Meeting greenhouse gas emissions/climate challenges will be a monumental undertaking for years to come and will require an array of solutions, some of which haven’t even been invented yet. Solutions will offer technological advances, social/environmental benefits and huge business opportunities. Fortunately for everyone, some will be successful and beneficial. Others may do more harm than good.
This Bloomberg article about a carbon capture company caught my attention for several reasons. One is that some form of ambient CO2 capture may be necessary to achieve reduction targets. But another reason is that in my years of auditing and fraud training, I’ve become somewhat competent in spotting patterns/trends in data and behavior. And – based solely on that piece – I see eerie similarities here to Theranos. And there is more reason this is top of mind given this week is the 20th anniversary of the Enron failure. This company is painting itself as a savior, but is it realistic?
Most companies know that chasing “E” goals needs to include using internal “G” processes and staff (indeed, the SEC’s recent Risk Alert on The Division of Examinations’ Review of ESG Investing points out this very thing). Here’s another reminder to proceed with caution. If you’re making public commitments of environmental/social progress based on third-party performance, you need to vet the service and qualify your statements. You may wind up with more risks & liabilities than you bargained for, especially if the third party doesn’t make good on their own promises.