Research into Environmental Liabilities launched
A research report sponsored by ACCA and undertaken by KPMG Global Sustainability Services was launched at a World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) side event at KPMG's head office in Johannesburg on Friday 30 August 2002.
The report deals with environmental liabilities - financial obligations that companies have to provide for, incur and disclose, in order to address environmental concerns and looks at the issue from several different angles including the accounting, auditing and legal perspectives.
The report was introduced by ACCA's Head of Corporate Development for Southern Africa, Simon Burdett. In his address, Mr Burdett highlighted the fact that environmental issues are moving up corporate agendas. "One of the reasons for this is the emergence of environmental liabilities. KPMG's 2001 Survey on Environmental Accounting in South Africa, showed that 74% of companies were already measuring environmental liabilities."
Though there is an increased awareness of environmental issues, and this is set to increase post WSSD, levels of disclosure remain low. This is partly due to the lack of awareness, guidance and clarity on environmental liabilities in South Africa - what they are, how to measure them and when to disclose them. The report is a first step in the process of showing the current state of dealing with environmental liabilities in South Africa.