The world’s accountants must put their skills to use to help businesses fight climate change, the UK’s top accounting bodies have said.
As part of The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) Accounting Bodies Network, which collectively represents over 2.5 million accountants worldwide, the five major UK based accounting bodies1 are today publishing a declaration calling on the profession to put sustainability and the fight against climate change at the forefront of its work.
The organisations said their members had a critical role to play in helping to effect meaningful change because of their expertise with advising businesses about risk management and their responsibility to act in the public interest.
Tackling climate change needs practical measurement and management, and accountants are key to helping businesses build sustainability into their working practices, commercial relationships and supply chains, theyexplained.
This is particularly important with the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) scheduled to take place in the UK this year.
An accountant’s role should demonstrate the risks to business posed by climate change, such as the impact of flooding or the effect of drought on the price of crops needed in the supply chain.
Mark Farrar, Chief Executive of AAT, said: “As influential members across every sector in society, professional accountants are in a unique position to help effect positive action in a collective effort.
“We have both a responsibility to act in the public interest, and the skills and expertise to help deliver meaningful change. We encourage AAT’s 130,000 members worldwide to play their own part in taking action, helping the organisations they work with to respond to climate change with the urgency and scale required.”
Helen Brand, Chief Executive of ACCA says: “This is a call to action not just for accountants, but also for the professional bodies of which they are members – we all have an immense role to play here, and alongside my colleagues we all sign up to three proactive commitments that will help our members and future members rise to the challenge.”
Barry Melancon, CEO of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, added: “Accountants have an important role to play improving an organisation’s integrated thinking and decision-making capabilities to promote responsible business practices, improving outcomes for both stakeholders and our environment.”