Sustainable businesses with less red tape

A recent proposal from the Norwegian government looks to remove red tape for small and medium businesses in an effort to encourage entrepreneurship.

Eli Rudshagen, one of our SMART Master students, has begun her thesis work. She has chosen to write about environmental reporting requirements and the use of standards in light of the recent proposal from the Norwegian government. The proposal comes as an attempt to reduce bureaucracy and red tape for small and medium enterprises.  An underlying worry is that businesses will flag out to other countries with more lenient reporting requirements.

Removing environmental reporting requirements for small businesses is also in line with a general tendency in the EU, which is increasing reporting requirements for large companies and removing them for SMEs. 

-I’m interested in finding out if the reporting requirements are suitable for achieving the intention behind current legislation. If not, should we instead use standards as a possible way of improving the sustainability of small companies without causing too much red tape? The use of standards is widespread when it comes to financial reporting for companies, and it should therefore also be considered for non-financial reporting. The increasing gap in reporting requirements for SMEs and large enterprises can also have adverse effects, Eli says.

The problem with the recent proposal is that the government does not seek to address how companies can fulfill the objectives behind the rules on environmental reporting. Legislators should be asking themselves whether there is an alternative and more efficient way to achieve the objectives behind the current reporting requirements before they decide to remove them completely. 


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By Eli Rudshagen, Tiina Ruohonen
Published Sep. 28, 2016 9:27 AM - Last modified Feb. 23, 2017 10:06 AM