PwC wins massive carbon emissions contract


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 $14 trillion.

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.