Print Icon

Environment and Sustainability

By the time this article is read, most Academy Trusts will be towards the end of the annual process to prepare and audit their financial statements and the various meetings of trustees will be taking place to review and approve the financial statements.

Some but not all trusts are required to include Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting in their financial statements. If this is required, because the Trust is “large” and consumes more than 40,000 KWh of energy, then this disclosure includes:

  • The Trust’s UK energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions, as a minimum relating to gas, purchased electricity and transport fuel in the period
  • Its energy use and emissions
  • An emissions intensity ratio
  • Methodologies used in the calculations
  • Measures taken to improve energy efficiency in the period

More detail about what this means and how the calculations are performed can be found by clicking here.

Aside from above disclosures there are limited requirements for Trusts to disclose environmental or social matters in the financial statements. The requirements are inline with those for the corporate and not for profit sectors with the requirements for private companies and charities also being minimal.

At a pure financial level, the latest round of CIF bids will require environmental sustainability to be evidenced and to score maximum points the project must deliver either an increase in energy efficiency and reduction in energy use and carbon emissions and/or demonstrate it supports environmental sustainability and climate change resilience.


Many Trusts have used the Energy Efficiency Grant to fund new LED lighting, solar panels or boilers but there is much that can still be done, and Trusts should consider this as part of their future strategy.


Away from finance there are several other areas that can be considered. For example, waste is an area where improvements can be made fairly easy. We know from our own experiences that whatever people might do at home, away from that environment they behave differently and need some encouragement to treat waste appropriately and not use resources unnecessarily. Thinking about wasted resource, printing is an area where we often see waste. Just setting a printer to default to double sided printing can save a lot of paper!

As noted earlier, the financial reporting requirements around ESG issues are currently relatively limited. However, our expectation is that these will be enhanced over the coming years. Nonetheless, it is already an area that many stakeholders are interested in be they a provider of finance such as a grant, a prospective parent, employee or trustee. Therefore, Trusts should ensure they formulate their strategy in this area and communicate it to interested parties.


Contact Us

If you would like to arrange a virtual meeting to discuss your specific circumstances in relation to any of the above, please get in touch with your usual contact within James Cowper Kreston or contact me using the details below.

Alex Peal


T: +44 (0)7771826264 | E:


The information in this newsletter must not be relied on as giving sufficient advice in any specific case.   


Follow Us On