BusinessCompany NewsSocial reporting legislation ‘unfeasible’

Social reporting legislation 'unfeasible'

Social reporting is impossible to legislate for and should only be a matter of 'best practice', according to the chairman of the largest UK body devoted to improving the impact of business on society.

Link: Businesses spared more green taxes

David Varney, chairman of Business in the Community, and also chairman of mobile phone operator mm02, said environmental reporting was in its infancy and as a result regulation was unfeasible.

His comments will be a body blow to those who have lost patience with the ‘voluntary’ approach to social and environmental reporting and want to see government introduce some form of legislation compelling companies to report.

‘We are still learning, so I don’t know how they are going to do it. Rather than regulatory settlement, companies should move with best practice,’ he said.

Varney explained that compiling the index of top environmentally responsible companies, the FTSE4Good index, took the groups involved a lot of time and effort.

He also explained that additional legislation could result in a more complicated and difficult-to-understand company report.

‘Each time you regulate you end up with more explanatory pages and end notes for auditors to look at, which are more difficult for the ordinary person to understand,’ said Varney.

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