Between the official ESOS and SECR schemes as well as a general steer from the entirety of UK government to decarbonise and prioritise energy efficiency, there’s never been more pressure on businesses of all shapes and sizes across the UK to undergo carbon reporting. This article looks at the carbon reporting obligations of small to medium businesses and large enterprises alike.
However, large businesses are far more likely to fall under the heavy ramifications that can occur for businesses that fail to be compliant. ESOS non-compliance, for example, can lead to fines of up to £50,000.
‘Large businesses’ can be a nebulous term. In the eyes of ESOS criteria, that is a business
with more than 250 employees OR an annual turnover exceeding €50m and a balance sheet exceeding €43m. But for SECR, businesses must only meet 2 criteria: either 250+ employees, an annual turnover over £36m or a balance sheet exceeding £18m.
This makes it harder to know which carbon reporting obligations your business might fall under.
ESOS or SECR?
ESOS, or the Energy Savings and Opportunities Scheme, requires that businesses identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption.
Meanwhile, the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme instead mandates that a business reports on its carbon emissions each year when they submit their director’s report. Large LLPs must create an entirely new ‘Energy and Carbon report’.
Essentially, your business may be eligible for SECR or ESOS – but it’s often the case that, due to the criteria, you’ll need to be aware of both. While ESOS is about identifying energy efficiency methods and is done in phases, SECR deals solely with your carbon reporting responsibilities and must be done every year.
At Integral Energy, we offer a combined SECR and ESOS management service to ensure you remain compliant with your carbon reporting responsibilities so you are free to concentrate on the main goals of your business. Click here to enquire.
Small business carbon reporting
Currently, small businesses are not governed by ESOS or SECR regulations and do not have to report on carbon emissions by law. However, it’s becoming an increasingly positive way to promote your corporate social responsibility practices and show that you’re serious about decarbonisation.
Reporting on your carbon efficiency can lead to more customers – a UniLever study found that 33% of customers are choosing to buy goods or services from brands who are seen to be doing environmental or social good.
So if you’re running a small business, it’s not a requirement to report your carbon emissions but it can be a great way to generate goodwill and attract customers. For those reasons alone, it’s worth assessing your carbon using a tool like this one from the CarbonTrust – then publishing the positive results across your social media channels, or working to better than if the results aren’t up to par.
If you’re curious about decarbonisation, whether that’s carbon reporting to generate better public reception or to fulfil legal obligations, get in touch today for a free consultation with our team.