Tuesday 3 March 2020 1:00 am

Businesses urged to fight climate change and cut costs

Businesses will be required to submit data on their carbon emissions, alongside their accounts, for the first time.

The Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting requirements (SECR) will take affect for 12,000 companies whose financial year’s started on or before 1 April 2019

The government argues cutting the 30 per cent of annual greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, including business premises, could save businesses £6bn.

“Evidence shows that reporting energy use saves businesses on their bills, can boost productivity and attract increasingly green-minded customers by showing they’re committed to fighting climate change,” Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said.

In addition, they must explain steps they are taking to make their business more environmentally friendly, a requirement since 2015.

This comes in the form of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) which is done at least every four years.

According to the last set of figures released under ESOS, energy savings from business could have powered 180,000 homes.

“These latest requirements are coming into force in this year of climate action and will help take businesses’ energy savings to the next level, cutting emissions and boosting bottom lines as we work towards net zero by 2050,” Kwarteng added.

This comes on the day after the government announced its decision to allow public subsidies for onshore wind.

These were banned in 2016 by then Prime Minister David Cameron.

Though controversial due to their cost and position on the landscape, the government hopes they can help the UK meet its net zero target by 2050.

As part of this, the government has also made various funds available to help carbonise industry.

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The government wants to reduce business energy use by 20 per cent by 2030.

It has estimated this could prevent 22 million tonnes of CO2 being emitted annually.

Information will be provided on the best and fastest ways to reduce emissions.

Companies which fail to comply with SECR could have to pay a fine or resubmit their annual accounts to companies house.