Global accounting bodies urge profession-wide commitment to reverse nature loss
CA ANZ joins call to action in response to the nature crisis to signal the important role the profession plays in this crisis.
- As part of the Global Accounting Alliance, the CEOs are signing the call to action ‘Nature is Everyone’s Business’
- This involves advocating for and supporting the protection and restoration of nature
- The statement summarises six key actions for professional accountants, including understanding how their organisations and clients impact and rely on nature
The chief executives of 10 of the world’s leading accounting institutes have joined together to support a new call to action in response to the nature crisis, ahead of the upcoming UN Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) COP 15.
Working together as part of the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA), the CEOs are signing the call to action ‘Nature is Everyone’s Business’ to signal the important role the profession plays in this crisis.
The member bodies of the GAA, collectively represent over 1.4 million accountants and finance professionals in over 180 countries. The call to action involves advocating for and supporting the protection and restoration of nature through finance activities and investment decisions made by the business community.
It ties in closely with the expectations of investors and other stakeholders for businesses to focus on environmental, social and governance issues – expectations that will only become stronger in the longer term.
The joint statement calls upon professional accountants to act now to reverse the process of nature loss by helping the organisations they work for or with to protect, restore and promote the sustainability of natural resources. The statement summarises six key actions for professional accountants, including understanding how their organisations and clients impact and rely on nature. Professional accountants can also provide sound advice and services that contribute to an organisation’s positive effect on nature.
“Accounting for nature and biodiversity is vital if we are to leave a sustainable planet and primary industries for the next generation. Just as accountants are playing a role in addressing climate change, so too can they help focus business attention on preserving healthy ecosystems,” said Ainslie van Onselen, CEO, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ).
In a united statement, the GAA CEOs said: “We recognize that our planet is being impacted by a three-fold crisis of a climate emergency, dramatic nature loss and rising social inequality.
“Addressing these challenges will require integrated thinking as companies reallocate resources, reorient production and reimagine their business models. We all depend on nature, but it is the poorest in the world who are disproportionately affected by its loss and impacted by climate change. Protecting nature must be a key consideration as we collectively move forward.”
“Accounting for nature and biodiversity is vital if we are to leave a sustainable planet and primary industries for the next generation. Just as accountants are playing a role in addressing climate change, so too can they help focus business attention on preserving healthy ecosystems.”
At the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP15 in April/May 2022, the world has the opportunity to adopt a transformative international agreement on nature, and both businesses and governments must be included.
As part of their joint statement, the GAA CEOs are committing to: “Working with governments to establish and align coherent policy frameworks that accelerate business action to reverse the process of nature loss; build the profession’s knowledge, understanding and awareness of nature loss; and provide professional accountants with training, support and infrastructure to value and embed nature in decision making and disclosure.
The CEOs are also supporting the alignment of consistent global regulation and globally accepted disclosure frameworks that integrate nature, people and climate into corporate reporting.
Along with CA ANZ, the accounting bodies that have signed the statement are the:
- Association of International Certified Professional Accountants representing AICPA & CIMA
- Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
- Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)
- Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
- ICAS (the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland)
- Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland e.V. (IDW)
- The Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA)
- South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).
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