That means all UK companies listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, a European Economic Area market or those whose shares are dealing on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ are obliged to comply.
However in a recent report, the independent carbon auditioning company Carbon Smart found that only 70 companies from the FTSE 350 – less than a quarter – had assurance statements in place to verify the quality of their reporting, eight fewer than in 2012.
Every year Carbon Smart publish The Smart Assurance Index which measures the quality of ‘assurance statements’ released by companies alongside their reports; An assurance statement shows the report has been done correctly and that the findings are therefore accurate.
The report states that; “With little regulatory mandate to guide assurance, it [Carbon Assurance] has been referred to as the wild west of sustainability reporting. An array of statements have been produced with different methodologies and insufficient detail on the credentials of the provider, making it difficult for readers to compare and understand how well the engagement has been carried out.”
The good news from the report is that the quality of assurance is improving “64% of those companies using assurance now produce an assurance statement that is clear in a number of ways: about the scope of the engagement; in the language that it uses; about the standards followed and the level it has been conducted to”
The bad news however, is that there are large discrepancies in the methodologies which are being used; “We believe the variation found in the quality of assurance statements is impacting on confidence levels and acting as a significant barrier to wider levels of uptake.” Carbon Smart – The Smart Index 2013-11-12
As sustainability reporting matures, driven by government regulation, public demand and company values, the need for credible reported information becomes critical.
This year’s top performers in the report are building materials group CRH which was top of the league, with British American Tobacco, Diageo and the Royal Bank of Scotland all maintaining their high rankings and BP significantly improving on last year.
Allen & York are specialist Energy Services & Carbon Recruiters; current opportunities include;
Carbon Reporting Consultant
Delivery Consultant Energy Team
Energy Consultant – Industrial
Location: Flexible UK
With the recent concerns surrounding the increase in energy prices, it is interesting to note that in a UK Government survey, published on 5 November 2013 and carried out in late September, 48% of people were already concerned about paying their energy bills and 76% were still in favour of renewable energy production.
The latest Public Attitudes Tracking Survey, which was carried out between 25 and 29 September said that support for both offshore and onshore wind, wave, tidal, biomass and solar has remained largely unchanged since the same period last year.
The figures were released the day after renewable energy company Good Energy released the results of their study that surveyed holidaymakers in Cornwall. Encouragingly, 94% of respondents said that the presence of solar and wind farms in the region would not have any impact on their decision to return. Only 2% of respondents said that the presence of wind and solar farms would deter them from returning.
The public also seem to be embracing solar power, as according to a DECC report published on 27 October 2013, almost 500,000 rooftops are now fitted with solar panels.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) revealed that 478,431 UK homes now have solar installations, which are generating a cumulative capacity of 1.72 GW.
The Solar Trade Association (STA), the trade body for the solar industry, argues that these half a million homes are now less exposed to the energy bill increases that are affecting households across the country.
STA chief executive Paul Barwell said, “People who are fed up with their energy supplier could do no better than to switch to supplying themselves with solar power on their roof.”
The STA’s ambition is for 1m homes across the UK to have solar panels on their roofs. If current installation rates of around 100,000 systems per year are doubled, the STA estimates this could be achieved by 2015.
“The more people that invest in solar power today, the quicker the price comes down tomorrow”, Barwell added.
“We need to keep going down this path until solar power is cheaper than retail electricity prices and everyone can have access to cheap, green power and stable energy bills.”
According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average cost of a domestic solar installation is around £7,000. The average system generates roughly 2,500 kilowatt hours (kWh) – equal to about two-thirds of the electricity demand of a home of two adults and two children – and saves around £800 every year. For more information visit the ‘Get Started with Renewables’ section of their website.
Allen & York are specialist technical recruiters within Renewable Energy and are currently recruiting for;
PV Solar Project Manager
Location: South – Flexible
Development Engineer – Onshore Wind
Technical Sales Manager – Offshore Wind Farm Service