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ACCA: Accountancy profession ‘urgently’ needs to set net zero targets

Only 23% of firms integrate climate key performance indicators (KPIs) into their business strategy, with 29% saying that climate change plays a significant role in financial decision-making

ACCA has found that among 3,000 accountants and finance professionals, just 15% say their organisations have set targets to be net zero compliant by 2050, according to its latest climate action report.

It revealed only 38% of firms have said their organisation will be “willing” to invest much more to address climate change over the next three to five years.

According to ACCA, 73% of firms conclude it’s important that their future career involves taking action on climate change, with 75% saying it is important that accountancy and finance teams are involved in tackling climate change.

However, only 23% of firms integrate climate key performance indicators (KPIs) into their business strategy and/or risk frameworks, with 29% saying that climate change considerations play a significant role in financial decision-making in their organisation.

The report said that firms have “significant barriers” to overcome including: believing that climate action is not viewed as the responsibility of the finance team; lack of commercial incentive around climate action; absence of support from leadership; poor data to work with, and their own lack of professional skills in the area of expertise.

Helen Brand OBE, chief executive of ACCA, said: “The accountancy profession has a critical role to play in this, both to lead long-term value creation in sustainable economies, and to champion responsible practices for the public good.”

Narayanan Vaidyanathan, head of business insights at ACCA, added: “Very few organisations are progressing at the pace and scale needed to counter the devastating and world-altering threats climate change is posing.”

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