Select Committee on Environmental Audit Minutes of Evidence

Annex 4


  The main focus of our consulting work has been on the environmental accounting blueprint project of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) which itself is part of UNCTAD in Geneva. The work was mainly funded by the World Bank—which has shown a strong interest in improving environmental transparency particularly in respect of lending decisions in the developing country sector.

  ACCA's first consultancy project was a 1995 overview of all aspects of environmental accounting, reporting and auditing. As a result of that status report World Bank funded environmental accounting blueprint project was developed. Thus far the project has had four main outputs:

    (1)  A formal position paper on the financial accounting treatment of environmental costs and liabilities: this paper provides the basis for the draft EC recommendation on the same issue which is currently being reviewed by the Contact Committee on the Accounting Directives.

    (2)  A research paper authored by ACCA dealing with the linkage between environmental and financial performance: this paper has sparked subsequent research by Business in the Environment.

    (3)  A paper setting out generic principles of environmental performance indicators focusing mainly on aspects of eco-efficiency.

    (4)  A series of workshops of environmental financial accounting, reporting, auditing and risk management. These have involved staff from ACCA, KPMG, UNEP and various UK universities and consultancies. The workshops have been delivered to uniformly positive reaction in Bahrain, Brazil (twice including a sector specific variant for the steel industry), the Czech Republic, Egypt, India, Malaysia and Thailand.

  It is still planned to publish a workshop manual and to stage a formal training for trainers session either in late 2000 or in 2001.

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