The Scottish Government announced the intention to make Climate Change Reporting mandatory across the public sector at the SSN Annual Conference yesterday.
This announcement follows a statement at the previous year’s conference that pursuing mandatory reporting was a future possibility. The Minister pointed to the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 and the introduction of Public Bodies Duties as laying the legislative groundwork for the introduction of mandatory reporting across the public sector when the time is right.
New mandatory reporting will build on the current Scotland Climate Change Declaration (SCCD) reporting developed by SSN and currently used by all 32 Local Authorities across Scotland, as well as the Scottish Government’s Public Sector Sustainability Reporting (PSSR) Guidance.
A new reporting template is currently being developed by an interagency group of public sector organisations and support organisations, including SSN. This draws largely on the strength of the SCCD and PSSR, with the aim of establishing a consistent approach to reporting by all ‘major players’ in the public sector.
The new reporting system offers a year of voluntary reporting using the trial template to record 2014/15 information by 30 October 2015. Prior to issuing the new reporting system there will be a formal consultation period. SSN is planning a series of events to facilitate and support member feedback, engagement and understanding during this initial trial year.
Commenting on the new reporting requirements the Scottish Government spokesperson said:
“This move to mandatory reporting in 2016 will galvanise other public bodies to ‘gear up’ to ensure their management information is being properly recorded and used to manage the impacts from their business activities.”