Mark Millar is president of ACCA, and Nives Botica Redmayne is president of CA ANZ

Welcome to our new, joint special edition of AB on rethinking sustainable business. As global strategic partners, ACCA and CA ANZ have joined forces to highlight the vital role professional accountants play in driving forward sustainable businesses and economies.

The climate crisis is becoming ever more real. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report, issued in August 2021, showed that the metaphor of ‘operating on a burning platform’ is now a startling reality.

It is no longer just a phrase to describe pressing urgency, but a truth for many economies. The discussions at the UN COP 26 Climate Change Conference are urgent and important.

Sustainability continues to be at the heart of ACCA and CA ANZ strategies

ACCA and CA ANZ believe that the accountancy profession has a vital role to play and can make a huge difference. Steps professional accountants can take right now include:

  • getting executive-level support for climate action in their organisations
  • championing and driving climate action and net-zero transition plans
  • ensuring a holistic approach to decision-making and strategy, taking into account climate risk and social responsibility – strategy and sustainability are no longer separate
  • helping to build trust through ensuring that financial and non-financial reporting are integrated within a clear narrative
  • measuring, monitoring and reporting clearly and meaningfully on non-financial information - and avoiding greenwashing
  • identifying the risks ahead and mitigating them
  • increasing their sustainability knowledge, including their integrated thinking and reporting skills, and that of their colleagues and teams.

The judgment, skills and knowledge of professional accountants can make a huge difference. The profession’s data-informed, ethical approach, along with our members' breadth of view, gives it a vital role in creating sustainable businesses and organisations that deliver financial returns, while also generating value for society, and being environmentally responsible for our planet.

ACCA and CA ANZ are here to help you navigate this fast-evolving global sustainability landscape. We do this by providing members and future members with insights, guides, tools and learning so that accountants have the skills, knowledge and competencies to lead the changes needed to do all of this.

As professional bodies, we’re very aware of our responsibilities too. That’s why sustainability continues to be at the heart of our strategies, and it’s why we have joined together for this special edition to help you steer through these huge challenges.