Mandatory Environmental Reporting

  • Deborah Morris
Associate Minister for the Environment

Hon Deborah Morris today announced the start of work by the Ministry for the Environment to produce draft legislation to amend either the Financial Reporting Act or Companies Act to require companies to report their environmental impacts.

The move to introduce mandatory environmental reporting puts into place the commitment in the Coalition Agreement to develop "State of the Environment" reporting and amend the Companies Act to require statutory disclosure of impacts by companies.

"The introduction of environmental reporting will create a mechanism for improving corporate governance. Not only would it increase the transparency of individual companies' impacts on the environment, therefore allowing public scrutiny, but it would also encourage competition, with every business wanting to promote it's green credentials, vying to be the cleanest in the business!

"I envisage companies having to outline their environmental impact in annual reports, and I expect that like accounts, these could be routinely audited to check for accuracy.

"Some companies are not really aware of their impact on the environment. So statutory disclosure will require companies to know what resources they are using, what discharges result from their activity and how that impacts on the physical environment.

"We're increasingly in an age where if you're not a green company, then you're a bad one. That's good," said Hon Deborah Morris.