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Consultation for the Corporate Emissions Reduction Transparency report

10 July 2023

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 Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme companies that meet the publication threshold to publicly report on emissions reduction commitments and their progress on 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, the varying formats and detail can make comparisons difficult. Industry and the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) 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 format. The report presented key emissions, renewable energy carbon offset information and data for participating NGER scheme companies.


  1. Public consultation 1
  2. Public consultation 2
  3. Public consultation 3

Public consultation 1

19/02/21 – 19/3/21

The CER 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

The CER 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 the CERT report in principle and agreed that the proposed guidelines were a suitable basis for the pilot. Beyond the pilot, stakeholders were of the view that the CERT report should evolve in the following ways:

  • 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 on renewable electricity commitments.
  • Publish more detail about carbon units.
  • Support participation by a broader group of companies beyond those that currently meet the NGER 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 had been made on the CERT report's design.

What we will do

We 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, either during the pilot, the pilot evaluation or as part of the CERT report's future design.

Updates to the guidelines

We 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 carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e), as well as a percentage, where relevant to a company's commitment.

Examples and explanatory information

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

Updates to the Company View

The CER 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 icon for relevant commitments.

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

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 CER to consider as part of the CERT report’s evolution. Our proposed approach is set out below.

Public consultation 3

05/9/22 – 5pm 26/9/22

The CER published a consultation paper seeking feedback on the updated design for the CERT report 2023.

Consultation was open from 5 September to 26 September 2022.

What we heard

We received 15 submissions (2 of which were confidential). Stakeholders continued to support the CERT report, and appreciated the public consultation, co-design and engagement undertaken.

Most submissions were broadly supportive of the proposed updates to the CERT guidelines. In regard to the future of the CERT report, stakeholders expressed support for the following updates:

  • Make the level of independent assurance clear and refine assurance requirements over time as auditing and assurance expertise and technology matures.
  • Continue to improve alignment with other reporting frameworks, including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the Australian Government’s Climate Active program.
  • Improve clarity on the application of Residual Mix Factors and market-based scope 2 emissions accounting.
  • Expand eligible inputs to the calculation of net emissions and renewable electricity percentage.

Stakeholders continued to support the CERT report as a valuable information source, noting the positive progress that has been made on the design of the CERT report thus far.

What we will do

We have updated the CERT guidelines to address issues identified during the pilot and implement the proposed changes set out in the consultation paper. We will continue to evolve the design of the CERT report as the Australian and international mandatory and voluntary climate disclosure regimes develop further.

Key updates to the guidelines for the CERT report 2023

Feedback from pilot companies, consultation submissions and other stakeholders has been incorporated into the guidelines for the CERT report 2023. A summary of these changes is provided below.

  • Completing the picture of a company’s climate related commitments: Companies are required to report all eligible climate-related commitments in the CERT report. This includes commitments relating to their greenhouse gas emissions and/or energy use.
  • Recognising independently assured commitments: The CER represents independently assured commitments as a third commitment category. This allows companies to show progress on their commitments where progress cannot be verified using CER-held data – including commitments relating to a company’s emissions intensity, scope 3 or international emissions.
  • Adding a jurisdictional power percentage: Recognising LGC surrenders on behalf of a jurisdiction (for example, the ACT Government’s Renewable Energy Target) better reflects the renewable electricity consumption of companies located in jurisdictions with a renewable electricity target.
  • Streamlining reporting requirements: An alternative methodology has been developed for calendar year and equity reporting, where companies may report independently assured data directly to the CER. This addresses issues raised by companies regarding the complexities of adjusting NGER data for equity share or calendar year reporting.
  • Updating the Residual Mix Factor (RMF): The Australia Government’s Climate Active scheme is planning to update their calculation of the RMF – an important factor in market-based scope 2 emissions accounting. The proposed methodology will improve accuracy and reduce the potential for double counting by excluding voluntary large-scale and small-scale renewables that could be claimed under either the CERT report or Climate Active. The CERT report 2023 has adopted the new methodology planned for 2022 calendar year reporting.
  • Revising base period emissions in response to structural changes: Where a company has undergone a significant structural change (such as a merger, acquisition or divestment), the company should revise their base period emissions to allow meaningful comparison of the company’s progress over time.

Co-design phase

Following public consultation 1, the CER 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 the corporate sustainability reporting of companies. A number of areas were worked on, including:

  • the scope of the CERT report
  • alignment with how emissions commitments are framed
  • accounting frameworks
  • the options for presenting data in the CERT report.

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.


The CERT report pilot is now complete.

The CERT report 2022 operated as a pilot to test and refine the guidelines, administration, and reporting arrangements. 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.

23 companies participated in the pilot, presenting:

  • progress on their emission reduction commitments
  • their net emissions and renewable electricity position
  • the volume and percentage of certificates and units voluntarily surrendered.


The CERT report 2022 was published on 7 July 2022.

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