Guide

How to produce an environmental report

Environmental key performance indicators

Environmental key performance indicators (KPIs) are quantitative measures - actual numbers - that put values on the environmental performance of your business.

Examples of environmental KPIs

You can produce environmental KPIs using facts and figures which your business already collects, such as:

  • energy bills
  • water bills
  • purchasing records
  • vehicle fuel use or vehicle mileage figures
  • waste management bills
  • travel receipts

An environmental KPI should be accompanied by:

  • information on why it was included (its purpose and impact)
  • how the information was obtained and calculated
  • if any assumptions were made

How to choose your environmental KPIs

You should report on KPIs that you are both directly and indirectly responsible for. For example, you should report the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from your electricity use, as well as the amount actually emitted directly from your own premises. You could even report on your supply chain's KPIs.

The government has produced a list of environmental KPIs that are relevant to businesses. The four main environmental KPI areas are:

  • emissions to air
  • emissions to water
  • emissions to land
  • resource use

You can download the full list of environmental KPIs (PDF, 354K).

You may want to think about other ways that your business impacts on the environment, such as:

  • light
  • heat
  • noise
  • smell
  • vibration
  • electromagnetic radiation
  • visual impact

Make your environmental KPIs comparable

You should report environmental data in a comparable format, so that your performance can be assessed over time and against other businesses.

KPIs should also be expressed in terms that cover the entire business for the period of the report, which is usually annually. This makes it easier to make meaningful comparisons with other businesses and against previous years.

You should also use measurements that are standard across your business sector. For example, an office-based business might report on tonnes of carbon emitted per million pounds of turnover, whereas a manufacturing business might report on per product or per tonne of product.