Carbon reporting in the Queensland public Sector: the state of play, trends and better practices

Shead, Bob and Best, Peter J. and McCabe, Simon (2009) Carbon reporting in the Queensland public Sector: the state of play, trends and better practices. BDO Kendalls, Brisbane, Australia. ISBN 978-0-9806479-2-1

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Abstract

The reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) is an important strategy in encouraging organisations to reduce their emissions and to publicly demonstrate to stakeholders their progress in reducing them. This report identifies the current state of reporting on GHG emissions (or carbon footprints, measured in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents or CO²e) across the Queensland public sector, including by departments, government owned corporations (GOCs), local governments and statutory bodies. Overall, the survey found that: in this first year of reporting within the budget sector, all departments have started reporting on their emissions, although significant gaps in scope and data limitations are evident; • a number of port and electricity GOCs are the most advanced in reporting their GHG emissions, albeit with further improvements being implemented to meet mandatory reporting standards; • a small number of local governments have started reporting emissions; • few statutory bodies are yet in a position to report their emissions; and • none of the disclosures have been audited, although one GOC has provided an ‘independent limited assurance report’. From a review of reporting practices, both in Australia and overseas across the public and private sectors, a number of ‘better practices’ are evident: • the classification of emissions by source is likely to provide more ‘decision useful’ information than the high-level Scope 1, 2 and 3 categories which are used in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol reporting standard to avoid double-counting by two or more entities; • a time series of data by source provides greater transparency, particularly in comparison with targets, although reasonably reliable data is required before it is feasible to set absolute targets; and • the reporting on an organisation’s ‘carbon intensity’ provides useful benchmark information. The electricity generator GOCs report carbon intensity in terms of CO²e per megawatt hour of production, whereas for agencies that are electricity consumers, CO²e emissions per FTE may provide a better basis for comparison over time and between agencies with similar types of operation. This review also suggests that requirements for the mandatory reporting of emissions and the independent verification of emissions, are likely to increase, particularly in the public sector where governments are seen as having a leadership role in setting an example for business and households.


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Item Type: Book (Commonwealth Reporting Category A)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright 2009 BDO Kendalls. Publication, therefore, not made available. Print copy not held in the USQ Library. Carbon reporting in the Queensland Public Sector Phone 1300 138 991 or visit www.bdo.com.au Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation other than for the acts or omissions of financial services licensees. BDO Kendalls is a national association of separate partnerships and entities.
Depositing User: Prof Peter Best
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2011 06:30
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:32
Uncontrolled Keywords: carbon reporting, emissions reporting, public sector
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability > 150106 Sustainability Accounting and Reporting
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/18582

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