You may not be captain planet, but…

Gavin Hinks, AccountancyAge

Some accused us of mistakenly elevating accountants to the status of
‘superheroes’ and said saving the planet was not their core competency. Others
insisted accountants were more interested in investing in oil companies than
reducing pollution. Not so, we say. OK, we perhaps overstated the role of
accountants, but it remains an influential group that has the potential to shape
the way that companies contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

This week we return to the subject in our Insider section (pages 17-19). John
Collier explains why accountants are best placed to set the corporate agenda on
the environment, not just respond to it. His arguments are compelling, even if
he rightly points out that the profession may still be currently doing too
little, too late.

That said, this issue also includes two writers who demonstrate that action
can be taken. David Gray takes us through the energy argument… Analyse your
energy costs, reduce them in the right ways and you are making immediate steps
along way to helping the environment. Mark Marsh meanwhile, takes us through his
efforts as finance director at Seaward Electronics to drastically reduce the
company’s carbon footprint.

These are accountants consciously making an effort to engage their skills and
expertise in the pursuit of more efficiency and a better environmental
performance. There is no pretence at being superheroes here. Merely well-trained
professionals expanding the way in which their skills can be applied. And that
is half the battle won.

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