If you think that mandatory emissions reporting is something is the far distant future and you are adopting a wait and see attitude on carbon tax you are sadly mistaken.  Mandatory emissions reporting for large emitters is on our doorstep.

Under the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, reporting of annual Greenhouse Gas and pollutant emissions data via the Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA) National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory System (NAEIS) will become mandatory.

Once legislated companies will need to report their emission data to the system. The overall aim of reporting is “to provide stakeholders with relevant, up-to-date and accurate information on South Africa’s emissions profile for informed decision making”.

All direct emissions will have to be reported, including;
• Emissions under licence
• Greenhouse Gas emissions
• Emissions for which there is no standard as yet, but where an emission limit has been set
• Certain production information
• Fugitive emissions.

According to the National Climate Change Response White Paper, companies and entities that emit more than 100,000 tonnes of GHGs annually or that consume electricity that results in more than 100,000 tonnes of emissions from the electricity sector will be required to report on their GHG emissions in the new system. So if you are a large emitter you may want to understand your risk exposure rather rapidly.

The DEA has already launched the NAEIS and a link is available to it on www.saaqis.org.za.  This is a web-based monitoring and reporting system so that GHG information collected from organisations is in a standard format and therefore can be compared and analysed. The system forms part of the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory component of the South African Air Quality Information System (SAAQIS). There is also full documentation available online.

The long and short is that emissions reporting is coming. Originally pegged to start 1 January 2015 delays have put this date out.  Organisations absolutely need to start gaining a greater understanding of the emissions produced as a result of business activities and how to manage and reduce this risk as part of their sustainability strategy.

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