The Basics

Transform compliance with carbon accounting software

In recent years, there has been a growing demand for accurate and efficient carbon accounting solutions to measure, track, and manage greenhouse gas emissions, which has largely been driven by the increasingly strict regulations that have been set at global and localized levels. 

As such, businesses are recognising the need to be able to accurately track their carbon emissions. Here, Minimum investigates how effective carbon accounting software can aid compliance with rapidly evolving carbon reporting regulation. 

Why complying with carbon regulations and guidelines is important

Complying with carbon regulations and guidelines is important for several reasons. First of all, compliance with legislation and mandatory regulation requirements  ensures that organizations meet their legal obligations, avoid penalties, and maintain a positive relationship with regulators. It also fosters collaboration between governments, businesses, and other stakeholders to achieve common environmental goals

Complying with carbon regulations demonstrates a commitment to responsible and sustainable practices, enhancing your organization's reputation, attracting environmentally conscious stakeholders, investors and customers. In turn, this can provide access to markets and funding opportunities that prioritize sustainable and low-carbon initiatives.

By leveraging advanced data analytics tools, organizations can delve deeper into their carbon emissions data, uncover patterns and trends, and gain valuable insights. These actions move organizations beyond mere compliance, allowing them to proactively address their environmental impact and improve sustainability performance.

What regulations are there?

Regulation around carbon reporting varies based on the location of the reporting entity. Different countries and regions have their own unique sets of rules and requirements for carbon reporting. Some jurisdictions may have mandatory reporting obligations for certain organizations, specifying the methodologies, thresholds, and reporting frequency. 

In contrast, others may have voluntary reporting initiatives or rely on industry-specific frameworks. It is essential for organizations to understand and comply with the specific regulations applicable to their location, ensuring accurate and transparent carbon reporting to meet legal obligations and stakeholder expectations.

Carbon regulation in the UK

Carbon regulation in the United Kingdom (UK) has been a significant focus in recent years as part of the country's commitment to combating climate change and transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Some examples of carbon regulation and initiatives in the UK include:

Carbon pricing

The UK has implemented a carbon pricing mechanism known as the Carbon Price Floor (CPF) which sets a minimum price for carbon emissions.

Carbon budgets

The UK operates under a legally binding system of carbon budgets which set limits on the amount of greenhouse gasses that the UK can emit over a specific time period.

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

The UK has implemented various measures to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency such as financial incentives as well as regulations mandating energy efficiency improvements in buildings and appliances.

Emissions Trading

Following its departure from the EU, the UK has established its own emissions trading scheme, known as the UK Emissions Trading System (UK ETS), which is designed to help the country meet its carbon reduction targets.

Net Zero Commitment

The UK is committed to a net-zero emissions target by 2050.

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) is a carbon regulation framework implemented in the United Kingdom. It was introduced in April 2019 and replaces the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme and expands the reporting obligations for eligible companies.

Learn more about Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)

Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) is an international initiative established by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) in 2015. Its primary objective is to develop a framework that helps companies and financial institutions assess and disclose climate-related risks and opportunities in their financial filings.

Learn more about Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD)

Carbon regulation in the EU

In the EU, carbon regulation encompasses mandatory measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions, such as the EU Emissions Trading System. Additionally, voluntary protocols like the EU Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative encourage organizations to report and reduce emissions voluntarily, fostering sustainability and transparency in the region.

Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is a law enacted by the European Commission to enhance and standardize sustainability reporting requirements for companies operating in the European Union (EU) and is on track to enter into force in 2024.

 It is part of the EU's broader sustainability agenda and aligns with the objective of achieving a sustainable and green transition. CSRD is mandatory for all sizable European companies and those listed on EU-regulated markets, this includes EU subsidiaries of non-EU parent companies.

Learn more about Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)

Carbon regulation in the US

Carbon regulation in the United States has evolved over time and varies across different levels of government as well as along state and federal lines. The regulation variations include:

  • Federal Regulation
  • State-Level Initiatives
  • Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
  • Clean Energy Standards
  • Local Initiatives

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is an independent agency of the United States federal government. The SEC's primary mandate is to protect investors, facilitate capital formation, and maintain fair and efficient markets.

In recent years, the SEC has increasingly focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters, recognizing the growing importance of sustainability and responsible investing. The SEC has indicated its intention to enhance ESG disclosure requirements, ensuring that investors receive relevant and reliable information on companies' ESG performance and risks.

Is carbon reporting voluntary?

The voluntary nature of carbon reporting varies depending on the jurisdiction and the specific requirements in place. In many countries, carbon reporting is voluntary for most organizations, meaning that there is no legal obligation to report carbon emissions or disclose sustainability-related information. However, voluntary reporting has become increasingly common as organizations recognize the importance of measuring and disclosing their carbon emissions. 

There are situations where reporting becomes mandatory. Some jurisdictions have implemented regulations that require certain organizations to report their carbon emissions. These regulations often apply to large emitters, such as companies in specific sectors (e.g. energy, manufacturing, transportation) or organizations that exceed certain emission thresholds.

How carbon accounting software can help with regulatory compliance

Carbon accounting software can play a crucial role in helping organizations achieve regulatory compliance related to carbon emissions and sustainability reporting.

Carbon accounting software simplifies and streamlines the carbon accounting and reporting process, assisting organizations in achieving regulatory compliance. Leveraging such software can significantly enhance organizations' ability to meet their compliance obligations and stay ahead of evolving regulatory requirements.

Advantages of carbon accounting platforms

Carbon accounting platforms offer several advantages for organizations managing their carbon emissions. Firstly, they streamline data collection and analysis, automating the process and reducing manual errors. 

Secondly, these platforms provide accurate and reliable calculations of carbon emissions, ensuring compliance with regulations and reporting requirements. 

Thirdly, they offer real-time monitoring and reporting, enabling organizations to track their emissions in a timely manner and make informed decisions. Additionally, carbon accounting platforms facilitate scenario analysis and forecasting, helping organizations assess the impact of different strategies and plan for the future. 

How Minimum can help with our carbon accounting platform

Minimum can help organizations to understand their existing carbon output, and create plans to mitigate climate related risks in the future.  Our Emissions Data Platform seamlessly collects and processes emissions data from every corner of your organization and supply chain - no matter the format. Making it the ideal platform for emissions audits and all-round business intelligence. 

Learn more about how Minimum's Emission Data Platform can help to power you all the way to Net Zero today.