The SEC has proposed new rules, according to which companies may be required to provide data about their carbon footprint, which may prove rather lucrative for carbon accountants.
The proposal made on March 21 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is mainly intended to serve as an additional resource for potential investors to compare the climate strategies of different companies.
However, it will certainly also mean a lot of work for auditing firms whose fact-checking will be in very high demand once and if these disclosures become mandatory.
The climate disclosures proposed by the SEC pose an unprecedented challenge due to the sheer amount of information that companies must provide about their operations, as opposed to the information necessarily for traditional financial discloses.
And a portion of this work has been structured by the SEC in a way that it will require the services of specialized carbon accountants instead of traditional certified public accounting firms.
Hence, if approved, the new SEC rules will, in fact, create openings for carbon accountants – a budding class of companies that focus on calculating corporate CO2 emissions.
According to the proposition, companies will be mandated to disclose information relating to scope 1 (relating to the enterprise’s operations) and scope 2 (the enterprise’s energy use) emissions.
Larger corporations may also be required to share data about their scope 3 emissions that relate to supply chain emissions.
And whatever information companies are required to publish, it will need to be verified by a third party.
But with major accounting firms being under fire lately for missing critical points in traditional financial audits, that role may best be suited for carbon accountants.