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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Some submissions are confidential and have not been published. Submissions are not owned by the Clean Energy Regulator and we cannot guarantee that they meet accessibility requirements .
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Supporting information, including a suite of examples, will be published to assist companies to understand and use the CERT guidelines.
The CER has adjusted the Company View. This includes:
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.
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.
We will consider this issue in parallel with the pilot.
We will consider this for the future design of CERT, noting that further work is required to be able to verify data associated with emissions intensity commitments.
To avoid double counting, PPAs and contractual commitments for renewable electricity will not be accepted in CERT.
We will consider this issue during the evaluation of the pilot.
Participants can include international commitments in the ‘Other commitments - company assured’ section. At this stage, we do not intend to expand CERT to include verification of data associated with international emissions commitments or activities.
We are open to considering how international commitments may best be presented in the Company View as part of CERT’s future design.
Participants can include Scope 3 emissions commitments in the ‘Other commitments - company assured’ section and include notes or links regarding any independent verification undertaken.
We are open to exploring how independently audited information may best be presented in the Company View as part of CERT’s future design.
We will consider how best to address this as part of CERT’s future design, in consultation with relevant government agencies.
We will consider further transparency on units in parallel with pilot for potential inclusion in future design of the CERT report.
We will consider whether further changes would aid comprehension in future design of the CERT report, noting that capital-intensive targets (step change) can already be described in commitment context statement.
We will provide guidance on any areas of divergence between CERT, Climate Active and the GHG Protocol.
We will undertake further work during the pilot to consider alternative groupings of subsidiaries. For example, we can consider adding further icons or other visual elements to the Company View to aid readability.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
CERT report 2022 was published on 7 July 2022.
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The Clean Energy Regulator is a Government body responsible for accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.