The Greening of Corporate America

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Just a few years ago, the environment was primarily a public relations issue for corporations that finance executives didn't have to think much about. Then, a few sharp investors began citing the accounting behind environmental issues as a concern. CFO.com first reported on "The Greening of GAAP" in 2004. Since then, our coverage (see the article list below) and the issue have grown to the point that the environment sits squarely in the sights of finance executives.

IT ALL STARTED HERE. . .
The Greening of GAAP
Are corporations being forthright about their environmental liabilities?


FIN 47: ACCOUNTING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
FIN 47: The Future Is Now
Under the new standard, many companies may have to book future cleanup costs, whether or not they can be ascertained today.
Starbucks EPS Hurt by Accounting Changes
Playing catch-up to satisfy FIN 47 was a drag on the chain's earnings.
Up on Cripple Creek, a New Kind of Gold
An obscure accounting rule, combined with a shortage of urban real estate, is creating a rush to reclaim contaminated land. Now one company that made its fortune in the gold-rush era is cashing in again.
Environmentally Bankrupt?
Companies that file for bankruptcy protection should be held to account for their cleanup responsibilities, say critics.
Pollution Costs Return to Balance Sheets
A new interpretation of FAS 143 gives companies less flexibility when recording conditional environmental liabilities.
Reporting on Environmental Liabilities
Should corporations start preparing for ''the greening of GAAP''?

RECOMMENDED READING
Will the SEC Go Green?
Pro-environment and investor groups are using accounting rules to push the SEC to get tough on companies that don't come clean about their pollution risks.
Power Scourge
Computer servers now account for 1.2 percent of total U.S. electric consumption, according to recent study.
What's Hot This Summer
You may not know these five products and services. You should.
Judge: Bankrupt Co. Can Hike Pay to Keep Talent
Under the new bankruptcy law, the copper-mining corporation had to prove that the payments were needed to prevent key people from leaving for competitors.
How Green Was My Tally
Companies battle it out to prove that they have more solar panels than their competitors.
Up in Smoke?
The Supreme Court's CO2 ruling could leave businesses fuming.
A Toxic Mess
Companies discover a benefit to cleaning up environmental damages before the government tells them to.
ConAgra Settles with SEC for $45 Million
Regulator says the food company's misuse of reserves and improper revenue recognition amounted to accounting fraud.
Earth, Wind, and Fire
New markets are emerging to help companies cope with climate change risks.
How to Get Super Refunds via Superfund
A new decision by the Supreme Court allows corporations that voluntarily clean up toxic waste sites to sue to recoup their expenses from other polluters.
Water for Profit
Undaunted by tight regulations and huge infrastructure costs, companies dive into the water business.
Virtue Rewarded
Companies are suddenly discovering the profit potential of social responsibility.
Cleaning Up Carbon
Pressure to curb carbon emissions is mounting. How companies respond will affect much more than their bottom lines.
Will the SEC Demand "Green" Disclosures?
Recognizing climate change as a ''material consideration'' is among the actions sought by a diverse group that includes some of the country's largest corporations.

FROM THE ECONOMIST
Eco-Warriors at the Gate
Does the record-breaking purchase of TXU signal a new strategy for private equity?
Green America: Waking Up and Catching Up
Belatedly, and for many reasons, America is embracing environmentalism.
Going Green
Is the growing power consumption of data centres a threat or an opportunity?

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