Green Survey results raise questions for business

Accountancy Age readers have revealed they suffer from a shocking
lack of information about business and the environment, according to a survey.

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Almost two thirds of those polled said the government had not provided enough
information, while a little more than one in ten revealed they had no idea about
the business benefits of reducing carbon emissions.

The results raise serious questions about how educated the profession is on
the environment. Roger Adams, a technical director at ACCA and an expert on
accountancy and the environment, said: ‘A lot of good things have been done over
the past 10-15 years, but according to the survey results, it appears the
government has not communicated them or effectively embedded them.’

Further results from the survey showed that 53% of respondents believed
reporting on environmental performance in the Business Review should be

‘It can be construed as very encouraging that companies think this
sufficiently serious to be a mandatory requirement. This has not been the case
in the past,’ said Adams.

While there appeared to be a desire for more information, 44% of readers said
an accounting standard dealing with carbon disclosure was unnecessary. However,
more than a quarter backed a standard, though they said it should be voluntary.

‘Carbon is the most significant issue facing governments around the world. So
supporting mandatory reporting on environmental performance is encouraging, but
then not to support an accounting standard is inconsistent,’ Adams added.

More than a third of those surveyed believed the reputational risks
associated with lax environmental and socially irresponsible supply chain
practices were only in extreme circumstances. However, 45% said it was clear
what harm could be done. A little more than one tenth said the risk only
affected the very largest companies.

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