Tony Reeves, group of 100: “As governments introduce new regulations globally in response to climate change, the responsibilities of the CFO will broaden to include new obligations essential to enable accurate measuring and monitoring of their organisation’s emissions.” Photo: Tasman Miller

As the era of carbon trading draws near, a new guide has been developed to help companies manage the financial and reporting impacts of carbon emissions.

The guide, Managing Financial Impacts and Reporting of Carbon Emissions – A Guide for CFOs, has been launched by KPMG and the Group of 100, an organisation representing senior finance executives of some of Australia’s largest companies.

Tony Reeves, National President of the Group of 100, said the guide is a starting point for chief financial officers (CFOs) and their finance teams to assist in the management of the financial impacts and reporting under climate change regulations.

“As governments introduce new regulations globally in response to climate change, the responsibilities of the CFO will broaden to include new obligations essential to enable accurate measuring and monitoring of their organisation’s emissions.

“It’s time for CFOs to get fully up to speed on emissions reporting in order to overview the outputs of areas like environmental sustainability departments. For some companies carbon costs through permits or increased supplier charges will be material to the business and CFOs will be largely responsible for managing the financial and commercial impacts of buying and selling carbon permits and supply chain impacts,” Reeves said.

KPMG’s National Partner in Charge of Sustainability, Climate Change & Water, Jennifer Westacott said many Australian organisations have not grasped the business complexity and practical challenges around climate change.

But with the introduction of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act (NGER) and the Rudd government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), reporting will be seen as ultimately a driver of financial data and not just as emissions data. 

“It is essential that CFOs understand their obligations, what the data means for their business in terms of growth and liability, and integrate new reporting requirements under the legislation with overall company reporting,” said Westacott

“CFOs have a key role to play in navigating a successful path to a low carbon economy. This includes helping their organisations assess and deal with the financial and commercial implications of placing a price on carbon emissions. This change is integral to business strategy and their actions will help set companies apart from their competitors.”

The guide focuses on the four key actions for CFOs including understanding the organisation’s position, oversight of emissions data, managing financial impacts and overseeing reporting and assurance.

Read a copy of the Guide at www.group100.com.au

lblundell@thefifthestate.com.au

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