Taking Stock – Is environmental concern just a load of hot air?

Sounding off about environmental reporting and sustainable business is certainly a growth area for the Big Five – and a market worth a fair few billions of dollars or pounds.

Last week Pricewater-houseCoopers launched its online CO2 gas emission exchange amid a lot of hot air about facilitating environmental targets.

No mention was made that the new bourse is the sort of additional activity that will fill the ozone-like hole left in the Big Five’s coffers by new limits on their consulting activity.

PwC are of course not alone in getting in on the environmental bonanza.

Arthur Andersen this month set up the Emissions Market Development Group, which brought 35 large energy companies together to discuss swapping emission quotas.

And KPMG last year carried out the first ever environmental audit on oil colossus BP Amoco’s greenhouse gas emissions – neatly recycling some of its clients’ profits in return for finding out just how much pollutant it has to cut.

But, as the Friends of the Earth pointed out, a firm like PwC is not going to get involved in setting a business up unless it knows there is profit to be made. ‘It’s a phenomenon of misguided talent that is not in the spirit of Kyoto,’ said a more pointed critic at the Green Party.

‘These exchanges just pass the problem on and create profit in the process.’ ?:

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