Mandatory carbon reporting: Transport emissions crucial says Ricardo-AEA

  • From April 2013, all businesses listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange will be required to report their levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions including some transport data, both in the UK and overseas

  • Neither transport nor overseas emissions are covered by most current schemes so determining their scope will be one of the major challenges faced by reporting companies

  • Ricardo-AEA advises businesses affected by mandatory carbon reporting to act on transport emissions or risk reputation


Leading environmental consultancy Ricardo-AEA is advising companies preparing for new carbon reporting rules to act on transport emissions or risk damaging their corporate reputation. The UK is the first country to make it compulsory for companies to include emissions data in their annual reports. The introduction of the reporting rules will enable investors to see which companies are effectively measuring the magnitude of their greenhouse gas emissions.

Companies are required to report ‘scope 1’ GHG emissions that relate to the direct outputs of the business, as well as ‘scope 2’ emissions that are the consequence of the activities of the business but which occur at other sources, such as the consumption of purchased electricity. The reporting requirement also includes some transport emissions and its scope extends to the overseas operations of the organization. Neither transport nor overseas emissions are covered by most current schemes so determining their scope will be one of the major challenges faced by reporting companies.

“Transport emissions are likely to be a new consideration for many businesses and it can be a challenge to determine those which fall within the scope of the new rules,” commented Christine St John Cox, Ricardo-AEA’s carbon management knowledge leader. “Companies should therefore act now to identify which transport emissions they are responsible for, and which they will need to report.

“This can be particularly complicated for vehicles used in the transportation of materials, products, waste and employees. It’s very easy to assume that these emissions are not covered by the new regulations, when in actual fact they could be. Unfortunately, getting this classification wrong could risk damaging the reputation of your company.” 

Where a company has either financial or operational control of the transportation of good and services, then emissions would fall under Scope 1 and be reported, Christine St John Cox advised. “However this needs careful consideration and is just one example of the many issues businesses face,” she added. “As one of the UK’s leading environmental consultancies backed by the resources of a global organization, Ricardo-AEA is ideally placed to assist companies in meeting the requirements of the new regulations.

“The good news for businesses is that monitoring and reporting in this way helps to identify opportunities to cut emissions. And as transport accounts for a significant proportion of operational costs for many organizations, there is the potential to make significant financial savings, alongside the reductions in carbon.”

Companies can download a free Ricardo-AEA guide on mandatory reporting here.


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Leading environmental consultancy Ricardo-AEA has grown by around 20 percent in Scotland over the past year.
Ricardo-AEA is currently working on a number of projects in Scotland across resource efficiency, carbon management, renewables and air quality. A major area of focus at present is supporting the Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland in moving Scotland towards a zero waste economy and in particular providing support to SMEs to realise the substantial economic benefits available through resource efficiency.
Leadership by the Scottish government in important policy areas such as resource efficiency and the development of the Low Carbon Economic Strategy intends to increase the value of the low carbon goods and services sector to more than 10 percent of the Scottish economy by 2015, creating 60,000 green jobs. The Low Carbon Economic Strategy also aims to encourage Scottish companies to exploit commercial opportunities.
Jamie Pitcairn, director of Ricardo-AEA in Scotland said: “The growth of Ricardo-AEA in Scotland is a direct result of the country’s ambitious targets, supported by the policies and practical leadership of the Scottish government. We look forward to supporting both government agencies and the private sector in realizing the potential for a low carbon Scot