Accountants are being encouraged to improve their knowledge about
environmental reporting as companies and public bodies face growing pressure to
reduce their carbon footprint.
The climate change bill, which requires the UK to reduce emissions by 80%
from 1990 levels by 2050, brings green policies into the corporate mainstream.
To help accountants through the thicket of green regulations and targets the
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants has released the second in its
series of sustainability briefings.
The guide provides guidance to accountants on dealing with environmental
reporting. It includes advice on understanding regulatory and voluntary
requirements as well as new legislation, risk management, establishing a
framework for measurement of financial and non-financial reporting.
It also covers how to adapt environmental policies into the day-to-day
operations of finance departments and how finance staff can provide clear
information on the subject to a board of directors.
Steve Priddy, director of technical policy and research at ACCA, said: ‘There
is uncertainty and anxiety among our members about carbon, sustainability and
green house gas emissions. Our members from around the world have said they want
some clarification so they can do their job.’
Later this year, the UK will implement the Carbon Reduction Commitment which
requires companies that spend £500,000 or more on its energy bills to pay for
their carbon usage prior to using it.
The companies will be ranked in a league table based on how much they cut
their carbon consumption. Their position in the table will determine the size of
the rebate the companies will receive the following year.
The CRC is expected to have significant implications for company accounts and
Rachel Jackson, head of social and environmental issues at ACCA, said:
‘Accountants have always needed to adapt to their evolving professional
landscape. The next significant development is the emergence of sustainability
issues within core business practice.’
The briefings have been published in association with KPMG and
Accountability. a global not-for-profit network.
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