Carbon Accounting for Businesses

Understanding Your Carbon Accounting Requirements as an Australian Business

Carbon accounting is a must for compliance and strategic planning for Australian businesses. It ensures businesses are measuring and managing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This isn’t just about ticking regulatory boxes; it’s about boosting sustainability and efficiency.

At Origin Business Consultants, we’re here to help you navigate the complexities of carbon accounting. We offer tailored solutions to keep your business ahead of regulatory changes and help you seize growth opportunities.

Quick Summary

What is Carbon Accounting?

Carbon accounting, or greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting, is the process businesses use to measure the amount of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) they emit. This includes emissions from various activities such as energy consumption, transportation, and manufacturing processes. Essentially, carbon accounting quantifies your environmental impact, providing a clear picture of your carbon footprint.

Importance of Carbon Accounting for Businesses

Regulatory Compliance

Carbon accounting is crucial for staying on the right side of the law. Governments, especially in Australia, are ramping up regulations to tackle climate change. Keeping track of your carbon emissions helps you comply with these rules and avoid penalties, while also showcasing your company as a responsible and proactive entity.

Financial Management

Knowing your carbon footprint can lead to smarter financial decisions. By understanding and managing your GHG emissions, you can spot opportunities to save money through better energy efficiency and reduced waste. This not only cuts costs but also boosts your business’s long-term profitability.


Sustainability is more than just a buzzword; it’s a powerful way to build your brand. Companies that commit to reducing their environmental impact often see stronger customer loyalty and support. Implementing robust carbon accounting practices can set your business apart as a leader in sustainability.

Investor Confidence

Investors are increasingly looking to put their money into companies that care about the environment. Effective carbon accounting demonstrates your commitment to sustainability, making your business more attractive to investors who prioritise environmental responsibility.

Regulatory Landscape in Australia

Australia is stepping up its efforts to combat climate change, with significant regulations already in place. The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Act 2007 requires high-emission companies to report their GHG emissions, energy production, and consumption. The Safeguard Mechanism, introduced in 2016, ensures facilities emitting over 100,000 tonnes of CO2e per year stay within their emission baselines. Additionally, businesses can achieve Climate Active Certification, a voluntary scheme that certifies them as carbon neutral, showcasing a commitment to net zero emissions.

Looking ahead, Australia aims to reduce emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030. This means regulations will likely become stricter, making it crucial for businesses to stay informed and proactive in managing their carbon footprint.

Carbon Accounting Compliance for Businesses

Data Collection

The first step in carbon accounting is to gather all the necessary data on your greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This means tracking emissions from energy use, transportation, and production processes. Accurate data collection is vital to establish a reliable carbon footprint baseline.


Once you have your data, you need to use standardized formulas provided by regulatory bodies to calculate your total emissions. These calculations convert your data into carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), giving you a consistent measure of your GHG emissions across different activities.


Next, you need to prepare detailed reports for submission to regulatory bodies like the Clean Energy Regulator in Australia. These reports must follow specific guidelines and formats to ensure they meet national and international standards.

Strategy Development

Developing strategies to manage and reduce emissions is a critical part of carbon accounting. This might include switching to renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency, and optimizing supply chain logistics. A well-planned strategy helps reduce your carbon footprint and enhances overall business sustainability.

Introduction of New Legislation

Australia has amended the Corporations Act 2001, requiring businesses to disclose climate-related financial risks and opportunities. These disclosures will be rolled out in phases starting from FY25.

Reporting Phases

Mandatory climate reporting will be phased in based on business size and financial metrics:

  • Group 1: Businesses with 500+ employees, $1bn+ assets, or $500m+ revenue (Reporting starts 1 July 2025)
  • Group 2: Businesses with 250+ employees, $500m+ assets, or $200m+ revenue (Reporting starts 1 July 2026)
  • Group 3: Businesses with 100+ employees, $25m+ assets, or $50m+ revenue (Reporting starts 1 July 2027)
  • Special Cases: Asset owners with $5bn+ and NGER reporters.

Reporting Components

  • Scope 1 & 2 Emissions: These are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources and indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy.
  • Scope 3 Emissions: These include all other indirect emissions that occur in the value chain, and will be included from the second year of reporting.
  • Governance: This involves reporting on board and management oversight of climate-related risks and opportunities.
  • Impact Disclosure: Disclosing the actual and potential impacts of climate change on your business, including transition and physical risks.
  • Risk Management: Outlining processes for identifying, assessing, and managing climate-related risks.
  • Metrics & Targets: Disclosing performance data aligned with key metrics and establishing forward-looking targets.
  • Reporting & Assurance: Implementing continuous disclosure mechanisms and integrating climate-related disclosures in Annual Reports. Preparing for new assurance standards by the Australian Auditing and Assurance Board (AUASB).

How Origin Business Consultants Can Help

Tailored Reporting Solutions

At Origin Business Consultants, we create systems that simplify the collection and reporting of emission data. Our tailored solutions help you gather necessary information efficiently and produce accurate carbon accounts. We align your reporting with the GHG Protocol, ensuring a clear and detailed picture of your emissions.

Reduction Strategies

We work with your team to develop effective strategies for reducing your carbon footprint. This might involve switching to renewable energy sources, enhancing energy efficiency, and optimizing supply chain logistics. Our aim is to help you lower operational costs and improve your environmental impact.

Compliance and Certification Support

Navigating the regulatory landscape can be complex, but our expert team is here to guide you through every step. We offer comprehensive support to ensure your business complies with the latest regulations, from the NGER Act to achieving Climate Active certification. Our consultants help you prepare for mandatory climate-related financial reporting by breaking down complex requirements into manageable tasks.

Sustainability Planning

Integrating sustainability into your business strategy is essential for long-term success. We assist you in developing a sustainability plan that aligns with your business goals and environmental objectives. By positioning sustainability as a value driver, we help you enhance your brand reputation and attract environmentally conscious investors.

Are You Meeting Your Carbon Accounting Requirements?

Understanding and implementing carbon accounting is not just about meeting regulatory requirements; it’s a strategic advantage for Australian businesses. At Origin Business Consultants, we are dedicated to helping your business meet all carbon accounting requirements while thriving through enhanced sustainability practices. With our expertise, you can confidently navigate the complexities of climate-related financial reporting and turn environmental responsibility into a competitive edge.

Contact Origin Business Consultants today to start your journey towards effective carbon accounting and sustainable business practices. Let us help you navigate the complexities of climate-related financial reporting and transform your business into a leader in environmental responsibility.

Anthony Dyson
Anthony excels in establishing and restructuring businesses and SMEs' tax and accounting compliance, as well as self-managed super funds. He carries out numerous daily responsibilities with ease and confidence. Anthony is not only naturally gifted, dedicated, and persevering, but also an expert in tax and accounting. Learn more about Anthony