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Public sector falling behind private companies on climate reporting, says CIPFA

An international survey by the professional organisation found that 56% of public sector bodies do not currently report on their climate impact

The public sector is drastically falling behind private companies in regards to climate reporting, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

An international survey by the professional organisation found that more than half (56%) of public sector bodies do not currently report on their climate impact.

Furthermore, of the 44% of respondents who said their organisation does produce a sustainability report, only around half said they used a standard definition of sustainability.

Only a quarter (25%) of climate reports prepared were subject to an audit or verification process.

Rob Whiteman, the chief executive at CIPFA, said: “The climate crisis is now firmly at the top of global political and economic agendas.

“We’ve seen private sector companies incorporating non-financial measures to better assess their overall performance, which includes their impact on the climate. The issue is that this type of reporting hasn’t materialised in the same way for the public sector in most countries.”

Karen Sanderson, director of public financial management at CIPFA, said: “The planet doesn’t differentiate when it comes to who is responsible for emitting carbon and other greenhouse gases.

“CIPFA conducted this research to see what, if at all, different public sector organisations around the world are doing to report and assess their impact on the climate.”

She added: “We now know that public sector organisations are lagging their private sector counterparts, and that there is a global appetite for this type of reporting among public sector professionals.”

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