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
• 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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Carbon reporting in the Queensland Public Sector
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