Accounting Firms

Global accounting leaders call on profession to address climate change

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 bodies have published a “declaration” calling on the profession to put sustainability and the fight against climate change at the forefront of its work.

The accounting bodies said its members have a “critical role” to play, and to help create “meaningful change” using their expertise with advising businesses about risk management and their responsibility to act in the public interest.

According to the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), 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.

It added that 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 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, ACCA chief executive, said: “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: “The accounting profession has long focused on assessing and managing financial risks. However, the global risks we are seeing today, in particular environment-related risks, are pushing our profession to expand its remit.”

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