UN report recommends accounting rules be used to safeguard biodiversity

Rules which may force businesses to record and report their impact on
biodiversity via their published accounts are being considered by the global
accounting standard setter.

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is considering
recommendations by a United Nations affiliate, The Economics of Ecosystems and
Biodiversity (TEEB), to measure and report their biodiversity impact in
financial statements.

The IASB is already considering a standard framework for measuring carbon
emissions with an aim of releasing a final standard by 2012.

The TEEB report recommends the accounting profession accelerate efforts to
provide standards and metrics for disclosure of environmental impacts.

“Ultimately, the ability and interest of business to use such valuations in
their financial accounts may depend on developments in accounting standards,
financial disclosure requirements, and environmental liability regulations,” the
report states.

The report’s release comes as PwC releases its own study revealing that less
than one in five companies see biodiversity as an important business issue.

“The UK’s embedded and unconscious dependence on environmental resources,
largely unaccounted for and unvalued in market terms, will mean no sector or
business will escape unaffected by changes to the availability of environmental
goods and services,” the firm said.

Further reading:

business is biting the hand that feeds as unchecked environmental resource loss
threatens to bite UK economy back

Accounting rules could force businesses to
disclose environmental impact

Related reading

Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.