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CERT 2022 Introduction

07 July 2022

The Corporate Emissions Reduction Transparency (CERT) report is a new voluntary initiative for eligible companies to present a snapshot of their climate-related commitments, progress and net emissions position. It presents this information in one place, using a standardised framework.

Voluntary action by business to reduce net emissions is gaining momentum, as is interest in and scrutiny of progress by investors, regulators and the public. The CERT report will improve transparency and consistency of corporate emissions disclosures and help hold companies to account for their public commitments.

In this first year, the CERT report is operating as a pilot. A cohort of 23 large companies from the energy, manufacturing, mining, retail, financial, construction and research sectors have stepped up to test the reporting framework. Together, they represent 23% of the annual greenhouse emissions reported to the Clean Energy Regulator (CER).

Participating in the CERT report pilot year shows a strong commitment from these companies to be open and transparent about their progress to reduce their emissions. We welcome their leadership and look forward to working with new participants as the CERT report evolves and companies and their boards have more time to consider participating.

The CERT report enables new insights into how the private sector is engaging with Australia's voluntary carbon market. It achieves this by bringing together data and information on a company's annual gross and net emissions, including its use of carbon offsets and renewable electricity.

Confidence in the CERT report should be high, as key elements draw on and are verified using data held by the CER. These include:

  • the net and gross emissions position of a company
  • use of offsets and renewable electricity
  • progress towards certain climate commitments.

For other commitments, updates on progress are assured by the participating company, rather than the CER. In all cases, context statements are supplied by companies to describe their operating environment and disclose their emissions objectives.

The CERT report clearly states where data is verified by the CER or where information is provided by the participating company.

As the sustainability reporting environment changes over coming years, the CERT report can evolve along with global carbon accounting frameworks and government policy intentions.

The CERT report framework makes it easier for companies that choose to report under leading initiatives, including the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, the Global Reporting Initiative, and future standards such as those proposed by the International Sustainability Standards Board.

The CERT report can be used by companies to support their corporate, financial or sustainability reporting obligations, though it does not replace these existing arrangements. For example, the CERT report can help companies present their progress towards carbon neutrality, whereas Australia's Climate Active scheme can certify a company as carbon neutral.

Participating companies have an obligation under the guidelines to assure the accuracy of data and information provided for their CERT report. The CER works closely with other Australian government regulators, particularly ASIC and the ACCC, where any concerns are raised regarding misreporting by companies about their green credentials.

As demand for climate-related information grows, we are confident that the CERT report will serve an important role over the coming years and attract increased participation.

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