It was announced today that the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) is fully supporting the government’s decision to make all businesses report their greenhouse gas emissions by the next financial year.
Being a pioneer in this issue, the UK government is extending regulation of companies to include the amount of gas they emit for its entire organisation in its April 2013 report.
High street retailer, Marks & Spencer (M&S) are one of the major retailers which has actively reduced its carbon emissions since 2007 by 22 per cent by sending no waste to landfill, improved energy efficiency, better fuel consumption and reduced emissions from refrigeration.
The BCSC has been a long time advocate of the scheme and is pleased that it can help to raise consumer awareness on which companies are the most culpable. Helen Drury, British Council of Shopping Centres commented on the government’s decision: “BCSC, as the national voice for the retail property industry, is firmly behind today’s government announcement that disclosing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be made mandatory for Main Market UK listed companies from April next year.
“BCSC has long supported the aim to measure and manage carbon emissions through consistent and comparable reporting.
She added, “GHG reporting can raise the issue of managing energy use at board level and raise public awareness. However, now that mandatory GHG reporting is coming into effect from next year, government must recognise the redundancy of the Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme, in particular the Performance League Table.”
A decision which is good news for the customer’s improved understanding of companies who are trying to protect the environment; however retailers will feel under even more pressure by tighter government legislation.
Neil Saunders, Managing Director of analyst group Conlumino, believes the news is a double–sided coin for the industry but is unlikely to have a direct effect on shopper behaviour, “The requirement to list greenhouse-gas emissions will certainly help those consumers who are interested to have more information about the environmental credentials of major retailers.
“That’s the positive.
“The negative is that this is inevitably yet another bureaucratic burden on retailers who are already being strangled by too much government imposed red tape.” “In terms of encouraging retailers to reduce emissions faster, I doubt this initiative will have much of an impact over and above what is already being done.
This step improves the visibility of information, but it is unlikely to drive major changes in behaviour.”