Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First CRC Penalties

£99,000 of civil penalties have been levied on four participants of the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) for failing to provide reports on time.

The four companies, Saur (UK) Ltd, Henkel Ltd, BI Group plc and Tomkins Ltd were fined £41,000, £38,000, £10,000 and £10,000 respectively and although the fines seem steep they are set as described in the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme Order 2010. In fact in two of the cases (BI Group plc and Tomkins Ltd) discretion was exercised resulting in a reduction of the penalty imposed. These companies, the administrator judged, had taken all reasonable steps to comply or rectified the failure as soon as possible.

The reports that these companies had failed to provide were those for the first year (2010/11) of phase one, where CRC participants were obliged to provide a footprint report and an annual report by the end of July.

These penalties show that the enforcement agencies are taking non-compliance seriously, in spite of doubts about the future of the CRC.

They also serve as a reminder to participants that annual reports for the reporting year 2011/12 should have been submitted by 31st July 2012, allowances  paid for by 31st July and that the allowances should be surrendered by the 28th September 2012 deadline.

Monday, August 13, 2012

August – and it’s all gone quiet

The Olympics are over, and everyone seems to have gone on holiday.

What have we got to look forward to when we get back? CRC is still with us for the foreseeable future. There were suggestions that it would be abolished in the Autumn, or replaced with something simpler, but will the Chancellor give up the £750m it yielded this year?

Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting (GHG) has had wide press coverage. It’s been hailed as an example of the UK being a world leader in carbon management. How can this be?

  • It will apply to UK-registered companies quoted on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, European exchanges, NYSE or NASDAQ. That’s about 1,800 companies, whereas CRC covers 2,700.

  • The proposals are to monitor the six Kyoto gases. There are constant calls for CRC to be simplified, and that scheme only monitors the one gas – CO2. They are even talking about including Scope 3 emissions (created by your product in the hands of your customer.)

  •  There are no plans to impose penalties or charges for emissions.

  • There is no standard methodology required for reporting.

  • The whole consultation is very vague (only 6 pages.)

Greenwash, anyone? Oh, I forgot, it’s the silly season.

Hopefully there’ll be some sense by the time the consultation closes on 17th October, but aren’t we leaving things a bit late? If the government is truly going to reduce the nation’s emissions by 80% by 2050 or even 30% by 2020, is a vague scheme which will allow people to report in any way they like really going to make a difference?

This certainly looks less and less like the greenest government ever. Was I really naïve enough to believe the hype?

In September, our new Sustainability Works website launches, based on my new keynote speech and my book of the same title.

You can keep ahead of the game because the book is AVAILABLE NOW on Kindle.