Environmental tracking & reporting

Purpose

Environmental tracking and reporting allows a business to…

Measure and report environmental impacts and progress
Benchmark performance against industry standards/competitors on a transparent, comparable basis (to do this, you use standardised accounting methods and databases)
Make informed decisions to drive process efficiencies, make purchases, and set environmental goals
Proactively assess, mitigate and quantify efforts to offset CO2 emissions
Demonstrate product credentials and potentially increase sales

In particular, organisations with a significant carbon footprint need to…

Set net zero targets and measure/report progress against these
Benchmark performance to illustrate international competitiveness
Demonstrate Environmental Social & Governance (ESG) credentials in order to qualify for concessional finance and sustainable investment
Achieve certified accreditations or get on procurement databases
Conduct lifecycle impact assessments (LCIA) of products/services
Track emission profiles and carbon accounts for products, processes and technologies

How it works

It is possible to benchmark environmental reporting across different businesses through the use of accounting standards.

The International Standards Organisation (ISO) provides a number of environmental tracking and reporting standards.

ISO 14064-1:2018 – Specification with guidance at the organization level for quantifying and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and removals
ISO 14067:2018 – Standards for measuring carbon footprint
ISO 14001:2015 – Requirements for Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
ISO 14040:2006 – Life cycle assessment: Principles and framework
ISO 14044:2006 – Life cycle assessment: Requirements and guidelines

Information to help with environmental accounting, tracking and reporting

Science Based Targets – Provides a Net Zero Standard for organisations to go carbon neutral
CDP – Best practice reporting requirements on the Task Force for G20 climate finance disclosure – independent scoring of companies and cities
Greenhouse Gas Protocol – The world’s most widely used greenhouse gas accounting standards. They also offer guidance documents, tools, and courses for carbon accounting
National Greenhouse Accounts Factors 2021 – Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. National methods to help organisations estimate greenhouse gases, consistent with international guidelines
Eco-invent – A global life-cycle database for climate change, human toxicity, water use or land use
The Australian Lifecycle Inventory Database – environmental data for a wide range of Australian products and services
Environmental Product Declarations – EU standard for construction emissions (EN 15804)
Climate Active – carbon neutral certification scheme for Australian businesses
The Climate Active Technical Guidance Manual explains how to get certified, what you need to measure, and how to measure and report it.
You can also try asking your accountant for information, as a number of firms provide environmental accounting (tracking and reporting) services