Were you caught out on 1st April?

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It’s no joke. On the 1st April, five thousand companies in the UK became affected by new legislation requiring all companies on half-hourly electric meters to register for the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, committing them to submit an information statement on their carbon usage. It’s clear that governments, in the UK and elsewhere, are determined to ensure that senior executives within large organisations are compelled to take appropriate steps to reduce their company’s carbon footprints.

However, we are not just talking about large utility companies and heavy industries, the new legislation affects a swathe of businesses across the full spectrum of industrial activity. These businesses will have to act to measure their emissions and report them as required by law.

The problem is the majority of companies are perplexed by the range of emerging standards, measurement techniques, reporting tools and management methods available. What’s more, a growing number of procurement departments are incorporating carbon thinking into their purchasing decisions, putting pressure on suppliers to provide carbon footprint data that complies with their measurement methods. This is throwing many suppliers into confusion as they are being required to provide very different sets of data to various customers.

If this whole process of measuring carbon emissions is to make practical sense for all, then collaboration amongst buyers, suppliers and governments is essential – and to a large extent that will mean working through collaborative schemes that are appropriate to an industrial sector.
The utilities sector is leading the way in adopting a collaborative approach to this problem, working through the internationally recognised Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS). It might be worth other sectors looking at collaborating in this way too.

Either way, if you’re affected by the legislation you had better get measuring.

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