Date posted: 30/01/2020

The shift to a sustainable economy

Have your say on these influential consultations

In brief

  • The Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative invites submissions on its Roadmap objectives
  • New Zealand’s Aotearoa Circle seeks feedback on the Sustainable Finance Forum’s Interim report
  • Using the CDSB framework to advance disclosure of nature-related financial information

As the call intensifies for an urgent shift to a sustainable economy, there are a number of consultations open hoping to shape the direction. Chartered Accountants ANZ is involved with these organisations and we are seeking member input for our submissions.

  • Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative – deadline 21 February
  • New Zealand's Sustainable Finance Forum – deadline 28 February
  • Global – advancing nature-related financial disclosures – deadline 28 February

Further details on each consultation are below.

The Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative (ASFI) progress report

The Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative (ASFI), a collaborative initiative supported by insurers, superannuation funds, investment managers and banks has released its first progress report identifying six critical challenges that Australia's financial services sector must address in order to navigate risks and opportunities for Australia's future resilience, prosperity and wellbeing.

The report, Developing an Australian Sustainable Finance Roadmap – Progress Report: Navigating risks and opportunities for Australia's future resilience, prosperity and wellbeing, is the first output from a process involving over 130 individuals from more than 80 organisations across all parts of financial services, as well as academia, civil society and government including Chartered Accountants ANZ.

The six identified challenges are:

  • Leadership, culture and institutional structures
  • Community and consumer interests and expectations
  • Frameworks, tools and standards
  • Decision-making and valuation
  • Unlocking sustainable finance and allocating capital to where it is needed
  • Policy, regulation and supervision

The next step of ASFI's work will be to produce an interim report, which will form the basis for the Sustainable Finance Roadmap for Australia, to be delivered in 2020.  The Roadmap will set out a series of recommendations to realign the financial services sector to support greater social, environmental and economic outcomes for the country.
We seek member input by Friday 14 February

The Interim Report of the Sustainable Finance Forum (SFF)

The report represents the collective, and voluntary, efforts of the SFF undertaken from January 2019 to October 2019. It sets out why we need to shift, urgently, to a sustainable economy. It proposes the principles and characteristics of a sustainable economy and financial system - drawing upon a Māori world view of Kaitiakitanga.

The New Zealand SFF has been established to deliver a Sustainable Finance Roadmap to help New Zealand shift to a financial system that supports sustainable social, environmental and economic wellbeing. The SFF brings together key players in the New Zealand financial system spanning our banks, insurance companies, corporates, civil society and academia.

The SFF has reviewed much of the latest local and international thinking and best practice, along with a 'future state' vision for New Zealand's financial system. It assesses how well our current financial system performs against that benchmark and poses some initial ideas and questions on Potential Pathways for change.

We are seeking member input by Friday 21 February.

Further, and for completeness, with Climate Change a key priority, particularly for business, the Interim Report was accompanied by a Legal Opinion commissioned by the Aotearoa Circle and written by Chapman Tripp to answer the question:

"To what extent (if at all) are New Zealand company directors and managed scheme providers permitted or required to take account of climate change considerations in their decision-making?"

The Aotearoa Circle is a unique partnership of public and private sector leaders, unified and committed to the pursuit of sustainable prosperity and reversing the decline of New Zealand's natural resources.

Advancing Nature-related Financial Disclosures

The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) are inviting comments from multi-stakeholders to better understand how the CDSB framework for reporting environmental and climate change information can be best used and adapted to help advance the disclosure of nature-related financial information.

Building on the momentum of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and calls for increased nature-related financial disclosure, CDSB believes an opportunity exists to leverage established market-tested practices and frameworks to drive immediate action that meets the urgency of the challenge. Given the already complex corporate reporting landscape, minimising the emergence of new frameworks and market practices will be important to enhancing the effectiveness and uptake of nature-related disclosure at scale.

The CDSB Framework already covers environmental and climate change reporting, is widely referenced in stock exchanges' guidance globally and aligns with existing regulation.

CDSB is an international consortium of business and environmental NGOs, whose mission is to create the enabling conditions for material climate change and natural capital information to be integrated into mainstream reporting.

We are seeking member input by Friday 21 February.

Have your say

Member feedback can be sent to the business reform team at

businessreform@charteredaccountantsanz.com