Here is an interesting note from AccountingToday about a tech issue that may impact how your company manages climate data – or any ESG data for that matter – if you are using spreadsheets.
Earlier last month, Microsoft announced its plans to pull back on the decision to automatically block macros in Excel documents. Initially, the company said that Excel files that contained macros would be blocked if downloaded from the internet. Microsoft still plans to move forward with blocking Excel documents with macros, but not in the immediate future. (Source: Computer World)
Why this is important for your firm and clients: Susan Bradley at Computerworld says that now is the time to review your spreadsheets that include macros. ‘If you’ve downloaded any online and do not know where they came from, stop,’ she writes. ‘You’ll want to check to ensure that they are not malicious by uploading the files to www.reverse.it or www.virustotal.com to see what the file contains.’ Bradley says that ‘once you identify the Excel files with macros you want to use (but that you’ve haven’t personally developed), your next step is to ensure that each one of these Excel files do not have ‘mark of the web’ on them.’
Now to be totally honest, I am not an Excel whiz (as a matter of fact I am only tech-savvy enough to know how to turn my computer on and off), so I don’t completely understand this. However, given that many carbon emissions calculation/tracking methodologies (including the GHG Protocol) are spreadsheets that are downloadable from the internet, it seems that Microsoft’s eventual plan could be problematic for many companies. Even though this is isn’t something that is right around the corner, it would be wise to evaluate your company’s carbon/ESG data management plans and tools.