UK´s top 350 listed firms ready to comply with sustainability reporting rules

by Stratton Craig

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The latest report by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), prepared in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers, shows that the 350 biggest UK listed companies feel comfortable with the inclusion of sustainability in their annual reporting. This is due to become obligatory starting from April 2013.
In six months´ time, businesses trading on the London Stock Exchange, or some 1,600 organisations, should start disclosing data on their direct and electricity-related emissions, categorised as Scope 1 and Scope 2. The study, which monitors companies´ measures to prepare for embedding sustainability in their corporate reports ahead of the introduction, garnered 238 responses, or about 69% of UK´s top 350 firms, with 96 of them being among the 100 largest entities.
More than 90% of the respondents submitted information about emissions in both categories to the CDP, which means that they will most likely find no difficulties in complying with the new legislation. Another 7%, however, were unsuccessful in reporting their sustainability credentials, while 31% failed to disclose investor-relevant information requested by the organisation.
Commenting on the findings, the CEO of the London Pensions Fund Authority, Mike Taylor, said that making sustainability reporting mandatory for the UK´s largest listed companies is a great success for the government. It is expected to trigger more action among regulators to effectively respond to the challenges associated with climate change globally, he added.
However, since about a third of the top 350 firms reporting to CDP fail to include sustainability in their reports, the government will need to be more assertive to ensure businesses take into account long-term sustainability when making strategic decisions.

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