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.
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].