Environmental reporting landscape: ready for the challenge?

Environmental reporting landscape: ready for the challenge?
Environmental reporting landscape: ready for the challenge?

It is an immense challenge for a business to keep up with the ever-changing environmental reporting landscape driven by new regulations and increasing stakeholder demands. These come about from growing government and societal expectations about the level of scrutiny and action needed from businesses. Unsurprisingly, this manifests itself in a growth and extension of current reporting – from 2013-2016 there was a 65% increase in mandatory reporting instruments. The non-financial reporting discipline has also broadened in recent years to include human rights aspects, governance and climate-related risks.

An illustration of the changing environmental reporting landscape is the upcoming streamlined energy and carbon reporting in the UK that will combine requirements of the current mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting and the CRC scheme that will cease to exist from August 2019. The new legislation will also extend the mandatory reporting requirements beyond quoted companies to large companies (size to be defined). This will bring changes to the reporting format as well as increase the number of businesses that need to comply.

Another recent significant development is the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive, which introduced new requirements for large and public interest companies such as disclosing information on environmental protection and human rights. As with other European laws, implementation of this directive varies between individual nations. For instance, definitions of large and public interest companies vary between countries (e.g. Greece also includes extractive industries in the criteria).

These differences add further complexity to reporting compliance for companies operating across multiple countries, which is the usual modus operandi for many hotel & restaurant groups. This also applies to GHG reporting. France has become the first country to require certain companies to report on Scope 3 emissions. Extending businesses’ accountability of its upstream and downstream supply chain emissions is positive but simultaneously leads to a divergence in reporting among the individual countries and makes it more difficult to report emissions as a hotel or restaurant group.

There is no doubt that it is challenging for any business to keep up with the changing, increasing reporting requirements. But we are here to offer you support. We stay up to date with global voluntary and mandatory environmental reporting through our global industry partners, knowledge networks and clients. Get in touch to find out what are the compliance requirements for your business.

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