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Carbon Trust launches carbon footprint verification service

Green accounting news – by GreenWise staff
13th October 2011
With a decision expected imminently on mandatory carbon reporting for UK businesses, the Carbon Trust has taken the pre-emptive step of launching a carbon footprint verification service.
Carbon Trust Footprint Verification will provide independent verification of corporate carbon footprints and will help companies and organisations that already are, or are looking to report and disclose their carbon emissions, prove they have done so robustly, the Carbon Trust said.

"With the prospect of mandatory carbon reporting on the horizon and increasing pressure from shareholders for carbon disclosure, more companies and organisations are seeking independent assurance that their carbon footprint has been measured robustly and accurately," Harry Morrison, director, Carbon Trust Certification, said. 

Carbon reporting
An increasing number of companies and organisations are now measuring and reporting their carbon emissions voluntarily and, under the 2008 Climate Change Act, the Government is required to introduce mandatory carbon reporting for businesses in April 2012, or explain to Parliament why such regulations have not been implemented. The Footprint Verification service aims to take advantage of these twin opportunities.

How the service will work
The new verification service will assess emissions using the measurement rules of the Carbon Trust Standard, the Carbon Trust’s recognised UK certification for companies and organisations that want to demonstrate their commitment to tackling climate change through measuring, managing and reducing their carbon emissions. Verification will be in two stages, the first of which will establish whether there are omissions or discrepancies in existing footprint data. Once these are addressed, final footprint verification will take place. Verified footprints will be compliant with both the internationally recognised GHG Protocol , as well as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the Carbon Trust said. Those using the service will be able to display the Footprint Verification logo, in conjunction with the carbon footprint data, showing that their emissions have been verified.
The new service comes in the wake of CDP’ 2011 annual Global 500 report, which found that 45 per cent of the world’s largest companies are now reducing and reporting reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions, a marked increase on last year when it was just 19 per cent. Meanwhile, recent research from the Carbon Trust shows that 50 per cent of multinationals look set to select their suppliers based upon carbon performance in the future. 

"The business case for measuring and reducing carbon emissions stretches beyond internal cost efficiency and improving environmental reputation. Effective carbon management also offers significant rewards for businesses seeking to secure their places on enterprise supply chains, which nowadays increasingly look to their suppliers to play an active role in cutting emissions," Morrison said.

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