As 2022 begins, so does the eight-year countdown for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and a better future for us all.

At the start of the decade, ACCA pledged the contribution our profession would make to achieving the UN’s goals, and we mapped our own strategic commitment to align to nine of the 17 SDGs.

This included offering access to a high-quality accountancy and finance education free from artificial barriers, becoming net zero by 2030, and working in partnership to build an inclusive global profession that supports the development of ethical sustainable businesses and economies.

With just eight years to go, and following a year that saw the highest ever recorded temperatures on Earth and ended with the latest wave of a global pandemic, societal pressure for a more sustainable world has never been greater.

So ACCA is starting this year with more drive, commitment and momentum than ever.

Author

Orla Collins is ACCA president

Achieving sustainability is everyone’s responsibility, with the pace and priority being set from the top

Rethinking our world

We’re calling on everyone within the global ACCA community to plan how they are going to play their part in delivering the UN’s SDGs. Through our ‘Rethinking our world’ campaign, we’re asking everyone a simple question: ‘What steps can I take?’.

We know that if every member of our profession takes concrete steps to deliver the sustainable development goals, we have the combined power to create a better, fairer and more sustainable future. So we’re supporting our community with the framework, resources and tools to achieve this.

Influence and integrity

We see accountancy as a multidiscipline profession sitting at the heart of business and organisations. As such we’re in a unique position to cultivate the mindsets needed to think more for the long-term and drive transformational change.

Through our members’ collective influence, by sharing insights and raising awareness in their workplaces, we can shift the approaches and behaviour needed for organisations to deliver against the UN goals.

We’re asking members to steer positive change and use their key business skills to help organisations innovate

 

Instilling the highest standards of integrity and ethics is one of our core commitments, and our trusted position in business means we’re able to drive transparency and fight corruption. As a powerful contingent of the workforce, we can also champion equality and fairness, while removing artificial barriers to education and progression.

By becoming advocates for inclusion, diversity and social mobility, our members will help create a progressive culture of fairness and equality.

Climate action

Our commitment to climate change and our environment is paramount in supporting the UN’s goals and a greener future for us all. Sustainable practices and reporting to reduce the consumption of resources and transition to a zero-carbon economy is integral to achieving emission reductions.

Sustainability and green finance is embedded in our qualifications, learning and professional development. This ranges from measurement and audit of environmental matters, to internal controls and risk management.

ACCA has collated resources and learning materials to support you in delivering your commitments

Professional accountants play a central role, both by helping organisations change their practices and by supporting governments and regulators in developing and adopting the reporting practices needed.

Not only are we calling on our members to proactively stay one step ahead in their environmental knowledge and skills, we’re asking them to steer positive change and use their key business skills to help the organisations they work with to innovate and evolve.

Resources and actions

To support you in delivering your commitments, ACCA has collated resources and learning materials in our ‘Rethinking our world’ hub. We have committed to nine of the SDGs, and have set out five steps others can take.

The hub also features real-life examples of the impact you are making to share ideas and inspire change.

Achieving sustainability is everyone’s responsibility, with the pace and priority being set from the top. The 2030 deadline is not far off, and we all have an important part to play. If we take the steps together, we’ll achieve a sustainable future, and we’ll get there faster.

More information

See Orla Collins’ AB interview, including the themes that she has committed to during her presidency

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