Airlines urged to initiate EU ETS aviation verification as deadline approaches

With the 2010 reporting and verification deadline fast approaching for aviation companies involved in the EU ETS (European Union Emissions Trading Scheme), a large number of aircraft operators are now considering engagement of verification bodies. Whilst some initiated the process early in the year, many are yet to identify and select a verifier in time for the imminent reporting deadline of 31st March 2011.

The onus is on the 4000 plus operators affected by the scheme to ensure they have their Tonne-Kilometre and Annual emissions data verified by an accredited verification body.

Far from being focussed solely on EU based operators, the legislation affects companies globally. Approximately 75% of operators identified under the scheme are based outside of the EU. For smaller and non-EU based operators in particular, awareness and understanding of EU ETS may be more limited and reporting and verification requirements more daunting. SGS, an accredited verification body, recommends engaging with verifiers as early as possible to allow an initial compliance assessment at the start of the verification process.

SGS UK, having received accreditation from UKAS for the aviation sector can mitigate this issue for airlines by presenting a suitably qualified and experienced pool of verifiers. However, operators are urged to move quickly and establish their verification partner as failure to do so may result in insufficient time to complete verification resulting in a failure to meet the reporting deadline.

Aircraft operators must make an informed decision on which accredited verification body to entrust with the verification of their Greenhouse Gas emissions. They should take into consideration experience, reputation, resources, global presence and of course cost. Operators are especially likely to benefit from engaging established verifiers with long standing experience within the climate change and greenhouse verification fields including EU ETS to ensure a smooth verification against EU ETS requirements.

Lisa Brough, Technical Director for SGS Climate Change Programme said “We are pleased to be working with British Airways. BA are one of the UK’s leading airlines and have been proactive in preparing for monitoring and reporting under EUETS, engaging the services of SGS early during 2010. Early initiation of the verification process is fundamental in the first year of GHG emissions reporting for any operator within the scope of EU ETS. SGS recommend an initial verification assessment during the reporting year, followed by completion of verification in early 2011 to assist operators achieve compliance and avoid the potential application of civil penalties”

On signing up with SGS, British Airways Head of Environment, Jonathon Counsell, comments; “We have for a long time supported the principle of emissions trading as being the most cost effective way of managing emissions. We look forward to working with SGS to ensure we meet the requirements of the EU ETS.”

SGS operates in 140 countries and have a multitude of experienced GHG emissions verification staff in all regions, and equipped for the increase in reporting operators. SGS verifiers receive extensive training in the specific requirements of the EU ETS scheme for the aviation sector (among many others) to provide service of the utmost standard to clients.


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