30 January '23

3 minute read

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Sustainability continues to be a hot topic. Governments around the world, including in the UK, are regularly introducing new legislation to address issues around climate change and sustainability. We’ll help you stay up-to-date on changes that could affect your business. And what action you need to take.


SECR is a mandatory scheme that applies to large UK companies. Businesses within scope must collect information relating to their energy use and associated carbon emissions, then submit this as part of their annual reporting to Companies House.

The UK government is formally required to review SECR regulations within 5 years. This takes us to the 1st of April 2024. But the time may come sooner than we first thought. Due to a recent consultation, the changes may be upon us this year.

At the introduction of SECR, the government had not yet signed the legal commitment to be net zero by 2050, so an increase in stringency is very much expected.

To give you just a taste, potential changes could include but aren’t limited to:

  • Listed/Unlisted large/LLPs are due to be held to the same requirements.
  • There are fifteen scope 3 categories in total. At the moment, only ‘business travel’ is mandatory, but more may follow soon.
  • If your reporting is done in-house, you’ll need mandatory verification from an external source.
  • There’ll be more emphasis on meeting targets. You should gain more visibility over your carbon footprint, allowing reduction targets to be set – and smashed!

Here’s a helpful link, it’s worth a read.


ESOS is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for organisations in the UK that meet the qualification criteria. Organisations must notify the Environment Agency by a set deadline that they have complied with their ESOS obligations.

Your Phase 3 requirements were published in July 2021, with a compliance deadline of December 2023. A notable change is that it’s now a requirement for participants to set a target following the Phase 3 compliance deadline.

Phase 4, however, brings on some significant changes. The qualification date for Phase 4 is the 31st of December 2026, with a compliance date of a year later.

Mandatory inclusions are:

  • Net zero assessments
  • Changing balance sheet thresholds (these need to align with SECR)
  • You’ll need to explain why a goal wasn’t achieved
  • Reports must use ISO 50002 or EM 16247