Insight 14 June 2024

5 reasons to outsource carbon reporting

Carbon reporting is fast becoming a priority for all of us – but is it a task you should take on yourself, or are there benefits in getting outside help?

As we edge ever closer to net zero deadlines, decarbonisation and ESG activities continue to play a key role in most organisations. And this is a fixture that’s here to stay. As new legislation is unveiled, ongoing monitoring, reporting and mitigation will be integral to success.

Getting these processes right is an essential part of remaining compliant, informing stakeholders and pursuing meaningful decarbonisation initiatives. But it isn’t always easy. A lack of resources, complex data requirements and constantly changing parameters are just some of the things that make reporting a challenge.

In this blog, we’ll explore five big benefits of outsourcing these activities to an expert in the field.

1. Access dedicated decarbonisation expertise

Decarbonisation is a priority for the modern organisation. And when something is that important, it can’t be treated as an afterthought or tick-box exercise. That said, many organisations still don’t have sufficient decarbonisation or sustainability expertise.

This means that the responsibility for emissions reporting often falls on the desk of someone who has limited experience. They have probably been pulled away from the work they normally do to meet reporting deadlines.

This can lead to inefficient and lengthy processes, reporting errors, poor decisions, frustrated employees and an inability to meet your decarbonisation goals.

By outsourcing these activities to professionals, you get to tap into vast expertise and experience. You’ll be able to gain granular insights into not just what your emissions look like, but exactly what is contributing to them. And you’ll be able to increase the regularity of reporting to continually monitor progress and build from there. All of this can help you build a robust reduction strategy, while ensuring compliance. And it means your people can continue to do what they do best – adding value to your business.

2. Establish efficient processes for gathering data and forming insights

Did you know there are 15 different categories of reporting for Scope 3 emissions alone?

The amount of data needed for carbon reporting can be immense and gathering it can be a huge drain on resources. This complexity is only increased over sprawling estates that contain numerous properties in different locations.

But gathering data is just part of the challenge. It’s also about knowing what needs to be gathered, ensuring that data is properly collated and verified, and ultimately having the ability to analyse it and gain the insights needed.

A dedicated partner in this area will help you collect the data you need as and when you need it, incorporating technologies like IoT sensors and liaising with energy providers to provide a consistent and timely data stream. They will also have vast third-party data resources to help you benchmark your progress and gain wider insights.

Crucially, a partner with experience in both data management and the built environment will be able to help you gain insights into specific areas – like acute risks and emissions hotspots. This avoids placing any strain on your existing in-house data teams. It can also be key to identifying the inefficiencies that fuel future transition plans.

3. Navigate the legislative landscape

One of the biggest challenges around carbon reporting is keeping up with the ever-changing legislative landscape, which requires knowing what needs to be done today and what demands lie on the horizon.

With further regulations, thousands of organisations in the UK will have to start reporting where they didn’t before. Most will understand what legislation demands of them – but knowing how to meet those demands can be an entirely different matter.

An expert reporting partner will help you identify:

  • Legislation and guidance that applies to your organisation
  • The legislation to prioritise
  • Emerging legislation that is likely to impact you

They will also help you break that legislation down by various elements so you can report and comply more easily. And they will help you plan mitigation strategies that keep you compliant – now and in the future. This last point is particularly important, as the ability to demonstrate carbon reduction plans is required for some forms of legislative reporting.

All of this saves you a huge amount of time – and gives you piece of mind that your compliance is in the safe hands of dedicated professionals.

4. Be visibly open and transparent

Our recent research showed that 70% of organisations felt using a third-party for carbon reporting reduced the chances of attracting allegations of greenwashing.

Greenwashing and scepticism around carbon reporting is rife in an era where so much attention is on sustainability. For instance, in the fashion industry, The Changing Markets Foundation found that 59% of products accompanied by a sustainability claim flouted green claims guidelines in some way.

The reputational impacts of these kinds of allegations can be significant, so the importance of reporting on your sustainability initiatives in an open and transparent way shouldn’t be underestimated. It shows that your organisation takes sustainability seriously, which can help you win business, attract talent, and expand your network of partners.

By working with a third-party, you can show that your data and reporting has been validated by an independent expert in the field, which carries a lot of weight compared to just asking people to trust you.

5. Drive action and demonstrate results

Carbon accounting and reporting is just the first step on your carbon reduction journey. By outsourcing these activities to a partner with end-to-end capabilities, you can also access additional support and services from experts who already understand your estate’s footprint.

A partner with expertise in reporting, strategy and reduction plans can add a whole lot more to your organisation than just ensuring you remain compliant. They can deliver a holistic approach to decarbonisation. This means providing the training and education to drive a cultural shift in your organisation, helping you create a roadmap for change in line with net zero targets, and identifying and implementing the right decarbonisation projects for your specific circumstances.

Want to learn more?

Whether you need help with carbon accounting, reporting, decarbonisation strategies or education and training, we’re ready to talk. Get in touch with one of our experts to discuss your needs.

Read next

See Resource Archive