Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR): A Simple Guide for Businesses

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR): A Simple Guide for Businesses 

In an era of heightened environmental consciousness and regulatory scrutiny, businesses are compelled to navigate the intricate landscape of energy consumption and carbon emissions. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the complexities of SECR, providing businesses with a clear roadmap to not only meet compliance requirements but also unlock the potential for sustainable practices that drive both ecological and economic benefits.

Synnovate will be able to provide the carbon reporting analytics platform offering needed to be included in your Energy & Carbon report.

Why is SECR reporting important for businesses?

Synnovate understands the significance of SECR (Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting) for businesses, as it empowers them to effectively measure and manage their energy consumption and carbon emissions. Through meticulous reporting of energy usage and emissions, Businesses can gain insights into their environmental footprint, thereby pinpointing avenues for enhancing energy efficiency and driving cost-effective measures.

SECR reporting not only promotes transparency and accountability but also underscores a company’s commitment to sustainability, which can enhance its reputation among stakeholders and customers who value environmentally responsible practices. Moreover, compliance with SECR regulations positions businesses harmoniously within the broader environmental goals outlined by governments and international agreements.

How much does it cost to get an SECR report?

The cost of obtaining an SECR report can vary depending on the size of the business, its energy consumption, the complexity of its operations, and the chosen method of reporting. There are typically two main approaches to acquiring an SECR report:

  • In-house Reporting: If a business possesses the requisite expertise and resources, it has the option to internally compile the SECR report. This process would encompass the collection and analysis of energy data, calculation of carbon emissions, and provision of the Required information. The associated expenses in this scenario would mainly encompass staff time, software or tools for data analysis, and any external support needed for data validation.
  • Outsourced Reporting: Many businesses opt to outsource SECR reporting to specialised consultants or service providers. The cost, in this instance, depends on business complexity, size, and the pricing structure dictated by the chosen service provider. These providers often offer packages or customisedsolutions, with costs ranging from a few hundred to several thousand pounds, depending on business needs.

Synnovate advocates for businesses to critically evaluate the potential benefits stemming from precise and exhaustive SECR reporting. This practice not only identifies avenues for energy conservation but also improvesustainability performance, all while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. The costs associated with obtaining an SECR report should be carefully considered in relation to these potential benefits and the long-term value of energy efficiency improvements.

How Can Synnovate Assist You?

Synnovate recognises the importance of seamless SECR (Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting) compliance for businesses. To navigate this essential process efficiently, consider partnering with various expert entities, including:

  • Environmental Consultancies: These specialised companies excel in delivering bespoke environmental and sustainability consulting services. Synnovate collaborates closely with such consultancies to aid in data collection, meticulous analysis, and comprehensive reporting, ensuring full adherence to SECR regulations while enhancing your sustainability performance.
  • Energy Management Companies: Businesses specialising in energy management can provide assistance with data tracking, energy efficiency strategies, and carbon emissions calculations necessary for SECR reporting.
  • Sustainability Software Providers: Synnovate acknowledges the pivotal role of advanced technology in modern reporting. Certain software companies provide dedicated platforms tailored to streamline sustainability reporting, encompassing SECR prerequisites. These platforms aid enterprises in efficiently gathering, analyzing, and reporting their energy and carbon data.
  • Accounting Firms: Synnovate understands the synergy between environmental and financial reporting. Select accounting firms proffer cutting-edge sustainability services, seamlessly integrating environmental reporting with financial aspects, thus ensuring seamless SECR compliance.
  • Environmental NGOs and Nonprofits: Certain non-governmental organisations and nonprofits offer support and guidance on sustainability reporting, including SECR compliance.

When looking for a company to help with SECR reporting, Synnovate advises a meticulous evaluation of their proficiency, historical accomplishments, and the degree of tailored assistance they can extend, tailored to your business’s unique scale and requirements. You can search online for service providers, ask for recommendations from business partners or industry associations, and evaluate the range of services and costs offered before making a decision.

When do I have to get an SECR report and what is the criteria for having to get a SECR?

Synnovate comprehends the significance of understanding the timeline and criteria for SECR (Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting) reporting.

  1. More than 250 employees
  2. Annual turnover exceeding £36 million
  3. Balance sheet total exceeding £18 million

If your company meets these criteria, you are required to include SECR information in your Directors’ Report as part of your annual filing with Companies House. This information should cover energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency measures.

What happens if I don’t get a report?

Synnovate emphasises that failure to adhere to SECR reporting obligations can result in significant legal and financial consequences. The UK government maintains a resolute stance on environmental reporting, and disregard for compliance may culminate in the following repercussions:

1. Fines and Penalties: Companies that fail to submit their SECR report on time or provide inaccurate information may be subject to fines and penalties imposed by the regulatory authorities.

2. Reputational Damage: Non-compliance with environmental reporting requirements can damage your company’s reputation, particularly if you are perceived as not taking sustainability seriously.

3. Legal Action: In extreme cases of repeated non-compliance or significant breaches, legal action may be taken against the company, which could result in further financial and reputational damage.

Synnovate advocates for meticulous compliance not only to meet regulatory requisites but also to manifest your resolute commitment to sustainability and ethical business conduct.

Can SECR reporting lead to accreditations?

SECR (Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting) itself is not an accreditation or certification program. It is a mandatory reporting requirement for certain large UK incorporated companies, aimed at increasing transparency around energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency measures.

However, complying with SECR and demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency through the reporting process can positively impact a company’s reputation and environmental performance. By actively managing and reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, businesses may become eligible for various sustainability accreditations and certifications.

Synnovate suggests businesses look into these certifications. Explore Some of the Prominent Sustainability Accreditations and Certifications:

  1. ISO 14001: This globally recognised standard for environmental management systems. It empowers companies to instate and execute eco-conscious practices.
  2. Carbon Trust Standard: This certification recognises organisations that measure, manage, and reduce carbon emissions.
  3. BREEAM: The BREEAM methodology—an assessment tool encompassing infrastructure and building sustainability.
  4. LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)—a prolific green building certification framework.
  5. GRESB: This benchmark scrutinises real asset environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance on a global scale.
  6. CDP: The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) as a conduit for companies to transparently communicate their environmental impact and performance.

By taking proactive steps to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, businesses may position themselves to achieve these accreditations and certifications, which can further enhance their reputation, attract environmentally conscious customers, investors, and stakeholders, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

What does an SECR report include?

This comprehensive report incorporates pivotal facets that encapsulate the company’s energy and sustainability performance within the annual reporting framework. Notable constituents encompass:

Energy Consumption: Details of the total energy consumption for the company during the financial year. This encompasses an array of energy sources utilised for operational functions, such as electricity, gas, and other pertinent energy mediums.

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3): The report should disclose the total greenhouse gas emissions produced by the company during the financial year, categorised into three scopes:

Scope 1: This involves direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company, such as emissions resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels in company-owned vehicles or on-site facilities.

Scope 2: This covers indirect emissions stemming from purchased electricity, heat, or steam consumed by the company.

Scope 3: These encompass indirect emissions that arise as a result of the company’s activities but are not directly owned or controlled by the company. They can include emissions from business travel, employee commuting, supply chain activities, and waste disposal.

  • Intensity Metrics Integration: At Synnovate, we acknowledge the importance of integrating intensity metrics, enabling the correlation of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions with business metrics such as revenue or production output. This facilitates effective comparison and ongoing monitoring of efficiency enhancements.
  • Energy Efficiency Endeavours: Synnovate underscores the inclusion of information regarding energy-saving endeavours and efficiency measures executed by the enterprise during the reporting span.
  • Previous Year Comparisons: It is common to include data from the previous financial year for comparison purposes to show trends and progress in energy consumption and emissions reduction.
  • Methodology and Assumptions: The report should encompass explicit elucidation of methodologies and underlying assumptions deployed in the computation of energy consumption and emissions. This imparts transparency and safeguards accuracy.
  • Narrative and Context: Companies often include a narrative explaining their energy and emissions performance, goals, and future plans related to sustainability.

Interested and want to find out more about Streamline Energy & Carbon Reporting (SECR)? Contact Synnovate today for a discussion with one of our team.

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