The transition to a low-carbon economy in Australia is proving to be a bumpy journey. Politics is playing a large part in increasing, rather than reducing, uncertainty for business. With the carbon pricing mechanism having come and gone, the pressures on business have (perhaps temporarily?) reduced.
However the underpinning National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme remains unchanged, the proposed emissions reduction fund appears to be gaining momentum, and sustainability reporting is becoming more widespread, with recognition by the ASX of its importance in revised listing rules.
In this context, management and boards need to remain alert and still consider. Businesses that do not manage carbon and energy risks appropriately may fail to comply with emerging and changing legislation, may not implement or maintain systems and procedures to collect quality emissions or energy data or produce quality reporting and disclosure. Further, businesses that do not factor carbon and energy into their decision making and planning processes could miss opportunities for future growth markets.
RSM brings together the skills, knowledge and resources to assist you in carbon and energy risk management. Example of services we can provide include:
- NGER reporting verification and assurance
- NGER reporting assistance
- Sustainability reporting advice and assurance
- National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) audit
- Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) audit
- Regulatory Compliance Audits (eg. VEET, ESS, GreenPower)
Our team of registered greenhouse and energy auditors are able to provide clients with advisory and assurance services on their greenhouse and energy data collection, calculation and reporting processes. We can review sustainability strategies, assess the efficiency of environmental management systems and provide tailored environmental advisory and assurance services.
Environmental risk management
Whether your organisation’s goal is to prepare for future environmental regulations, comply with existing legislative requirements or report under voluntary reporting commitments, RSM’s specialised services will help embed the principles of continuous improvement into your environmental management operations and systems.
Greenhouse and energy reporting assurance
Since 1 July 2008, under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Act 2007, companies that meet and exceed set greenhouse gas emissions production and energy consumption thresholds are required to measure and report on these emissions. Many businesses find the task of gathering external data for the purpose of NGER reporting challenging. Audit is a key compliance and monitoring measure under the Act.
RSM conducted one of the first NGER audits under the government audit program in 2009, and have built significant capability since then.
Carbon farming initiative and emissions reduction fund
The Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) allows farmers and land managers to earn carbon credits by storing carbon or reducing greenhouse gas emissions on the land. These credits can then be sold to people and businesses wishing to offset their emissions. The CFI has been in operation since 2011, and will transition to the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) on its commencement.
RSM has been involved with audits involving several CFI methodologies, and is well placed to assist with projects intending to participate in the ERF.
Regulatory compliance audits
RSM can also help renewable energy and energy efficiency companies by confirming an entitlement to create renewable energy or energy efficiency certificates specified in the annual return to the regulator. We accomplish this by ensuring that the information presented in the return is correct and accurate, and determined in accordance with the relevant sections of the applicable regulations.