“Basic” Accountants at Zero Net Effort, According to Industry Bodies

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Accountants have significant influence and responsibility in the global effort to tackle climate change, according to a group of 13 industry bodies representing more than 2.5 million professional accountants and students worldwide.

The group, which includes the Association for Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), has publicly committed to helping the industry achieve net zero emissions. as soon as possible ”, and intends to release more detailed plans on how to achieve this over the next 12 months.

“It is now very clear that to face these risks we need to work together and set an example for the accounting profession,” said Barry Melancon, CEO of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

“Public and management accountants have an important role to play in enhancing an organization’s integrated thinking and decision-making capabilities in order to promote responsible and sustainable business practices. “

Together, the 13 industry associations form the Network of Accounting Bodies (ABN) – an initiative formed by the Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Action Group, which was founded by the Prince of Wales in 2004. Its aim is to transform the finance and drive a transition to resilient business models and a sustainable economy, he says.

According to the NBA, a key element of the engagement is to provide “an enabling environment” to its respective members. As part of this, it is committed to implementing a series of new training and infrastructure initiatives in order to support its members and achieve its goals.

“We will continue to look for ways to minimize our carbon footprint, guide our members on their own zero net journey and support global action,” said Michael Izza, CEO of ICAEW.

“Tackling climate change requires urgent global action, so we were delighted to join our colleagues around the world in confirming our commitment to a zero carbon society. “

Similar remarks were made by J Bruce Cartwright, Managing Director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS). The accounting profession can be a “key catalyst” in the transition to a net zero economy, he argued.

“ICAS is proud to be a signatory to the ABN Commitment and to commit to providing training, support and resources to help our members establish their own zero net journeys.

“I believe that if we pool our collective efforts and resources, we can achieve our climate change ambitions and make creating a healthy and sustainable planet a reality for future generations. “

The new commitment follows a call to action that was signed by the NBA in 2020. The official statement included eight action points that accountants must take in response to the global climate emergency, noting that climate change represents an “economic, social and commercial issue. risk”.

This was addressed by Heather Hill, president of the Association of Accounting Technicians (ATT), in response to the new net zero commitment.

“Following the 2020 call to action from professional accounting orders […] We will continue our organizational activity to improve our carbon footprint, but also to help our members engage in this crucial collective effort and exert our influence over government where appropriate.

According to A4S, the next decade is “critical” to limit the negative effects of climate change – this forms the basis of the new initiative, he said in a statement.

A4S goes on to say that global emissions must be halved by 2030 and drop to net zero by mid-century in order to create the best chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.


The accounting bodies which have subscribed to the commitment are: Association for Accounting Technicians, Association for Chartered Certified Accountants, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Chartered Accountants Ireland, Consiglio Nazionale dei Dottori commecialisti e degli Esperti Contabili, Chartered Professional Accountants Australia, Chartered Professional Accountants Canada, Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland eV, Regnskap Norge, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, Japanese Institute of Chartered Accountants.


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