Updated: Jun 19
Earlier this year, Footprintlab coordinated a submission to Australian Federal Treasury on Climate-related financial disclosure. In line with Chartered Accountants ANZ, we believe there will be a growing need for accountants and the skills to measure and assure sustainability performance. Foundational to their role will be rigorous carbon accounting data, deepened with information on:
● Provenance of data (for reasons of legal probity and technical transparency)
● Assurance of data (information on data pedigree: appropriate geography, currency, accuracy, uncertainty)
● Application of data (where data comes from and what it can or cannot be used for).
There has been a recent explosion in carbon accounting and information services (and investment therein) without commensurate oversight of the quality of data and information used. Some of the data used to inform measures of progress toward net zero are outdated, based on European or US data, generated through AI or machine learning and/or proxy data is used when better data is available.
We generated this coordinated response from expert Australian carbon accounting practitioners because we believe there’s a need for depth and rigour in the metrics and data support for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accounting, and a corresponding ‘carbon literacy and numeracy’ at either end of the carbon information and services market, especially on the use and meaning of scope 3 emission factors. This rigour will serve to strengthen trust in carbon reporting, which is critical if national and international carbon reduction targets are to be met.
Our submission contains common views, observations and insights on the practice of corporate carbon accounting and responds to selected specific questions of the consultation paper.
 see comments in Australian Financial Review 21 September 2022, https://www.afr.com/companies/professional-services/adopt-global-sustainability-standards-urgently-accountants-warn-20220919-p5bja5