Significant changes may be on the way for phase 3 of ESOS, which could see the scheme extended to include medium-sized enterprises, as well as introducing net zero carbon assessments into the audits to drive decarbonisation activity.
The consultation is ongoing and will be open until 28 September 2021. Contributions to the consultation are welcome, focusing on a number of proposals for strengthening the scheme.
As well as widening the qualification criteria and improving the quality of reporting, the proposals include looking at ways to ensure ESOS recommendations are consistent with the UK’s net zero commitments. This could mean introducing plans and targets that will support participants in meeting their carbon reduction goals, encouraging them to look at longer term strategic considerations for investment in plant, buildings and equipment to lower carbon emissions and considering how their operations need to change in order to become net zero. Net zero benchmarks and trajectories are also being considered for organisations to track their performance.
Other potential changes being considered as part of the consultation include requiring participants to publicly disclose their high-level recommendations and mandating that energy-saving recommendations are implemented.