BusinessCompany NewsMPs back social reporting

MPs back social reporting

A backbench MP has broadened the debate on 'green reporting' by proposing a new watchdog to oversee environmental disclosure ahead of the Queen's speech next month.

Link: US thinktank wants ethical reporting

Labour MP Linda Perham, who represents Ilford North, is recommending a standards board be created, and making annual social and environmental reporting mandatory for smaller companies with a turnover of £5m or more.

Under these proposals companies would be required to consult the standards board on major projects.

While the environmental reporting motion, tabled in the middle of October, remains vague, it has achieved its main purpose of stimulating debate on ‘green reporting’ ahead of the Queen’s speech next month.

According to a spokesman for Perham, the ‘early day’ motion proposed by the MP already had signatures from 248 MPs across party lines.

He said the aim of Perham’s proposals was to provide debate with the government and get the proposals included in the company law bill – the result of the first total overhaul of company law in 150 years – which is due to enter parliament sometime next year.

Prime minister Tony Blair supported moves to encourage companies to be more socially responsible, but did not support the inclusion of Perham’s proposals in the Bill.

The Perham motion will also bring forward some of the environmental issues already included in the European directive on company reporting, which is being debated in Brussels. ‘The changes currently being debated in Europe are for the long-term but there is no reason why they shouldn’t take place here now,’ the spokesman said.

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