IFAC Explains How Accountants Contribute to Meeting Organizations’ Sustainability Challenges

Source: , 5 August 2015

To support accountants in developing a greater awareness of how they can help their organizations address issues of sustainability and more fully incorporate these issues into business decisions, the International Federation of Accountants® (IFAC®) today released Accounting for Sustainability. From Sustainability to Business Resilience.

The briefing highlights the important role accountants can, and must, play in embracing sustainability challenges and ensuring that the organizations they serve are resilient by linking these challenges to a broader business agenda and strategy.

“Businesses are resilient when they are able to create and continue to deliver value to stakeholders, which involves considering both the risks and opportunities presented by sustainability issues, including environmental and social aspects, that ultimately affect financial performance and value creation,” according to IFAC President Olivia Kirtley. “Accountants working in the public and private sectors have a significant role to play in supporting and making the decisions that guide an organization’s ability to be resilient.”

The briefing examines the link between sustainability and business resilience, how integrating sustainability leads to better performance, and the key elements of developing a sustainable strategy and business model.

It clarifies how professional accountants can make a difference and includes references to some of the many resources and tools available to help develop knowledge and skillsets.

The briefing was previewed earlier this week during the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka’s Global Management Accounting Summit in Colombo, Sri Lanka, by Ms. Kirtley. The conference, themed Business Resilience through Integrated Reporting, addressed many different issues related to integrated reporting, including sustainability.