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CERT report 2023 introduction

10 July 2023

The Corporate Emissions Reduction Transparency (CERT) report is a 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 businesses to reduce net emissions is gaining momentum. Investors, regulators and the public are also interested in and scrutinising the progress being made by businesses. The CERT report improves the transparency and consistency of corporate emissions and renewable electricity disclosures. It also helps hold companies accountable for their public commitments.

Twenty-five large companies from the energy, manufacturing, mining, retail, financial, transport, construction and research sectors participated in the CERT report 2023. Together, they represent 21% of the scope 1 emissions reported to the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) in 2021-22. These companies presented 69 commitments, up from 49 in the CERT report 2022.

The CERT report provides insights into how the private sector is engaging with Australia’s voluntary carbon market. It brings together data and information on a company’s annual gross and net emissions, including their use of carbon offsets and renewable electricity.

The commitments, progress and data presented in the CERT report can be:

  • CER data verified, where the CER has sufficient data to calculate and verify progress.
  • Independently assured, where the company has provided an assurance statement from an independent and suitably qualified assurance practitioner for their data.
  • Company assured, where progress cannot be calculated using data held by the CER and an independent assurance statement has not been provided.

The CERT report clearly states where data is verified by the CER, by an independent assurer, or where information is provided by the participating company. For all commitments, the companies supply context statements to describe their operating environment and disclose their emissions and renewable electricity objectives.

As the sustainability reporting environment changes over coming years, the CERT report will evolve to align with global carbon accounting frameworks and government policies. This includes standards released by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and the Australian Government’s proposed mandatory climate-related disclosure arrangements. Similarly, the CERT report is aligned with emerging whole-of-government market-based emissions accounting approaches.

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

Participating companies have an obligation to provide accurate data and information for their CERT report. The CER works closely with other Australian government regulators, particularly the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), to report concerns about companies misreporting their green credentials.

As the demand for climate-related information grows, we are confident the data presented in the CERT report will serve an important role over the coming years.

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