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Consultation for the Corporate Emissions Reduction Transparency report

16 February 2022

Business has an important role to play in reducing Australia’s carbon emissions. Interest in voluntary action is growing and can be seen through the increasing number of companies setting commitments to reduce emissions and increase the use of renewable electricity.

The Corporate Emissions Reduction Transparency (CERT) report is a voluntary initiative that will support National and Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) participants that meet the publication threshold to publicly report on their emissions reduction commitments and progress towards meeting them.

Overview of consultation stages

  1. Planning and scoping
  2. Initial design
  3. Consultations
  4. Co-design phase
  5. Pilot
  6. Publication

Details of consultation stages

Planning and scoping

Stakeholders are increasingly seeking greater transparency and data around voluntary corporate emissions reduction and renewable electricity commitments. While many Australian companies voluntarily report their emissions data and target information, formats and detail vary, making comparisons difficult. Industry and the Clean Energy Regulator have been collaborating to develop a simple way of presenting a company’s net emissions position.

Initial design

The initial design of the Corporate Emissions Reduction Transparency (CERT) report was established with draft guidelines and a simple report format that presented key emissions, renewable energy and carbon offset information and data for participating National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme companies.

Consultations

  1. Public consultation 1
  2. Public consultation 2

Public consultation 1

19/02/21 – 19/3/21
complete

The Clean Energy Regulator published a consultation paper seeking feedback on a possible design of the CERT report and its proposed guidelines. Consultation was open from 19 February to Friday 19 March 2021.

What we heard

We received 55 submissions in response to our consultation paper. Most submissions stated that they valued an independently published report that presented the net emissions position of participating companies as well as progress against their voluntary commitments. Stakeholders also expressed support for the CERT report to:

  • Provide flexibility in how emissions reduction commitments were presented, including the ability to present multiple commitments.
  • Align with other domestic and international sustainability reporting frameworks where practical.
  • Allow context statements to be included to aid understanding.
  • Cover both net scope 1 and net scope 2 emissions.

Public consultation 2

18/10/21 – 5pm 1/11/21
complete

The Clean Energy Regulator published a consultation paper seeking feedback on the practical implementation of the Guidelines for the Corporate Emissions Reduction Transparency (CERT) report. Consultation was open from 18 October to 1 November 2021.

What we heard

We received 34 submissions (10 of which were confidential). Most submissions supported CERT in principle and agreed that the proposed guidelines were a suitable basis for the pilot. Beyond the pilot, stakeholders were of the view that CERT should evolve to:

  • Include the ability to verify data associated with Scope 3 emissions commitments, emissions intensity commitments, and international commitments and activities.
  • Recognise large-scale generation certificate (LGC) surrenders as part of jurisdictional renewable energy targets in the calculation of progress towards renewable electricity commitments.
  • Publish more detail about carbon units.
  • Support participation by a broader group of companies beyond the companies that currently meet the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme publication threshold.
  • Update state emissions factors for scope 2 emissions and expand eligible inputs to the calculation of the renewable electricity percentage.

Many submissions sought further clarity around the operation of specific aspects of the guidelines. Stakeholders also suggested improvements to the proposed Company View, especially around the presentation of certificates and carbon units.

Stakeholders welcomed the public consultation and recent co-design process, and many noted the positive progress that has been made on CERT’s design.

What we will do

We have made minor updates to the guidelines and the Company View as outlined below. We will also consider key themes raised in submissions and undertake further work where required, during the pilot, the pilot evaluation or as part of CERT’s future design.

Updates to the guidelines

We have updated the CERT guidelines to provide further clarity on the operation or context of specific elements. The guidelines now more clearly allow progress to be presented in terms of tonnes CO2-e, as well as a percentage, where relevant to a participant’s commitment.

Examples and explanatory information

Supporting information, including a suite of examples, will be published to assist participants understand and use the CERT guidelines.

Updates to the company view

The agency has adjusted the Company View. This includes:

  • Visually separating LGCs from carbon offset units.
  • Presenting progress in terms of tonne CO2-e alongside the percentage value.
  • Highlighting scope 3 efforts by including an iconfor relevant commitments.

An updated version of the Company View is provided below. The Company View will continue to be refined during the pilot.

Please click on the image below to download a high resolution version.

Design elements for future consideration

During public consultation, stakeholders raised themes for the agency to consider as part of CERT’s evolution. Our proposed approach is set out below.

Co-design phase

Following public consultation 1, the Clean Energy Regulator undertook a co-design process with a cohort of NGER reporters.

The co-design process took into account feedback from public consultation and considered how the CERT report could contribute to corporate sustainability reporting by companies. The scope of the CERT report, alignment with how emissions commitments are framed, accounting frameworks and options for presenting data in CERT were worked on. A key priority was balancing the need for flexibility with the need for clarity and comparability.

As a result of the co-design process, updated guidelines and an improved report format were developed.

Pilot

Opt-ins to the CERT report pilot are closed.

The first report is operating as a pilot to test and refine the guidelines, administration, and reporting arrangements. It is expected that the guidelines will continue to evolve beyond the pilot.

Participation in the pilot was open to companies reporting more than 50 kilotonnes of emissions a year under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme. The report will use data from NGER, the Renewable Energy Target scheme and Australian National Registry of Emissions Units. Participants will also provide information on their commitments and operating context.

Companies that have opted-in will be able to present:

  • Progress towards their emission reduction commitments.
  • Their net emissions and renewable electricity position.
  • The volume and percentage of certificates and units voluntarily surrendered.

Key dates

Date Milestone
30 November 2021

Opt-in period opens

15 February 2022

Opt-in period closes

15 March 2022

Reporting period closes

Q2-2022

First CERT report released



Publication

Publication of the CERT pilot report will occur in the first half of 2022.





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