UK largest corporations will have to report greenhouse-gas emissions in profit reports
UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that starting next April, all companies that list on the London Stock Exchange will be required to publish their greenhouse gas emissions in corporate earnings reports.
The rule affects about 1.800 businesses, but in 2015, it will apply to all 24.000 large corporations based in the UK, said Clegg addressing the Rio+20 conference.
Using resources responsibly is in business's own interests too. Pepsi depends on water, Unilever depends on fish stocks and agricultural land, and every firm relies on a stable fuel supply, says Clegg.
While nine out of 10 chief executives say sustainability is fundamental to their success, only two out of 10 record the resources they consume, he notes.
During the consultation period, most businesses supported the plan, and some industry groups have even been asking for it as a common standard and a way to make fair comparisons between companies.
This is an area where corporate executives have been demanding more regulation from government to provide greater clarity and transparency, Andrew Raingold, executive director for the Aldersgate Group, told The Guardian.
Companies will be required to publish total greenhouse gases for the year, measured in tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, a common international standard.
At a side event at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Clegg said that the reporting would help corporations and investors identify potential areas of savings that can be made through energy efficiency.
Counting your business costs while hiding your greenhouse gas emissions is a false economy, he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by Britain's environment department.
British companies need to reduce their harmful emissions for the benefit of the planet, but many back our plans because being energy-efficient makes good business sense, too.
It saves companies money on energy bills, improves their reputation with customers and helps them manage their long-term costs, too.”
On Tuesday, Nasdaq and four other stock exchanges said they would urge their 4.600-plus companies to produce sustainability reports, or explain why they don't.