Property industry welcomes move to disclose greenhouse emissions

The move is seen as a vital step towards the UK reducing its overall greenhouse gas emission and will affect over 50 companies in the property sector. Non-domestic buildings account for 17 per cent of the country’s emissions.

Many of the recommendations, including its introduction through companies listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, have been championed by the BPF. There were fears it might first be introduced to ‘large companies’ based upon a Companies Act definition. This would have been problematic for the property industry as many smaller property companies would be caught by the Companies Act definition of a ‘large company’ without having appropriate resource to devote to reporting activities.

The BPF also feels the introduction of emissions reporting casts some doubt over the need for the emissions league table under the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “The BPF is supportive of emissions reporting, and its introduction for listed companies is a welcome step.  In our response to the consultation we favoured a staged approach toward its introduction, commencing with listed companies; that the Government has heeded our advice, with a review of emissions reporting in 2015 to determine whether it should be extended to other companies, is welcome.

“The introduction of emissions reporting raises questions about separate plans for an emissions league table under the CRCEES.  The aim of the emissions league table was raise energy efficiency considerations to board level, and there’s a strong argument to be made that this will be more effectively achieved via today’s announcement.

“We remain concerned that Defra’s voluntary emissions reporting standards, which we would expect to inform mandatory emissions reporting standards, use international accounting standards to determine emissions responsibility.   International accounting standards concerning the treatment of leased assets have been subject to a significant level of debate over the past two years, and financial ownership can be a poor proxy for control over emissions.

“The property industry has expended significant resource to try to arrive at reporting standards which take account of the different spheres of control and influence over resource use in rented commercial properties; we intend to work with Government through the Green Construction Board to outline where there has been success and where there is work still to be done

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