Government releases greenhouse gas measuring and reduction advice to businesses, and settles on carbon neutral definition with guidelines.
‘Guidance on how to measure and report your greenhouse gas emissions’ has been published as a key requirement of the UK’s commitment to the Climate Change Act 2008, which targets an 80% reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 1990 levels by 2050.
Businesses produce a significant proportion of GHG emissions and have a leading role to play in helping the UK meet its commitments. Measuring and reporting emissions is the first step towards setting and achieving reduction targets.
The guidance has been aimed at businesses of all sizes and covers all six of the Kyoto GHGs, and although using the guidance is voluntary and does not require businesses to make data available to the government, it is hoped that the guidance will encourage GHG reductions as part of energy and cost saving measures.
DECC has also published guidance on how businesses can be carbon neutral, after consultation led to the first formal definition of the term ‘carbon neutral.’ The government has adopted the following definition:
‘Carbon neutral means that – through a transparent process of calculating emissions, reducing those emissions and offsetting residual emissions – net carbon emissions equal zero.’
This guidance will become part of Defra’s Green Claims Code, due for publication later this year, which will help advertisers making environmental claims about products and services.
Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said:
“Businesses have an opportunity to lead the way on the UK’s climate change agenda and this guidance helps them do that. Measuring your GHG emissions is an important first step in addressing the UK’s contribution to the UK’s total emissions. By reducing them, organisations can save money on energy costs and resource efficiencies – as well as maintaining a competitive edge through strengthening their green credentials.
Energy Minister Joan Ruddock said:
“Measuring emissions is fundamental to our understanding of climate change and a vital first step towards managing carbon impacts. Businesses will play a vital part in the UK’s move to a low carbon future and this guidance will enable organisations to identifying their emissions and work towards reducing them saving energy and money.
“We are committed to setting UK businesses on a course to combating climate change that will inspire other nations to take the same action.”
Posted under General Interest on 5 October 2009