The Corporate Emissions Reduction Transparency (CERT) report was recently announced by the Clean Energy Regulator in response to the growing demand for organisations to demonstrate their initiatives on climate action.
The CERT report allows businesses reporting under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Scheme with emissions or energy over the publishing threshold (50,000 tonnes CO2-e) to opt-in to publicly report on climate action. This could include emissions reduction targets, renewable energy targets, carbon offsetting efforts and renewable energy procurement.
It is extremely important as the market moves, and as consumer and regulator expectations of business are significantly increasing year on year, that there is a robust, consistent, and well supported framework for the reporting of renewable energy and emissions reduction targets, and progress against them. The proposed CERT report provides such a framework.
The CERT report will underpin other emerging frameworks and schemes such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the existing Climate Active program, which continues to see larger emitters involved including organisations such as ISPT Pty Ltd and Lion Pty Ltd.
In addition to enabling reporting of emissions reduction and renewable energy targets, it will also allow NGER reporters to record their Climate Active status, the volume of carbon offsets and Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) surrendered, and the percentage of energy consumed that was renewable. Organisations can also communicate their year-on-year progress towards their targets, however the details on how this will be reported are yet to be finalised.
As net-zero and emissions reductions targets become increasingly common, the CERT report presents a chance for NGER reporters to turn obligation into opportunity. Establishing an emission reduction target first requires an understanding of a business’s emissions baseline, a task already undertaken for scope 1 and 2 emissions for those reporting under NGER. Establishing an appropriate, market-acceptable target is therefore the natural next step for businesses, before developing a clear roadmap for a low carbon transition.
Businesses must opt-in to report
The proposed closing of the CERT opt-in is at the end of October 2021, with certificate surrenders required by 15 January 2022. The first CERT report will be published as part of the annual NGER scheme data publication for the 2020-21 reporting period. If a business does not opt-in, its total emissions will be reported as usual, with only scope 1 and 2 emissions and total energy consumed and produced reported.
While opting-in to the CERT report is voluntary, the report is likely to become the dominant source for transparently tracking business progress against their emission reduction commitments. Organisations with Climate Active certification or established targets in place should relish the opportunity to showcase themselves as leaders in climate action, particularly those with Science Based Targets (SBTs), which are aligned with climate science and considered to be best practise. Other organisations may prefer to wait and see how they will compare with their competitors, however not participating may see businesses running the risk of increased public and investor scrutiny on how they are monitoring and addressing their emissions and climate risk.
Ndevr Environmental offers a range of services to support reporting under the CERT, including Climate Active certification support, benchmarking assessments, development of Science Based Targets and procurement of carbon offsets and renewable energy. For a no cost, no obligation discovery session to discuss the developments, opportunities, and risks for your business under the CERT, contact Louise Walsh on firstname.lastname@example.org | 0401 639 952 or email@example.com
Louise is a renewable energy engineer with over five years’ experience in renewable energy, emissions reduction technologies, carbon accounting, carbon and energy policy and emissions reduction strategies.