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March 19, 2009

Sustainability and environmental reporting and risk management

Sustainability reporting involves companies and organisations demonstrating their corporate responsibility through measuring and publicly reporting on their economic, social and environmental performance and impacts. It can be delivered through the company's annual report, a stand alone sustainability report, a triple bottom line report or an environmental or social impact report. The Parliamentary Library has published an excellent overview of this area.


Key regulatory points relating to the environment include understanding the obligation to report emissions (do you know the size of your carbon footprint, do you have to report?) and the risk of committing greenwashing.


Do you have a reporting and risk management structure? If you don't know the size of your carbon footprint, how can you manage it and comply with the new laws?


Are you part of a supply chain that requires emissions control?


Do you subscribe to the finance industry's Equator Principles?


Emissions Reporting


Do you know the quantity of your business's emissions?


The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System commenced on 1 July 2008.


Are you "greenwashing"?


Greenwashing involves misleading use of environmental claims for your product (some businesses do not have data that supports their "green" claims but claim they are green anyway). The ACCC has published a guide on carbon offset claims.


It is likely that the regulatory effect of climate change will intensify.


Your staff may also have strong views on how you comply.


BONUS LINKS: 


Department of Climate Change


Australian Conservation Foundation


The environmental legal system in Australia


Green Building Council of Australia

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Posted 19th March 2009 by David Jacobson in Risk management