- Businesses are adopting sustainable practices and reporting in response to investor demands.
- CAs’ skills are being called on for reporting, assurance and risk management.
- CA ANZ continues to develop tools, training and resources to support members in these areas.
In the midst of dealing with the COVID pandemic and what it means for many businesses, we also need to delve into the risks ahead of us.
Managing climate risk is one of those – and increasingly it’s becoming a permanent part of doing business, irrespective of industry sector or geographic location.
Against a backdrop of investors, regulators and communities demanding greater action, businesses are responding to their calls, adopting sustainable practices and reporting.
What does that mean for us as chartered accountants? Our skill sets and our roles, which are founded on a legacy of trust as key professional advisers, are being called on in the sustainability and climate space, whether through reporting, assurance or risk management.
For several years, your professional body has been shaping how members can meet these business expectations and embrace opportunities. In New Zealand, we engaged closely with government and submitted to the select committee on legislation mandating climate-related financial disclosures, advocating for a fit-for-purpose regime.
More recently, we appeared in Australia at the parliamentary inquiry into the prudential regulation of investment in Australia’s export industries to outline the global trends on climate-related accounting standards. We informed the inquiry about the growing demand in capital markets for robust and reliable climate-related financial information and the role that regulators play in providing a framework for this disclosure.
As a profession, we are well placed to translate climate risks into potential operating and financial impacts and to use data to aid our decision-making and realise opportunities.
Providing tools for decision-making
We are continuing to develop a range of tools, reports, training and resources to support members. Our latest report with ACCA on sustainable AI adoption outlined a role for the profession to challenge greenwashing by using AI to aid our professional scepticism on whether claims about sustainability in a business match performance.
Non-financial risk and sustainable operating practices have been an area of focus for me this year as your president. The pandemic is a real example of the extreme consequences that non-financial risks can have on businesses and global economies.
“The pandemic is a real example of the extreme consequences that non-financial risks can have on businesses.”
As a profession, we need to stand ready for future challenges. We are well known for charting the best course of action, for making a difference, so shaping a sustainable future is a task fit for us as chartered accountants.
Be a global citizen by making a local difference
The pandemic and its fallout have brought new meaning to the phrases ‘citizenship’ and ‘purpose beyond profit’.Read more