Business emissions reporting: Importance and benefits

The importance of emissions reporting. 


The world is facing a climate emergency.  

In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that global warming of over 1.5°C would have catastrophic results. And the gap is shrinking.

Human activities have already seen average global temperatures rise by just over 1°C, giving us no margin for error.  

The time to act is now, and Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) is a crucial weapon in the armoury. 

Together with the WWF, we explain the significance of SECR reporting, what it includes, who it covers and why it matters for small businesses. 



What is an Emissions Report? 


An emissions report is the first and most important step you can take to reduce your business’ carbon footprint.  

Simply, it lets you calculate and disclose your greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions so you can identify and quantify your environmental impact, and make meaningful, long-lasting changes. 

In the UK, emissions reporting mainly falls under SECR legislation, with similar laws set to come in the EU (CSRD) and the US through the SEC

 SECR reporting typically includes information on:    


Your Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. 

Briefly, that’s, respectively, direct emissions from your business, indirect emissions from the energy you buy, and indirect emissions from other business needs like your value chain, travel and transport, waste disposal, etc.   

Your emissions reduction targets 

Set these with the help of the Science-based Targets initiative (SBTi), which offers a range of target-setting resources, plus independent assessment, guidance and verification.  

Your progress meeting those targets.  

Reporting GHG emissions is already a legal requirement in around 40 countries, though these can vary. Under Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting, public limited companies, those who fall into the large company category, or businesses operating in specific sectors need to disclose their emissions each year.    While smaller businesses are currently exempt, getting on board early and voluntarily SECR reporting can bring plenty of business benefits, help achieve government targets and ensure all businesses are playing their part to tackle the climate crisis.

The Benefits of Emission Reporting

As well as the obvious benefits to our environment and biodiversity, business benefits include: 

Risk management 

Reporting your GHG emissions and environmental impacts can help you identify how the climate emergency and biodiversity loss will affect your business and how best to tackle it.   

Brand reputation 

Business partners and customers want to know they’re working with a company that cares, is transparent about their impact, and upfront about the actions they’re taking. Not only can this be a key differentiator, it builds loyalty.  

Cost savings 

Understanding and increasing awareness of how your business spends money, consumes resources, and produces carbon emissions can show you where to cut costs and increase efficiency.

How to Report Your Emissions

While reporting your emissions might seem daunting at first, it boils down to three key stages.  

First, you need a methodology – the rules that set out the requirements and standards to follow. There are several methodologies you can choose that meet SECR reporting standards, including these recommended by WWF:   

The second step is using reporting tools.  
If you’re confident in your maths skills and know what you’re doing, you could go manual with a tool like Excel. But if you’ve any doubts, you can use one of the several carbon reporting tools out there to do the heavy lifting.   

The WWF’s Emission Possible guide lists a wide range of reporting tools that are perfect for a number of sectors.  

If you’re a small business, you won’t need to go into the detail some offer. But there are plenty of more general tools available if you prefer, and new sector-specific tools are appearing all the time.  

Finally, once you’ve identified and calculated your carbon emissions, you should disclose them where they’re easy to find, for example on your business’ website.   

It’s also worth sending your GHG emissions to public platforms such as the CDP, Transition Pathway Initiative or the GRI Sustainability Database. This can help showcase your commitment to tackling the climate emergency, and influence policymakers and others to take action.   

To bring our world back to life, we all need to do more than we’re legally required. By reporting your business’ GHG emissions, you can gain a competitive edge, improve your brand reputation, and save money while helping to build a more sustainable future.  

Find out more about SECR reporting, including making an action plan, toolkits and guidance on the WWF’s Emission Possible page. You can also get more detail on the above topics in the WWF’s Emission Possible guide.   

To get  1-2-1 advice about your business, book an appointment with one of our V-Hub Digital Advisers.  


The Vodafone WWF partnership launched a million phones for the planet programme to help accelerate and refine Vodafone's circular economy strategy by increasing the number of traded0in, refurbished and recycled devices. Read more here.

WWF works with businesses of all sizes in many different ways. If you feel inspired to see how your business can join forces with WWF, you can reach out to them at

Sustainable Business Growth For SMEs

Discover guidance on sustainable growth for SMEs with WWF and The Carbon Trust.

Free one-to-one support

Available Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm, our friendly team are here to provide guidance and support on the topics that matter to your business.

0808 239 8345

Content made available to you on this website is for general information purposes. Independent advice should be obtained for your needs. Read full disclaimer

Call me back