As a business owner, you may be interested in investigating how you can improve the energy efficiency and carbon footprint of your business. You may even have heard of the SECR scheme but not fully understand what is required from an SECR report. In this blog, Boxfish will discuss exactly what is included in SECR so you can decide whether it is the right step for you and your business.
So, what is Included in SECR? SECR is a scheme that involves qualified businesses completing an in-depth assessment of the carbon emissions associated with their energy consumption (electricity, gas and transport related) across their operations. From this report, the businesses are then provided with guidance on how to improve their energy efficiency.
Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of the SECR scheme as well as who is exempt from the SECR scheme.
SECR, also referred to as Streamlined Energy and Carbon Footprint Reporting, is a Government regulated legislation that requires particular qualifying companies to create detailed reports based on data from their energy consumption. Energy consumption that is required to be quantified within the SECR report includes electricity and gas usage, , and transport use related to private and company vehicles and any other miscellaneous consumption such as in back-up diesel generators, mobile gas heaters etc. The purpose of the SECR report is to calculate an intensity metric that can be used to compare the organisation against competitors and other sectors and as a baseline for setting reduction targets.
It is also easy to confuse the SECR scheme with ESOS, so if you need some help recognising the difference, click here to read one of our recent blogs which explains the difference between the two as well as the requirements to qualify for each one.
If your business qualifies for SECR, you may be confused about what exactly you must disclose within your SECR report. From electricity consumption to greenhouse gases, Boxfish have detailed below exactly what you need to report in SECR to help you out.
The first factor within your SECR report is the electricity consumption of the qualifying business. This must incorporate both the purchase of electricity by the business for its own usage as well as for the usage of transport.
Another key requirement of the SECR report is the declaration of gas consumption for stationary and mobile activities that the business is responsible for. An example of this type of usage would be the gas heating within a large set of offices.
Transport is another important metric that must be included within a qualifying business’ SECR report. The Government requires businesses to report the energy usage for any vehicles used by the business and that they purchase the fuel for. Examples of this would include fuel consumption for a fleet of lorries within a fleet business. SECR also needs to capture energy consumption associated with staff using their private cars for company business and which they claim back the expense.
It is also important to remember to calculate and quantify the greenhouse gas emissions of your business within the SECR report. The regulations require qualifying businesses to report the annual gross amount of a basket of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere, measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Another very important feature of the SECR report is that businesses must state at least one metric which portrays its annual emissions in connection with a measurable factor. In general, most organisations will use tonnes of CO2e per million pound turnover or FTE headcount but other sector specific metrics can be used e.g. tonnes of product.
Qualifying businesses are also required to disclose the methodology they used to calculate the required information for the SECR report. It is important to ensure that within this methodology you show how your calculations are both robust and use the trusted methods. If you are keen to learn more about the widely recognised calculus method, click the link to view the reputable GHG Reporting Protocol – Corporate Standard and see how you can apply it within your SECR report methodology.
The SECR report must also include a narrative description of the relevant measures and actions taken in order to increase the overall energy efficiency of the qualifying business within the previous year as well as any that are planned to be implemented in the next reporting period. It is particularly effective to include the actions which have had a direct effect on the energy efficiency of the business.
To find out more about SECR reports, take a look at the helpful and informative video below.
If you are a qualifying business for the SECR scheme, and you have read through all of the features that must be included within the report, you may now be wondering whether there are any benefits to you putting in all of this effort. You will be glad to know that there are many benefits related to the SECR scheme which make it worth you abiding by the strict requirements. Take a look below to find out more about these benefits.
|Shaping an Improvement Related Culture||By qualifying and complying with the SECR requirements you will begin to shape a culture that drives for improvement. This is significant because even though the improvements are related to energy consumption, the analysis and thought process behind the report can be transferred to other aspects of business such as cost reduction and improving sustainability. Therefore, engaging in the SECR program can make a big difference to the attitude towards continued improvement within your business.
|Improved Carbon Footprint||One of the most important benefits of the SECR scheme is that it can help you to improve your business’ overall carbon footprint. After submitting your SECR report, you will later receive recommendations and steps on how to improve your carbon footprint. This can help you to identify methods to improve the business’ carbon footprint which you may not have realised before because you are too involved within the business. What’s more, because the SECR scheme is an annual occurrence you can be sure that the business is being assessed regularly to continuously identify areas for improvement.
|Increased Profit Margins||Complying with the SECR scheme is also a great way to improve your business’ profit margin. The suggestions for improvement provided after the SECR report is complete can help you to identify areas where you could reduce spending in order to increase spending in more efficient areas. This can help you to increase the business’ profit margin which is great for the success and longevity of the business.
|Increased Desirability to Investors||Another benefit of the SECR scheme that is often overlooked is that it can increase the desirability of your business to investors. Being Eco-conscious and having a good carbon footprint, is no longer a rarity in business, but rather is an expectation from consumers and investors. Therefore, if you can show that you are actively making efforts to improve these factors, your business is more likely to attract investors which can speed up the growth of the business.
|Improved Reputation||Complying with SECR is also a great way to improve the reputation of your business. Being known in the industry as a business that is conscious about its carbon footprint and impact on the environment can potentially attract more customers.
Now that you are aware of the benefits and requirements of the SECR scheme you may be interested in completing your first SECR report. However, it is important to understand that not all businesses are eligible for this opportunity and that there are some businesses that will not meet the criteria.
Businesses are exempt from the SECR if:
However, it is important to note that you can still get the benefits of the SECR even if you do not qualify. At Boxfish we provide a Carbon Baseline service whereby businesses can complete the same report and receive the same advice on how to improve the environmental impact of their businesses. Click here to find out more about our Carbon Baseline service.
At Boxfish we have 27 years of experience in the industry and have completed over 150 SECR and Carbon Baseline reports for a wide variety of clients and sectors to date. We can can support you with the reporting, data quantification, identification of improvement actions and implementation fo the improvements. If you are seeking some guidance with your SECR compliance report, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.