Saving the planet may be a cause for social concern, but
it doesn't stop the firms competing to offer advisory services
on it - and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) may have taken a
lead against its rivals by winning one of the biggest contracts
around for advice on carbon emissions.
The job - advising the Carbon
Disclosure Project - means providing counsel to a
group of 385 institutional investors with a combined fund
of assets amounting to $57 trillion (£28 trillion).
To put that in perspective, the GDP of the US this year, according
to the International Monetary Fund, is expected to be around
PwC will be advising on the carbon disclosures of the 3,000
blue chip companies across the Global 500, the FTSE350
and the S&P500 that have been asked to measure
their greenhouse output. The research will also mark the first
time the Carbon Disclosure Project is using common methodology
in all three reports covering the three indexes.
"There will be a commonality and ability to read across
one report from the other, which will enable us to compare
and bring out trends" - said Paul Rew, PwC's energy partner.
He added that PwC would be pulling together a transatlantic
in-house team of experts to work on the assignment.
"We set up a team with seven people working on the project
in the UK and eight people in the US" - said Alan McGill,
PwC's sustainability and climate partner, who also worked
on the Prince of Wales' sustainability project.
Advice on ethical and corporate responsibility is seen as
a growing service line by the firms. Rew said - "We see
corporate reporting moving to a different level as society
changes. More investors are taking it more seriously. We will
start to see more voluntary assurance reporting."
"There is greater pressure from the investment community
to know about this type of information and, because this issue
is becoming more mainstream and strategic, they want to know
what their carbon footprint is" - added McGill.