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Companies to publish greenhouse emissions

UK public companies will be required to publish details of the greenhouse gases they produce from next year, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has revealed.

Writing in the Guardian, Clegg stated that 1,800 companies in the FTSE-100, including Tesco and BP, must publish the full figures from next April. The scheme aims to encourage companies to measure and manage their impact on the environment.

Clegg is expected to announce the plans at the opening of theRio+20 conference today on sustainability. A review would take place in 2015, when other companies could be asked to join the policy.

Companies will have to publish their total greenhouse gases for the year, measured in equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide. Ministers calculate that it could save the equivalent of 4m tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2021.

Clegg wrote: “Using resources responsibly is in business’ own interests too. Pepsi depends on water; Unilever depends on fish stocks and agricultural land; and every firm relies on a stable fuel supply. But while nine out of 10 [chief executives] say sustainability is fundamental to their success, only two out of 10 record the resources they consume.”

Andrew Raingold, executive director for the Aldersgate Group, which has campaigned for the mandatory measure, said: “This is an area where corporate executives have been demanding more regulation from government to provide greater clarity and transparency.

“Our detailed analysis demonstrates that reporting requirements will lead to huge cost savings for businesses as opportunities to reduce their energy use become more apparent.

“Over three quarters of UK adults expect that businesses should be required to report their emissions, as demonstrated by a Populus poll that we published last month.”

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