Business leaders are being warned about the consequences of inaccurate carbon emissions data when new rules come into force
Draft Mandatory Carbon Reporting (MCR) legislation was laid before Parliament on 12 June 2013. It is likely to be approved by Parliament over the next few weeks and it will be applied from October 2013.
Under the new regulations, most companies listed on the London Stock Exchange will be forced to analyse and publish their carbon emissions.
CICS is urging the firms affected - and those likely to be affected if the scheme is expanded - to make sure data is accurate.
Shaun Bainbridge, director at CICS, said: "If companies publish emissions information that is later shown to be wrong, they leave themselves open to accusations of ‘greenwash.' That would damage brand values and investor confidence. Having data verified by a third party removes that risk.
"Some leaders see the new rules as more red tape, but many directors will use them as a springboard for growth."
Mr Bainbridge said that examining emissions credibly delivers advantages that go beyond environmental box-ticking.
He said: "Reducing emissions almost always means reducing energy bills, which protects margins in the face of rising fuel costs.
"In addition, when companies pay more than just lip service to cutting greenhouse gases they often come up with much more cost-effective ways of doing things - whether that's finding ways of making things lighter, using different materials or improving production processes.
"Having the results independently verified makes sure decisions are taken on the back of sound information, and it gives investors and consumers confidence."
Following approval, MCR will come into effect for listed companies with years ending on or after October 1 this year. The data will have to be backdated to January 1 this year.