Jonathan: Ecometrica works with many leading companies to help them understand their environmental impacts. What issues do you think Mandatory Carbon Reporting could raise in the practical terms of measurement?
Richard: The move to formal reporting means companies will want to review the quality of their measurements. A significant number of companies are already reporting emissions but in quite a rough and ready way. So there will be issues of quality and confidence as companies look to ensure that the numbers they are using are accurate and cover the correct things.
Plus the people in an organisation who understand the figures will need to extend beyond the CSR department. Senior management and board will require at least a grasp of what they mean.
Jonathan: CFOs are ultimately responsible for reporting, so how do you think they will react? If they’ve been reporting to the CRC will the reaction be ‘we’ve got this covered?’ Or is the real value of MCR in how the information can be used to gain a competitive advantage, by better helping the board manage risk and uncertainty?
Richard: MCR is at a very early stage so it will be some time before it’s viewed as strategic. The few companies that have considered it are the exceptions. However it is different to the CRC, which only covers some buildings in the UK and just carbon dioxide, rather than all greenhouse gases from all sources around the world.
Companies are still considering the potential impacts MCR can have and there could be a variety of positions as a result. For example they could feel exposed to risk if there’s a price put on carbon, or be advantaged by it.Equally they could see the chance to win competitive advantage by being able to demonstrate action on managing and reducing carbon impact and articulate greener brand values, or lose out to others if they don’t have a strong narrative.
Read the full interview at The CarbonNeutral Company blog.