Carbon Neutral Verification – City of Fremantle
The City of Fremantle did seek independent Carbon Neutral verification back in October 2010, via a company called Perenia [which no longer exists]. This was sought a full year after the City had declared its Carbon Neutral status in 2009, and no doubt as a response to the federal government’s clamp down on bogus green marketing claims.
Instead of following the respected federal government regulated NCOS certification path taken by the City of Sydney, Fremantle decided remain on the self-certification route. Despite claiming to be Carbon Neutral for every year since 2009, the City of Fremantle has not sought further independent certification since 2010.
Of note, the 2010 Perenia certification came with many health warnings, and did not independently verify the City’s data or undertake any site visits.
The Perenia report states “This verification engagement has been conducted by way of a desktop analysis, for the 2009-10 reporting period, in consideration of relevant data and information collected by the City to support the City’s GHG emissions inventory.”
“The verification procedures were not designed to detect all potential weakness or errors in the City’s internal control environment and data management systems so far as they relate to the engagement scope.”
The following health warnings were then provided in the Perenia Report as a caution:
“Due to the embryonic nature of the City’s GHG emissions reporting process, it was identified there was a lack of formal review of the processes, systems, controls and documentation supporting GHG emissions reporting.“
“Lack of transparency regarding spreadsheet variance checks and reconciliations to ensure data accuracy and transparency.“
“The use of uncontrolled spreadsheets increases the risk of data integrity issues. Spreadsheets are not secure and there are limited processes and controls to prevent alterations to data and information (that may increase the risk of GHG emissions data integrity issues.“
“The Scope 3 GHG emission factors used to calculate GHG emissions associated with diesel (for stationary and transport purposes) consumption are incorrect.
…and on it goes.
This is hardly the level of endorsement that could give confidence in the City of Fremantle data and processes feeding into the Perenia evaluation.