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Top mistakes made under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Scheme and 5 ways to avoid them

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERs) is the national framework for Australia’s largest emitters to report their carbon emissions. While the reporting requirements can be complex and confusing, most mistakes are can be avoided with a few simple steps.

With NGERs reporting due in a month, we’ve collated our five top tips to help avoid common errors under NGERs and set your reporting up for success.

1. Start your NGERs Reporting early

The biggest mistake a reporter can make is waiting too late in the year to get started on reporting requirements. This can lead to mistakes and gaps in reporting, or late submission, all of which attract compliance penalties. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking there is plenty of time. Starting early will help ensure a smooth and stress-free reporting season, however, if you’ve found yourself behind schedule, read on to tip 2.

2. Do not get caught in the weeds

Another common mistake reporters make is getting lost in the detail of data collection. Taking a step back to first understand the controlling corporation, corporate structure, and which facilities the controlling corporation has operational control over, will help keep you from falling down any data collection rabbit holes, or omitting emission sources.

Once you know what you need to report on, you can also consider taking advantage of the NGER Regulations to simplify reporting. Can you aggregate facilities? Can you report emissions as incidental emissions or a percentage estimate? Does the activity or emission source need to be reported at all?

Ndevr Environmental has helped many NGER clients streamline their reporting by taking advantage of the different reporting options so that they can focus on their core business.

3. Sense check

With a lot of data management systems available to help reporters streamline data collection and analysis, it can be tempting to rely on those systems alone. Implementing some quick sense checks will reinforce the accuracy and reliability of the emissions and energy report and help identify any potential errors in the system.

Some checks we recommend include comparing against previous years’ emissions, reviewing emissions intensity trends and undertaking a data variability analysis.

4. Remember to document

A common mistake under NGERs, and a significant risk, is not having a clear process to complete an NGERs report. Documenting and updating the reporting process each year helps ensure corporate knowledge is captured, productivity and efficiency is secured and that the report is accurate, transparent, comparable, and complete.

5. Turn your NGERS reporting data into opportunity

Compliance reporting is largely associated with risk, so once the NGER report is submitted, the risk is managed, and the data forgotten until next year’s reporting season. The corporations that make the most out of their NGER reporting are those that also identify the opportunities revealed by the emissions and energy reports. NGERs data can uncover energy reduction and cost savings potential, high-emissions facilities, and exposure to climate risk; but might also provide an opportunity for corporates to develop a strategy for future emissions reduction or celebrate emissions reduction already achieved. The upcoming pilot of the Corporate Emissions Reduction Transparency (CERT) Report is the perfect opportunity for corporations making the most of their data to publicly celebrate their emission reduction achievements to date.

Ndevr Environmental offers value-add services to our NGER clients, delivering insights such as emissions reduction recommendations, renewable energy opportunities and carbon neutral business case assessments.

Contact us if you need assistance with your NGER compliance, quality assurance support, or to discuss the opportunities that arise from understanding your emissions in terms of savings and future emissions reductions. Email us on environment@ndevr.com.au or call +61 3 7035 1740 , we’d love to help.

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