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Top Carbon Reducer Calls Results ‘Misleading’

Bam Group, a property, design, construction and facilities management firm, has ranked no. 1 in the UK’s Carbon Reduction Commitment Performance League Table (PTL), with data appearing to show that it cut emissions 65 percent in one year. Motorola, Skanska, Manchester City Council and bank Bradford & Bingley round out the top five on the list.

After two years in first place, soccer club Manchester United has fallen to 488th place on the 2011/12 table, which includes 2,097 companies and organizations.

But Bam climate change manager Jesse Putzel called the results misleading, telling BuinessGreen that the company’s apparent deep GHG reduction was mostly due to a requirement that companies report emissions from more than 29 fuels. Without this requirement, Bam’s emissions reduction would stand at 17 percent.

The PLT ranks participants in the Carbon Reduction Commitment program, under which companies of a certain size have to purchase allowances for every ton of CO2 they emit. Unlike the EU cap and trade scheme, the CRC covers non-carbon-intensive sectors.

The UK Environment Agency compiles the list using three weighted metrics: an absolute metric, growth metric and early action metric, which includes companies’ carbon emissions before the CRC program started.

The rankings have long been controversial, with businesses repeatedly saying the table paints a false picture of their performance.

The latest rankings, originally slated for release in October 2012, were delayed because of inaccurate data and errors in a number of companies’ reports, according to Workplace Law.

This will be the final PLT released. The UK government decided to stop publishing it last year in an effort to reduce the administrative load CRC placed on businesses, Workplace Law reports.

Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to the UK “Environmental Agency.” This should have read “Environment Agency.” The previous version also described Bam Group as a “3-D marketing firm,” referring to a different company with the same name. The Bam Group on the CRC listings is in property, design, construction and facilities management.

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