoid-shift-improve” solution.

14th September 2023

Read more

Almost half of UK adults feel worse about the climate crisis due to government policy, with one in six suffering with ‘eco-anxiety’, new research suggests.

12th September 2023

Read more

The UK needs a new public investment fund that provides green companies with finance in exchange for part ownership and a share of future profits, a think tank has suggested.

25th August 2023

Read more

Countries in the Global South are trapped in relying on fossil fuel production to repay debts, a new report from the charity Debt Justice claims.

22nd August 2023

Read more

A total of 25 countries – home to a quarter of the global population – face extremely high water stress each year, regularly using up almost their entire available renewable supply.

17th August 2023

Read more

A lack of expert staff at environmental organisations is undermining the UK’s government’s net zero and nature commitments, new research by the trade union Prospect has uncovered.

16th August 2023

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert