Technology

Tool allows companies to report energy use via digital account filing

17 March 2020

A new digital tool will make it easier and more convenient for businesses to comply with energy and carbon reporting rules, the government has announced.

The Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) taxonomy allows businesses to report their energy and carbon data when they file digital accounts with Companies House.

The taxonomy has been developed by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in collaboration with Companies House and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and enables businesses to report information in XBRL format. Many companies already submit accounts using XBRL, but this is the first time it has been utilised to capture environmental data in annual reports.

SECR legislation, which came into force on 1 April 2019, requires all large UK companies and large LLPs, as well as all quoted companies, to report on their annual energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency actions they have taken. Other businesses can also include the disclosures on a voluntary basis.

Companies House and the FRC are responsible for ensuring businesses comply with the SECR reporting requirements.

Ross Maude, director of digital at Companies House, said: “This is a fantastic example of cross-government working to deliver a digital service that addresses an important issue.

“Understanding the role businesses have in reducing energy and carbon emissions is central to delivering the UK’s ambition to reach net zero by 2050.

“Through effective collaboration, we can make it easier for businesses to play their part.”

Project director for taxonomies at the FRC, Jennifer Guest, said: “Enabling companies to file their SECR reports digitally within their annual financial report is an important step in improving transparency of companies’ energy reporting.

“The SECR taxonomy has been carefully designed so it can be used with other accounting taxonomies making it simple and easy to use.”

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