Considerable time and effort is needed to log and compute emissions data. To this end, suitable data architectures need to be developed to simplify the future reporting of emissions. The following example illustrates elements of such a system. Features include:
- Enhanced data capture via smart metering and automated computation of values.
- An ability to lower reporting costs by reducing the call on management time and admin resources.
- Support to simplify the consolidation of emissions data across organisations.
- Support for the (one to many) submission of emissions data to mandatory and voluntary institutions. In the example shown for the UK, this will typically include one or more of the following activities:
- EU ETS returns to the Environment Agency.
- Climate Change Levy (CCL) information to Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
- Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency data to the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC).
- Returns to the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR).
- Purchase or sale of permits via emissions trading companies, regulated and/or over the counter exchanges.
- Voluntary returns to organisations such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
- Internal postings to corporate energy efficiency programs.
- Allows positions with respect to the purchase / sale of allowances to be posted to ledgers and tracked on an accruals basis. This in turn, simplifies the matching of emission liabilities to annual accounting periods.
- Ability to generate audit trails, supports self-certification and reduces third-party verification fees.
Reporting of GHG Emissions Data
NB: Details of UK regulatory reporting agencies included as an example
A large number of commercially available programs claim to simplify the exercise of data handling and emissions reporting, but few as yet appear to provide an integrated capability that would simplify data submissions to the various schemes in addition to corporate reporting systems, most particularly tracking of financial liabilities via the profit and loss account. Much work also remains to develop an open source extensible emissions data schema that would support the electronic exchange of information between companies and the organisations requiring / requesting emissions data. Examples of schemas that have been developed to date include:
- US Climate Registry: Information System (CRIS)
- US EPA’s Emissions Collection and Monitoring Plan System (ECMPS)
- Australia: National Greenhouse Emissions Reporting (NGER) System
- UNFCCC schemas for tracking permits issued by offset and allowance registries
- EU ETS: Data reporting by aircraft operators