News & Events
The Challenge of Annual Environmental Reporting
28 February 2017
Q1 of every year is an incredibly busy time for organisations engaged in extensive reporting regimes, both to regulatory authorities and corporate management. For those responsible for environmental reporting—including environmental consultants and anyone entering data—the first quarter is highly focused on running reports, quality assurance and checking calculations in an effort to meet the strict reporting deadlines and requirements of authorities and management.
An Annual Stress Test For Environmental Reporting Software
As providers of high-end environmental reporting software, Emisoft experiences the first three months of the year as an annual stress test of our solutions as well as our ongoing service. Our supporting consultants help lighten clients’ loads by providing both manpower and years of experience in the field. Company goals during the annual reporting season can vary greatly in terms of scope and complexity, and typically include proving compliance, careful QA and vetting of results, providing full trace-ability and data details to auditors. Results need to be made available in different formats depending on purpose and providing explanations for any trends and abnormalities. And of course, they must accomplish all of this with absolute confidence in the accuracy of the results.
One Emisoft client, a large international oil and gas company, engages in multiple complex environmental management activities for both internal corporate reporting and external reporting to regulatory authorities. The first quarter of the year represents a critical period in which they measure performance and set goals for years ahead. It’s an intense time for everyone responsible for environmental management, including their EMIS solution.
Internal Corporate Reporting
The annual findings for this oil and gas leader serve as a bench-marking tool for the company to plan against. Their environmental performance results fulfil several purposes within the company, including measuring outcomes against strategic targets. Several important performance metrics will be used as a base for their annual CDP reporting, while other findings and analysis are used for the company’s internal Annual Sustainability Report.
The process of calculating and analysing all their data commences long before the year is over and lasts for several months, with the most intense period of work lasting for about four weeks. This crunch period includes several feedback loops of reporting, quality assurance, communication and error correction. The responsible team must check all factors used for calculations to make sure they’re current or updated as needed, and ensure all changes are tracked and verified.
External Reporting to Authorities
When it comes to preparing environmental reports for regulatory authorities, the annual season is long and complex. It typically kicks off at the start of January and runs right up to the deadline, which in Norway is 1 April.
In reporting to the Norwegian Environment Authority, the main goal is to provide accurate figures for consumption, production and all emissions included in the requirements, as well as information on emissions in relation to permits and quotas. Emissions reporting is most concerned with direct emissions information. The organisation’s data is transferred directly into the EPIM Environment Hub (EEH), the system used for authority reporting by all oil and gas companies with operator responsibilities in Norway.
On behalf of our customer, Emisoft must provide data for each of the relevant and required tables, including emissions of organic compounds, consumption and emissions of chemicals, combustion and emissions to air, diffuse emissions and cold venting, waste management, consumption and emissions related to drilling, and accidental emissions and discharges. Several data transfers are completed throughout the annual reporting period, and updates are done as corrections are made or missing data is entered.
Reporting in a demanding environment, such as oil and gas production, is time consuming and difficult. The quality of the final reports depends largely on how appropriate the reporting tool is for the purpose. Other critical factors include the software’s ability to handle complex calculations, the users’ ability to update and correct factors used in calculations, and the trace-ability of the data and calculations used. It’s also important that users can run comprehensive reports and easily change or add reports according to their needs.
The quality of environmental reports also depends largely on the understanding of the subject matter by the people involved in QA. Good planning and time management routines, as well as good communication skills, can also help ensure high-quality outcomes. These can help ensure data is properly entered and followed up on throughout the year. Finally, if an organisation’s management provides adequate support of the process and leadership in sustainability goals, there’s a greater chance of successful environmental management and reporting.Return to News & Events