Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Tipping Point for Carbon Management?

I have been feeling like a voice in the wilderness shouting about carbon accounting on the fringe of the business world, ever since my very first blog about the importance of full cost accounting. But now I can touch the edges of 'mainstream'. It's a funny feeling after years of tilting at windmills. It just goes to show you that if you stand still on a principle long enough, sometimes the world can shift your way.

What has caused this sudden realization of a global shift in perception? This year's Carbon Disclosure Project's annual report released yesterday included this earth-shattering little headline:
For first time in CDP’s ten year history, most US companies reporting climate change strategies
The press release goes on:
The 2011 S&P 500 report from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has found that while national and global policy remains uncertain, most large US companies recognize the opportunity to gain strategic advantage from acting to address climate change. For the first time since its inception, CDP has found that a majority of the S&P 500 disclosing companies now integrate climate change into core business strategy.
You have to remember that the CDP is largely a North American project focused mainly in the US. So that means that in the absence of coherent government policy or regulation, corporations are choosing to track and report their carbon liability. The article cites investor pressure, rising fossil fuel prices, extreme weather events, and a recognition of new revenue and product opportunities [emphasis added] as drivers for including carbon accounting as part of the new corporate reporting paradigm.

Business does nothing that is not in its self interest. When a majority of the reporting businesses in the US incorporate climate change accountability into their corporate strategies and reports, ya gotta think that carbon management has become a pillar of strong business planning. This may be carbon accounting's tipping point. It had to happen sometime.

Check out the Carbon Disclosure Project and the 2011 Report here.

No comments:

Post a Comment