Carbon Accounting and Standards in Industry: A Framework for Innovation and Growth

The current carbon accounting ecosystem is complex and limited in coordination between existing practices. There is also an absence of regulatory oversight to provide consistent emissions disclosures across approaches. Addressing both is crucial for ensuring the carbon accounting ecosystem matures to the scale, and at the pace, required for Net Zero.

Carbon accounting and standards in industry: A framework for innovation and growth, produced as part of the Innovate UK-funded cross-Catapult Carbon Accounting programme, proposes a carbon accounting framework to overcome the complexity and limitations of the existing regulatory ecosystem by considering options for robust monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV).

The report calls for a common-sense approach to carbon accounting with standardisation where it makes sense and flexibility where it is necessary, including the standardisation of emissions disclosures and the creation of a distributed digital systems architecture.

Elle Butterworth, said: “The current carbon accounting ecosystem is overly complex and lacks the effective coordination needed to ensure emissions are comparable across accounting practices and traceable through supply chains.

“We’ve also observed an absence of regulatory oversight that has led to the inconsistencies that we see today in carbon reporting. Addressing these challenges is necessary to enable the carbon accounting ecosystem to mature at the scale and pace required for Net Zero”.

Key recommendations:

  1. Introduce a carbon regulator to provide effective coordination and adoption of a carbon accounting framework;
  2. adopt a “disclose once” principle across a standardised carbon accounting framework;
  3. engage with the digital spine programme and embark on the development of a distributed, scalable digital infrastructure to underpin emissions data exchange;
  4. fund feasibility studies to better understand how a standardised carbon accounting framework and distributed data system can be implemented across different industrial sectors;
  5. work closely with international partners to maintain standardisation of accounting across international boundaries.

Read the Report

Carbon accounting and standards in industry: A framework for innovation and growth

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