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June 28, 2010

Grant Thornton plans sustainability practice

Grant Thornton US partner in public policy and external affairs Michael Krzus told the The Accountant the US firm will launch a sustainability practice in the near future.

Krzus also predicts mid-tier firms such as Grant Thornton and BDO will start to develop sustainability services.

Traditionally, sustainability services such as assurance, carbon markets advice and supply chain management have been the domain of the Big Four (see chart below).

Krzus said a major factor behind this is the lack of resources available to the mid-tier.

However, he said interest and ideas around sustainability have been surfacing recently from Grant Thornton member firms.

The UK firm is currently drafting a business plan for a sustainability practice based on experience a senior manager gained when on secondment to the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project.

Krzus, who plies his trade with the US firm, is an expert on sustainability reporting and is the co-author of the book One Report, Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy.

Despite the fact the business plan will be written from a UK perspective, Krzus said he can see it being shared globally.

“If we focus on carbon, carbon is a universal issue, it is not an issue that is limited by geographic boundary and we will develop different kinds of expertise,” he added.


Big Four

Sustainability and climate change services


Summary of services provided

Total full-time staff


Climate change and carbon markets; measuring, managing, reporting and assurance; financing solutions and M&A support; strategy support and engaging employees; and sustainable supply chain services.



Carbon trading, accounting, risk management and valuation; emissions management, reporting, assurance and disclosure; and comprehensive greenhouse gas strategy development and execution services.


Ernst & Young

Governance, risk management and strategic direction; programme management; sustainable supply chain advisory; climate change and sustainability related regulation and taxation efficiency; financial and non-financial measurement and reporting; finance and transactions; IPO and related services for cleantech, renewable energy and environmental companies; and transactions advisory services.



Climate change services: sustainable supply chain; sustainable IT (green IT ); Clean Development Mechanism project development support and JI determination services (validation and verification); corporate climate change/carbon strategy; carbon valuation; emissions trading; climate change risk management; carbon footprint; CO2 verification. The firm also provides services in CR reporting and assurance; CR strategy support; environmental, health and safety due diligence; risk and opportunity analysis; performance management and reporting system development; policy and process development.


Source: The Accountant

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