Nick Clegg’s plans to make all firms listed on the London Stock Exchange report on their carbon from 2013 have been hailed as “good for the British economy”.
The Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement this week came as a surprise to some despite the fact many businesses have been campaigning for it for a while.
Privately some in the industry have speculated international firms might up sticks and transfer to other stock exchanges in Europe.
But experts say this would cost many more millions than adding carbon emissions data to their annual reports.
“Far from panicking, businesses should embrace it,” says Peter Grant, CEO of carbon reporting technology firm CloudApps.
He told ELN it can take “a matter of weeks” for businesses to introduce carbon reporting and it doesn’t have to be expensive, with the average reporting cycle taking between 30 days to 90 days for a really complex report.
Mr Grant dismisses the notion it will be an “undue burden” on British businesses: “People think it’s unnecessary red tape. It’s been perceived as significant investment companies have to make but it’s a good move.”
More than 3,500 international firms have already adopted similar carbon checks voluntarily through the Carbon Disclosure Project.
Some campaign groups have said Mr Clegg’s announcement doesn’t go far enough. It remains to be seen whether reporting will be extended to all large UK businesses.