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CERT report reader's guide

07 July 2022


The Corporate Emissions Reduction Transparency (CERT) report is a voluntary initiative for eligible companies to present a snapshot of their progress towards emissions reduction and renewable electricity commitments.

This Reader's Guide will help you understand and interpret the range of commitment and reporting options that appear in participating companies' CERT reports. Definitions of key terms can be found in the glossary.


Each company's CERT report shows the:

  • Accounting approach.
  • Commitment cards - snapshots of voluntary emissions reduction and/or renewable electricity commitments made by the company and progress towards those commitments.
  • Net emissions position - a table showing Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, and renewable electricity percentage for the reporting year.
  • Details of any surrendered units and certificates.
  • Supporting information.

Some additional information regarding each participant's commitments and the calculations the Clean Energy Regulatory (CER) uses to assess those commitments is available in the data workbook.

Accounting approach

Companies that participate in the CERT report must adhere to the CERT report guidelines. The guidelines specify the information that companies can provide for inclusion in their CERT report. However, there is some flexibility to allow companies to align their CERT report with their publicly disclosed commitments. In particular, the design of the CERT report aims to accommodate the complexity of joint venture arrangements and international corporate structures. The reporting choices made by companies affect how the Clean Energy Regulator calculates progress towards their commitments, and how their net emissions position and renewable electricity percentage is presented.

The 3 areas where companies can choose their accounting approach for their CERT report are:

  • Reporting period - financial year (the default, aligned with the National Greenhouse and Energy Report (NGER) reporting period) or calendar year.
  • Scope 2 method - whether Scope 2 emissions are calculated on a location or market basis.
  • Reporting boundary - operational control (the default, aligning with how NGER data is calculated) or equity share (based on ownership share of facilities).

Details of Scope 2 accounting calculations can be found in the guidelines and supporting examples. Some calculation terms that are based on calendar year (e.g. the Renewable Power Percentage) are adjusted as needed based on choice of reporting period.

When reporting based on equity share, participants supply equity share percentages for each NGER facility they have an ownership share of, such as a joint venture (including those outside of their operational control). Emissions and electricity values are adjusted accordingly.

More details, if applicable, are provided in the 'Notes' field of a company's CERT report.

Commitment cards

Each commitment card represents an emissions reduction or renewable electricity commitment. Companies can have multiple commitments, as well as commitments for their subsidiaries. Broadly, there are 2 types of commitments that can be included in a company's CERT report: progress verified commitments and company assured commitments.

Within each commitment card, commitment and context/update statements are provided by the company. The commitment statement summarises the commitment in the participating company's own words, which have already been published by the company. The context/update statement is an opportunity to provide any supplementary, qualitative contextual information relevant to the commitment to help readers better understand the company's operating environment.

Progress data verified commitments

Progress data verified commitments are commitments where the CER has sufficient data to calculate and verify progress.

These commitment cards are labelled progress data verified by CER. The agency uses its data holdings, data-matching and other internal processes to calculate and verify a company's progress towards its commitments. The progress percentage value is displayed with an absolute progress figure (e.g. in tonnes CO2-e).

Following each progress percentage value is a short description of the commitment framing information used to calculate progress, such as: goal (e.g. 75% reduction); net, gross, or combined emissions reduction commitment; and baseline year (if applicable).

Company assured commitments

Company assured commitments are a company's emissions reduction commitments where progress cannot be calculated by the CER for the pilot. Such commitments may include those related to scope 3 emissions, emissions intensity of products, and international emissions reductions.

The CERT report guidelines allow companies to choose how to frame these commitment statements. Companies are responsible for providing their own updates regarding progress towards commitments. Updates can be qualitative or quantitative information and is not verified by the CER.

Net emissions position table

This table shows the participating company's gross and net emissions, and its renewable electricity percentage for the chosen reporting period. These figures are largely derived from NGER data and data reported by the participating company for the CERT report. The values in the table are calculated by the CER, with the underlying data collected and verified by CER.

The total net emissions are shown as a sum of Scope 1 and Scope 2 net emissions for the company.

Participating companies are required to report their Scope 2 emissions under both location- and market-based accounting approaches. Dual reporting is in accordance with international best practice emissions accounting outlined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the Australian Government's Climate Active initiative. For the pilot, companies can choose whether to display their market-based data in their CERT report (if this option is chosen, this will display as 'not selected').


The notes section provides additional context information to assist readers in interpreting the net emissions position table and how company data presented in the CERT report may differ from company data published elsewhere. For example, where a company has chosen calendar year reporting for their CERT report, a note is provided in this section to inform readers that the company's CERT report may not align with the NGER published data, as the NGER scheme operates on a financial year basis.

Surrendered units and certificates diagram

Some company CERT reports show the proportion and number of units and certificates cancelled, retired, or surrendered by the participating company for the reporting year. Units may not necessarily be surrendered against specific commitments. Units may have been surrendered by a third party on behalf of the participant (e.g. Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGC) surrenders via Greenpower purchases). Where no units or certificates have been surrendered by the participant in relation to their CERT report, this section will display as 'nil'.

Supporting information


This section shows the broader context relevant to their net emissions position, emissions reduction or sustainability efforts that may not relate directly to their commitments which companies have provided.


This section provides links to the CERT report data workbook, CERT guidelines, the glossary and the highlights of the latest NGER report.

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