Defra finds that 78% of FTSE listed businesses are failing to report data on their greenhouse gas emissions. Click to read more.

IEMA responded to the government's evidence on GHG reporting published today and called on government to quickly introduce mandatory reporting on greenhouse gas emissions for large companies.

Reporting enables companies to move from seeing the environment as a bolt on to integrating it into the way they do business. Over 80% of business professionals who were surveyed by IEMA say that mandatory reporting of GHG emissions should be introduced for companies as it can deliver significant benefits, with those reporting emission reductions achieving an average of 9% CO2 savings over the last two years. These professionals recognise first hand that GHG reporting is an essential enabling tool encouraging companies to cut their GHG emissions and reduce costs.

However, as Defra's report shows, 78% of FTSE listed businesses are failing to report data on their greenhouse gas emissions, therefore missing out on vital business and environmental benefits. Defra's report also shows that UK businesses are lagging behind the rest of the world in providing transparent and consistent GHG reporting to investors and stakeholders.

"Government needs to act now to introduce mandatory GHG reporting to ensure that UK businesses gain the benefits from embedding sustainability into their corporate strategy," said Martin Baxter, Executive Director of Policy, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.

IEMA members are in the front line on climate change, working inside businesses and making the case for carbon and energy reduction. Of the businesses IEMA surveyed 90% identified cost savings as a benefit of reporting, and around 80% said improving their reputation amongst stakeholders, customers and investors was also a benefit.

"Those businesses that publicly report on their greenhouse gas emissions are more ambitious and likely to want to become carbon leaders, moving beyond achieving legal compliance towards low carbon leadership. IEMA is delighted to see that the environmental professionals' views are now being considered by government and that business and investors are recognising the value of standardised GHG reporting.

"Government has the evidence base to act now to make reporting on GHG emissions mandatory. Mandatory reporting is essential as it will create a consistent and clear framework to enable businesses to plan and benefit from GHG emissions reductions," said Martin Baxter.