Changes to climate reporting timelines – what small businesses need to know

Mandatory climate reporting means Queensland businesses will need to report on climate-related data specific to their operations from July 2025. 

The Australian Government continues its action toward ambitious climate goals, which include a 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.   

A phased roll-out of the mandatory climate-related reporting regime will require businesses to report on climate-related data relating to their operations.  Changes to the timing of the roll-out will now see mandatory climate-related reporting requirements commence from 1 January 2025 (as opposed to July 2024). 

The reporting regime brings unprecedented change and increased expectation on businesses in terms of financial reporting, accountability, and transparency.  Reporting and disclosure requirements will require businesses to address, for example: 

  • financial risks and opportunities relating to climate; and  
  • greenhouse gas emissions, including scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. 

Rollout timelines 

The regime will phase in across three ‘Groups’ of businesses over time.  Group 1, capturing Australia’s largest businesses and financial institutions, will see the reporting regime become live from 1 January 2025, with Group 2 to follow in 2026. 

The third Group (Group 3) will be required to report from 1 July 2027.  This Group generally captures businesses that meet at least two of the following criteria: 

  • consolidated revenue of $50 million or more; 
  • consolidated gross assets of $25 million or more; and 
  • 100 or more employees. 

How will these changes impact smaller to medium-sized businesses? 

Most Australian small businesses will not fall within the Group 3 reporting criteria, meaning direct reporting may not be required in the immediate future. However, many small businesses form part of the supply chains of larger businesses that will have reporting obligations, meaning small businesses will need to engage with the regime.  This is because the ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ emissions that occur within the supply chain of a larger business, must be reported by that larger business.  As a result, smaller business should ready themselves to be able to supply emissions information to larger organisations, or risk losing their place in those supply chains.  

Where do I start? 

We know understanding emissions reporting obligations and the indirect impact on small businesses can be complex and time consuming.   

If your business (or one of your suppliers) has less than 200FTE, Business Chamber Queensland can help you baseline and benchmark your data for free through our ecoBiz program.  

If you are a Director and want to understand your responsibilities, the Australian Institute of Company Directors in Partnership with Deloitte and Minter Ellison have released a directors guide to mandatory climate reporting 

Alternatively, Business Chamber Queensland’s experienced Sustainability team members are available to assist you if you require professional support or advice.  Reach out to Caroline Sullivan (Business Sustainability Manager) on [email protected] for support. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Business Chamber Queensland respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands from across Queensland and the Torres Strait. We acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal people as the Traditional Custodians of Meanjin (Brisbane), the lands where our office is located and the place we meet, work and learn. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.